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Ohio Lake Erie Commission Requests Public Comments about Maumee Area of Concern

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2022

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA are accepting comments through Aug. 5, 2022, for the proposed removal of a beneficial use impairment regarding restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption within the Maumee Area of Concern (AOC).

Beneficial use impairments (BUIs) identify specific problems that can prevent a waterbody from meeting its full water quality potential. The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA recommend removing the “restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption” BUI because the conditions now meet restoration criteria that include fish and wildlife consumption in all waters of the Maumee AOC. This means the fish and wildlife meet safe consumption thresholds used by the Ohio Department of Health in the Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory. In general, safe consumption for Maumee River AOC streams and Lake Erie fish are one meal per month, but may be more or less stringent, depending on the species and location. Consult the advisory for more information.

A summary of the proposed recommendation is available on Ohio EPA’s website.

This beneficial use impairment is the second BUI to be recommended for removal from the initial 10 BUIs listed for the Maumee Area of Concern. BUIs identify specific problems that can prevent a waterbody from meeting its water quality targets.

Written comments will be accepted through Aug. 5, and can be emailed to Cherie Blair, Ohio EPA Maumee AOC coordinator at Cherie.Blair@epa.ohio.gov.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission was established to preserve Lake Erie's natural resources, protect the quality of its waters and ecosystem, and promote economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio EPA serves as the Commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and five additional members appointed by the Governor.

Ohio EPA 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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For more information, contact:
Lynn Garrity, Ohio Lake Erie Commission
(614) 506-0619

 

Dina Pierce, Ohio EPA
(614) 644-2160