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Ohio EPA Meeting to Focus on Wetland Impacts Related to Proposed Lorain County School Construction Project

Potential wetlands impacts associated with constructing a new school in Sheffield Village will be the focus of a Sept. 6, 2012, Ohio EPA public meeting. The information session and public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in the Brookside High School Cafeteria, 1812 Harris Road.

The meeting will be an opportunity for citizens to ask questions and submit comments concerning an application submitted by Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City Schools to construct a school, grades 7-12, on property located just north of the existing Brookside High School.

The school district is requesting to impact up to 7.6 acres of high-quality (category 3) wetlands. To compensate for the loss of wetlands, the district proposes to permanently preserve 39.4 acres of existing high-quality wetlands on-site and purchase eight acres of forested wetland credits at the Edison Woods Preserve mitigation site northeast of Berlin Heights, Ohio (Erie County). Ohio EPA also will consider other alternatives resulting in lesser or no impacts to water quality.

Anyone wanting to discharge dredged or fill material to waters of the State must first obtain a water quality certification from Ohio EPA and a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ohio EPA’s review is to ensure the project will comply with Ohio’s water quality standards.

The proposed project may result in a change from the current water quality conditions in the Black River watershed, but cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment. Ohio EPA will consider the technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the project before deciding to issue or deny a water quality certification.

Comments on the application may be presented at the hearing, submitted in writing to Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, attn: Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 or emailed to dswcomments@epa.state.oh.us. The public comment period ends Sept. 13.

The application and related materials are available online.

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