7/3/14
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Lauer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Accepting Comments on Regional General Permit Renewal For Ohio Department of Transportation Projects

Public Hearing Set at 3 p.m., July 21, 2014

Ohio EPA is accepting comments regarding a renewal and modification of a draft statewide general permit for road construction and repair. An information session and public hearing will be held at 3 p.m., July 21, 2014, at the Ohio EPA Central Office, sixth floor, conference room B, 50 W. Town St., Columbus.

In order to alter stream banks, streambeds or wetlands in Ohio, individuals or organizations must receive permission from Ohio EPA. When seeking this permission, known as a 401 certification, applicants explain why their action will not harm the environment or, if an area is negatively affected, detail how those changes will be mitigated. The permit would offer coverage for five years.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on behalf of the Ohio Department of Transportation has requested that Ohio EPA combine road construction and maintenance into one certification at the time of an upcoming renewal. Combining permits into one certification is allowed if the category of activities that are substantially similar in nature and cause only minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts; and the permit would avoid unnecessary duplication of the regulatory control exercised by another federal, state or local agency provided it has been determined that the environmental consequences of the action are individually and cumulatively minimal.

If approved, this permit would save ODOT from applying separately for construction and maintenance projects. Current nationwide permits in Ohio, current ODOT regional general permit and proposed ODOT regional general permit are available for review online.

Written comments also are being accepted and must be received by July 28, 2014. Comments should be addressed to Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, attn.: permits processing unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, and reference Ohio EPA id number 144411.

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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. Since then, 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.


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