In My Community

How is my air quality?

Ohio EPA has numerous publications available to help citizens learn more about air quality and the environmental permitting process. To see a list of these publications, click here. One of Ohio EPA’s partners in protecting Ohio’s environment is the local air pollution control agency. These agencies, often part of local health departments or governments, have been delegated certain air pollution control responsibilities from Ohio EPA. These agencies work under a contract with Ohio EPA to perform the same activities as Ohio EPA's district offices. There are nine local air pollution control agencies throughout Ohio. To report air pollution violations or obtain information about facilities in your county, contact the appropriate air agency or district office.

Check here for air quality information in Akron; Cincinnati; Cleveland/Lorain/Elyria; Columbus; Dayton; and Youngstown.

Enviroflash allows you to sign up for daily e-mail alerts regarding air quality forecasts and air quality action days in Cincinnati; Cleveland/Akron/Lorain; Columbus; Dayton/Springfield; and Youngstown. 

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s Fine Particle Pollution Program (FP3) advises Northeast Ohio residents when fine particle pollution could reach unhealthy levels. The program is operated in partnership with Ohio EPA, the City of Cleveland Division of Air Quality, the Akron Regional Air Quality Management District, the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study and the Lake County General Health District.

U.S. EPA Air Emission Sources Web site
This site is designed to make emissions data for six common pollutants easy to find and understand. Based on the latest National Emissions Inventory, the site uses charts and Google Earth files to answer a user’s questions. Users can look at overall emissions, emissions by type of industry, or emissions by largest polluter.

Want to know what industry emits the most sulfur dioxide in your state? Select your state from a map, pick a pollutant, and the site creates a chart showing you emissions by industry. Want to "see" which refineries in your state emit the most sulfur dioxide? Use the "tilt" feature in Google Earth to quickly find the largest emitter. Then click on the balloon to get more details about emissions from that facility.

U.S. EPA also is providing Air Quality Index (AQI) information in the Google Earth format. Use the AQI tool to quickly see air quality across the country, then click on a specific location to see that city’s AQI forecast and current levels of ozone or particle pollution.

Is my drinking water safe?

Current Drinking Water Advisories
Ohio EPA maintains a list of public water systems that have drinking water advisories in effect. A public water system is one that provides water for human consumption to an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year, or has at least 15 service connections. This includes water used for drinking, food preparation, bathing, showering, tooth brushing and dishwashing. To see if there is a drinking water advisory near you, click here then on your county for local information.

Even though drinking water advisories occur from time to time, it’s important to remember that only a relatively small number of water systems have situations that warrant them. In 2003, 93 percent of Ohio’s 5,500 public water systems were in compliance with health-based standards for total coliform bacteria, the main indicator for bacteriological safety. In addition, 99.5 percent of Ohio’s public water systems met all chemical standards.

Consumer Confidence Reports
If you are one of the 10 million people in Ohio who drink water from a community water system every day, there is another great source of information available to you. Once a year, every community water system delivers a Consumer Confidence Report to its customers. Each report contains information on a community's drinking water, including the source of the water, contaminants found in it, the likely sources of those contaminants, health effects of contaminants and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water.

The reports have to be delivered by July 1 each year and many larger water systems include it with the water bill, so don’t automatically throw away the filler in the envelope; it may contain valuable information. If you miss it in the mail, you can contact your water system for a copy or you may be able to find it posted on your water system’s Web page. Here are direct links to some water systems in Ohio.

U.S. EPA also has information about Ohio’s water systems available online. Click here to access their site.

Ohio EPA has numerous publications available to help citizens learn more about water quality and the environmental permitting process. To see a list of these publications, click here.

Where can I recycle household items?

Household Hazardous Waste - If you are a homeowner, you probably have old cans of paint, paint remover, garden chemicals and other hazardous household materials that you no longer want stored in your garage or basement. How do you get rid of this stuff? Your local solid waste management district may have a solution for you. Many of them hold household hazardous waste collection events. If you live in a solid waste management district (SWMD) that has a collection program, you can take your old chemicals and other nasty stuff to the collection site for free. Check out the schedule here. If your county isn't listed, call Ohio EPA at (614) 644-2621 for information on how to dispose of your household hazardous waste safely.

Electronics – What do you do with that old computer that you no longer want or that piece of electronic equipment that no longer works? Do you put it in the trash? Many electronic items are recyclable, but the problem is finding a place to take them. Your local solid waste management district may be able to help you. Several districts are offering electronics collection events this year. Click here for a schedule. If you live in a district that isn't listed, there may be a local outlet for your electronics equipment. For more information, contact your local solid waste district or Ohio EPA at (614) 644-2621 for more information. For a list of Ohio’s local solid waste districts, click here

Home Pollution Prevention - Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention has a Web page that outlines various publications and resources available to homeowners to help reduce the amount of pollution produced. For more information, go to the homeowner P2 page

Can I eat the fish I catch in Ohio?

Ohio EPA partners with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to develop consumption advisories for fish caught in Ohio. Fish consumption advisories are updated annually to help you make educated choices about consuming the fish you catch.Go here to find a searchable map with information on fish consumption advisories issued for sport fish caught in Ohio waters. 

Can I go to the beach?

Ohio Department of Health
Toll-free beach information line
866-OHIO BCH (866-644-6224)

During the summer months selected public beaches along Lake Erie are sampled for E. coli bacteria. The presence of this type of bacteria is a good indicator of pollution that could be potentially harmful to swimmers. When the amount of bacteria in the water exceeds State standards, beaches are posted with signs that advise against swimming.

The Bathing Beach Monitoring Program is a cooperative effort of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, local health departments with public beaches within their jurisdictions and private and public organizations along the Lake Erie border and throughout Ohio. The goal of the program is to assure a safe and healthy aquatic recreational environment by protecting beach visitors from exposure to contaminated waters and ultimately prevent the spread of disease.

To view sampling results for Lake Erie or inland state park beaches, go to the Ohio Department of Health’s beach monitoring site. You may also find more information about the beach monitoring program in the Ohio Department of Health’s 2008 Beach Monitoring Report.

Sources Outside Ohio EPA for Local Environmental Data

U.S. EPA's Where You Live is a good place to search for local air, land and water information. 


Ohio Department of Natural Resources
2045 Morse Road
Columbus, OH 43229
(614) 265-6811

Ohio Department of Development
77 S. High St., 26th floor
P.O. Box 1001
Columbus, OH 43216-1001
1-800-848-1300 (in and out of state)

Ohio Department of Health
246 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-3543

Educational REALMS (Resources for Engaging Active Learners in Mathematics and Science)
This organization was created in 2004 after the discontinuation of the federally funded ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education (ERIC/CSMEE)
1929 Kenny Road
Columbus, OH 43210-1080
(614) 292-6717

Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
(202) 272-0167

U.S. EPA, Region V (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin)
Office of Public Affairs
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
200 N. High St., Room 522
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 255-2472

Ohio Environmental Council
1207 Grandview Ave., Suite 201
Columbus, OH 43212
(614) 487-7506

The Ohio Academy of Science
1500 W. Third Ave., Suite 228
Columbus, OH 43212-2817
(614) 488-2228

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston, VA 20190-5362
(703) 438-6000

Soil and Water Conservation Society
945 SE Ankeny Road
Ankeny, IA 50023
(515) 289-2331

American Water Works Association (AWWA)
6666 W. Quincy Ave
Denver, CO 80235
(303) 794-7711