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Ohio EPA Posts Recommendations of the Point Source Urban Nutrient Workgroup

The Point Source Urban Nutrient Workgroup, tasked with addressing concerns about nutrient loading in Ohio’s waterways by Ohio EPA, has completed its work. The group’s recommendations are available in a report.

Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally said, “The group’s work will help the state pursue innovative solutions that address nutrient concerns in urban environments. I intend to prioritize the group’s recommendations and appreciate the time they took to participate.”

The workgroup developed six recommendations it believes are significant to address problems associated with reducing nutrient runoff:

  • Ohio EPA should develop a statewide nutrient mass balance sheet that accounts for point and nonpoint sources of nutrients.
  • Ohio EPA should encourage and promote operational experimentation at wastewater treatment facilities aimed at achieving low-cost nutrient removal.
  • Ohio EPA will encourage wastewater treatment plant owners to prepare cost-effective means to achieve lower effluent limits wherever facilities are shown to be significant contributors to nutrient enrichment.
  • Ohio EPA should appoint a panel of economic, financial and policy experts to consider options for funding the implementation of Ohio’s nutrient reduction strategy.
  • Ohio EPA should publish an annual report on nutrient loadings and resulting water quality conditions in Ohio’s lakes and rivers.
  • Ohio EPA should integrate watershed management and green infrastructure planning with Ohio’s nutrient reduction strategy.

The workgroup included representatives of large and small wastewater treatment facilities, consulting engineers, industry and environmental groups who met five times from January to June 2012. They were asked to consider:

  • actions that can be taken immediately to reduce phosphorus discharging from wastewater facilities, urban storm water, direct and indirect industrial sources;
  • future steps that would improve the cost-effectiveness of point source nutrient controls and urban nonpoint source nutrient reduction strategies; and
  • identify the likely roadblocks and determine potential solutions for achieving overall nutrient load reduction targets set for Ohio lakes and rivers.

To view the report and learn more about the recommendations, visit Ohio EPA’s website.

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