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Ohio EPA Issues Draft General Permit for Construction Storm Water Discharges

A general permit that regulates storm water discharges from construction activities is being updated, and Ohio EPA has scheduled a public hearing to take comments on the proposal.

The public hearing will be held at 3 p.m., Feb. 25, 2013, at Ohio EPA’s central office, 50 West Town Street, Columbus, Conference Room B.  The hearing will conclude after everyone has had an opportunity to comment.  Please bring a photo I.D to register at the visitor’s desk.

The draft permit would authorize storm water discharges from construction activity that disturb one or more acres. The draft permit includes requirements for storm water pollution prevention plans used for construction projects, requiring them to minimize storm water runoff. It also sets up requirements for obtaining and terminating coverage.

In addition, proposed new requirements include:

  • changing the period a site can be left dormant from 21 to 14 days;
  • requiring surface dewatering devices for sediment ponds when feasible;
  • minimizing or preventing discharges of non-sediment pollutants;
  • adding permeable pavement as a best management practice for post-construction practices;
  • reducing drainage times for filtration with sand and other media in bioretention areas from 40 to 24 hours; and
  • requiring a berm to cause ponding when using vegetated filter strip practices.

Several pollutants are associated with construction site discharges, including sediment, solid and sanitary wastes, fertilizer, pesticides, oil, grease, construction truck washout, construction chemicals and debris.

Statewide general permits have a five-year duration and are reviewed and revised as needed at the end of that time. A general permit is one permit covering many locations that have similar discharges. General permits regulate discharges that will have a minimal impact on the environment.  An individual could request coverage under the draft general permit by submitting an application, notice of intent and paying applicable fees.

Written comments on the draft general permit can be submitted to Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Attention: Mike Joseph, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43016-1049, through Mar. 4.  Questions can be directed to Mike Joseph.

Copies of the draft permit, the public notice and fact sheet are available for review online, or through inspection at any Ohio EPA district location or central office during regular business hours.  A final permit will be issued following consideration of comments received.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.


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