As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. In order to reach us, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946

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As part of DEFA’s ongoing efforts to make the most of the limited principal forgiveness funding available every year through our SRF programs, additional focus will be placed on projects that are ready to proceed. The Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) and the Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF) operate on a program-year (PY) basis with projects being nominated, scored, and ranked prior to being included on the Intended Projects List for the upcoming year’s Program Management Plan (PMP). Scoring focuses on human health aspects of the projects, but every year there are multiple principal forgiveness-eligible projects that score highly in each program. The challenge that the programs and communities face is getting the projects ready to construct in a single program year if little or no work has been done prior to the nomination. To help address this challenge, DEFA is implementing a multi-year process to set additional readiness-to-proceed requirements for projects to be considered for principal forgiveness.

The requirements will be implemented gradually over the next three to four program years. The goal is to have principal forgiveness projects far enough along in the process to get them awarded without a rush to get designs completed, permits approved, contracts advertised, bids reviewed, and loans awarded in the span of a few months.

The process was announced in the 2019 WPCLF PMP and the 2020 DWAF PMP. A flow chart showing the expected roll out of the requirements was included for each program. It was also announced that preference may be given to projects that are ready to proceed in that program year.

The goal of these new requirements is to allocate the limited principal forgiveness funding to projects that will be ready to proceed. We recognize a lot of work goes into getting an infrastructure project from concept to construction. Moving forward, most of that work should be completed prior to a project applicant requesting funding, instead of scrambling to get everything completed before the end of the program year.

A phased approach to implementing these requirements was selected to give communities advance notice of the future expectations, so they can begin work now to ensure their projects will be eligible and competitive for principal forgiveness in future program years.

For questions or more information, please contact Jon Bernstein at or (614) 644-3715 or Joe Dragovich at or (614) 644-3710.



The requirements vary slightly between the two programs, but the main items that will be required in the future include:

  • User Charge System in Place
  • Facilities Planning Complete
  • Design Underway
  • Permit Applications Submitted
  • Environmental Planning Addressed
  • Contract Documents Approved