7/31/19
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce or James Lee
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Updating State Water Quality Management Plan

Public Hearing Scheduled Aug. 13

Ohio EPA is considering updates to water quality management plans prepared by six regional planning agencies. The plans describe and promote efficient and comprehensive programs for controlling water pollution in a defined geographic area. The plans address a variety of water quality issues ranging from sewage treatment to urban and agricultural runoff.

Ohio EPA is accepting public comments on the plan. A public hearing will be held in Columbus on Aug. 13, 2019, at 3 p.m. at Ohio EPA’s Central Office, 50 W. Town St., Suite 700, Conference Room A. All visitors should bring photo identification in order to register at the security desk. Anyone who wants to speak at the meeting is encouraged to pre-register by calling Ohio EPA’s Public Interest Center at (614) 644-2160.

Plans from the following area planning agencies would be updated:

  • Eastgate Regional Council of Governments (Mahoning and Trumbull counties);
  • Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Preble counties);
  • Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties);
  • Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization (Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties);
  • Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties); and
  • Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood counties).

These six areawide agencies oversee planning in 24 Ohio counties with large urban populations. Each agency prepares and approves the water quality management plan for its member counties. The state then certifies that the documents include the required plan elements and are consistent with each other and with drainage basin plans.

The state of Ohio prepares and maintains the water quality management plans for the remaining 64 counties. The governor then certifies the entire statewide plan and submits it to U.S. EPA for its approval.

Written comments may be submitted though Aug. 18. Comments should be sent to the attention of Walter Ariss, Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049 or emailed to walter.ariss@epa.ohio.gov. The proposed update is available for review online.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

 
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