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DEFA Success Stories

The Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) helps communities, businesses and other organizations achieve success in their efforts to improve Ohio’s environment. These success stories show how the wide array of Ohio EPA’s environmental and financial assistance services are used to help all Ohioans achieve their environmental goals.

Helping Communities Improve Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

City of Avon Lake

In 2017, Avon Lake Regional Water implemented a low-interest Lateral Loan Program to assist private property owners in repairing/replacing their sewer laterals. This program will be another tool to help the city comply with its long-term control plan and improve water quality in the area.

Helping Small Wastewater Treatment Plants Achieve Compliance

Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA), Division of Surface Water and Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) partnered to create and implement Ohio EPA’s Package Plant Initiative. Under this initiative, six workshops were offered across Ohio beginning in 2015. The workshops trained operators on better process controls, including the use of low-cost tools and equipment to determine and maintain compliance.

Promoting Recycling, Litter Prevention and Sustainable Practices

Jackson Center Schools — $126,000 Scrap Tire Grant

The village of Jackson Center and Jackson Center Schools had a vision of building a new running track in the complex and creating walking paths connecting the school complex to a nearby community park to give students and residents easy access to these facilities. Before the project, the running track and walking paths were stone surfaced and needed new pavement. The village and JCS partnered to find a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to pave the new surfaces.  The schools obtained a Scrap Tire Grant from DEFA.

Helping Businesses Achieve and Maintain Compliance

Connecting with Ohio Businesses and Communities through Webinars

Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) reaches our customers in a variety of ways to help keep them informed about environmental regulations and valuable resources to achieve compliance and become more sustainable. One increasingly popular service we provide is a monthly webinar series. Held throughout the year, these webinars provide timely and relevant programmatic and regulatory information to our businesses and communities with a minimal time investment. The ability to attend from your workplace makes it even more convenient.

Helping a Small Business Achieve Compliance Following an Emergency Event

Throughout the nation, small, family owned businesses often struggle to stay viable, especially if faced with a crisis such as a fire. Sometimes, what may seem like a single, isolated event to address may, in fact, lead to a host of unanticipated problems. Recently, an Ohio company was faced with a fire which caused significant damage to their facility. The family owned business, in operation for more than 25 years, set about cleaning up and repairing the damage, including replacement of an air-permitted paint booth, so they could resume operation.  This is how OCAPP helped this small business with their emergency event.


DEFA Testimonials

After becoming Village Administrator, I discovered we owed U.S. EPA more than $600,000 for five years of CSO violations. At first I had a lot of sleepless nights, but through the financial help and the great people in DEFA we are getting there. It has not been easy but we are much better off!
-Village Administrator

We now recycle/reuse all of our acetone. We went from purchasing 1,375 gallons to 770. We now have zero waste and our emissions dropped more than 38% in the first year.  We are now recycling our plastic bottles and paper products.
-An aerospace manufacturer

Creating a good water and sewer system would never have happened without DEFA’s help. The sheer scope seems overwhelming. You came here, you were informed about our past projects and problems, and you didn’t rush. I can’t express how important outreach is for struggling communities!
-Village Mayor

I am a huge fan of OCAPP.  I personally believe this program is one of the best “tools in the box.” Each event leaves me extremely pleased with the level of customer service and true attention to my particular issue. This program is fantastic.
- An environmental remediation company

As a town with lots of sewer issues, it’s been a pleasure to work with DEFA. The personal approach made us more comfortable in sharing our challenges to make the corrections needed. We applied for a planning loan and look forward to working with them for the design and construction phases. This probably wouldn’t have happened without the encouragement we received.
-Small Community