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.

Study Plans

Study plans are required for all water quality monitoring projects undertaken pursuant to the credible data rules. The person submitting the project study plan must be a Qualified Data Collector (QDC). Ohio EPA will review project study plans (depending upon available personnel) within 60 days of receipt. Ohio EPA will notify the person submitting the project study plan when deficiencies are found, and provide an opportunity to re-submit the plan. If not disapproved within 60 days, the project study plan is considered approved. The administrative rules for the program provide guidelines for the study plan content. Under the regulations the QDC is obligated to adhere to the study plan throughout the sampling effort.

Project Study Plans

All project study plans should be submitted to Ohio EPA (see Contact Information). Ohio EPA has 60 days to act on the plan or it is automatically approved. Once a project study plan is approved, the QDC has one year to initiate the project and begin submitting the data to Ohio EPA (see Submission of Data).

Level 1 – A study plan for a project designed for public awareness and/or educational purposes should be based upon guidance materials available from the sources listed below or other similar resources.

Level 2 – A study plan for a project designed for initial screening of water quality or for evaluating the effectiveness of pollution control efforts must be compiled using the guidelines found in Appendix A of rule 3745-4-05. Appendix B gives laboratory quality assurance plan guidelines.

Level 3 – A study plan for a project designed for any of the regulatory purposes stipulated in the law must be compiled using the guidelines found in Appendix A of rule 3745-4-06. Appendix B gives laboratory quality assurance plan guidelines.

Approved Project Study Plans

If you would like to see other Project Study Plans, either to see what if any sampling has been done in your area, or would just like to see approved examples, you can visit the link below to see the locations of approved study plans displayed on a map of Ohio. Each location is linked to a copy of the approved project study plan.

Study Plan or QAPP?

U.S. EPA requires a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for all U.S. EPA-funded monitoring of surface waters. All Section 319 funded projects have the QAPP requirements. Guidelines under the credible data rules for Level 2 and Level 3 study plans cover many of the same elements that U.S. EPA requires in QAPPs. If you are receiving U.S. EPA funding for your monitoring work you should be able use the information in the QAPP to fulfill most Level 2 and Level 3 study planning guidelines. QDCs in this situation are encouraged to contact Ohio EPA. Efforts will be made to streamline the preparation and review process.