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 firstname.lastname@epa.ohio.gov 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.

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

Credible Data - References

Credible Data is a program that classifies surface water monitoring performed by watershed groups, state agencies, schools, local volunteers and other organizations. Ohio EPA uses the data submitted under the program in ways prescribed by State law.

How Ohio EPA Uses the Data Submitted

The Credible Data law defines three levels of credible data, characterizes the general purposes each level fulfills and places limitations on how Ohio EPA may use data submitted under the program. Data is reviewed when submitted and screened to ensure that the proper methods were used, that the study plan was adhered to and that all data collected under the project was in fact submitted. Once the data has been properly categorized, Ohio EPA utilizes data in the following ways.

Level 1 Data

Level 1 data is intended for educational purposes. As a regulatory agency Ohio EPA makes limited use of level 1 data. However, Ohio EPA encourages participation by level 1 Qualified Data Collectors (QDCs) and recognizes the importance of environmental education and good stewardship on the part of individual and corporate citizens.

Level 2 Data

Ohio EPA makes use of level 2 data in ways intended by the law. It may be used to evaluate trends in water quality and the relative effectiveness of pollution abatement projects after they are implemented. It typically takes many years of data collection to measure water quality changes, so level 2 data is well suited for organized watershed groups and local volunteer organizations who are committed to improving the long term health of their waters. Ohio EPA will routinely use level 2 data to gain preliminary insights into local water quality conditions when planning its own water quality survey work. In addition, the Agency will periodically assess all available level 2 data to examine the success of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)-driven pollution abatement efforts and possible regional or statewide trends in water quality.

Level 3 Data

The law is very specific in stating that data collected under the program must meet level 3 standards in order for Ohio EPA to apply the data in five different regulatory activities:

  • Developing, reviewing, and revising use designations in water quality standards;
  • Developing a statewide water quality inventory or other water assessment report;
  • Identifying, listing, and delisting waters of the state for the purpose of section 303(d) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act;
  • Determining whether a water of the state is supporting its designated use or other classification;
  • Establishing a total maximum daily load for a water of the state.

In most cases Ohio EPA will use level 3 data collected by QDCs in concert with its own data to performing these regulatory tasks.