PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Fee Oros
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Taking Public Comments on Two Rules Affecting Ohio’s Water Quality

Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing on Feb. 1, 2012, to take comments on proposed rules packages for the state water quality standards, and 401 water quality certifications.

The hearing is at 3 p.m. in the Ohio EPA Conference Center, Room A, 50 West Town Street, Suite 700, Columbus. Ohio EPA will accept comments pertaining to the proposed rules. Please register to present testimony by calling (614) 644-2160. Visitors to the building must present a photo I.D.

Ohio EPA is proposing to move forward with selected sections of draft rules released in 2008 for interested party review.
For the state water quality standards, Ohio EPA is proposing to move forward with several rule sections including:

  1. Beneficial use designation section - add or revise aquatic life use designations:
  • establish a use and clarify the criteria that apply to unlisted waters;
  • add a lake habitat aquatic life use; add a primary headwater habitat beneficial use; and
  • revise the current coldwater habitat life use and generally limit its application to watersheds measuring at least one square mile of drainage area.
  1. Water Quality Standards section - revise aquatic life criteria for cadmium and adopt new human health criteria for the Ohio River main stem.
  2. Antidegradation section – include technology-based limits for nutrients, which would apply to new and expanding sanitary wastewater dischargers.

The water quality certification rules regulate discharge of dredge and fill material affecting Ohio’s waterways. Ohio EPA is proposing to name the state version of this program a state water quality permit. The proposed rules address applicability, application requirements, criteria for decision-making, timeframes for issuance or denial, permit changes, conditions of a permit certification, emergency certifications, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers general permits, and general permits for isolated wetlands. The rule would establish a permit-by-rule concept to cover impacts to the remaining waters not covered under the state water quality permit.

Visit Ohio EPA’s website for more information about the water quality standards and water quality certification rules.
Copies of the proposed water quality standards rules also are available by contacting Dan Dudley at (614) 644-2876, or by email dan.dudley@epa.state.oh.us.

Copies of the proposed water quality certification rules also are available by contacting Ric Queen at (614) 644-2872, or by email ric.queen@epa.state.oh.us.

Written comments should be mailed to Water Quality Rules, Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, no later than Feb. 24, 2012.

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