As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at firstname.lastname@epa.ohio.gov or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946. This number should only be used for emergencies. For all other calls, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.



3/4/20
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Anthony Chenault
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

March 30 Hearing Set on Environmental Education Fund Spending Priorities

Ohio EPA is seeking public input on proposed funding priorities for the Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) for July 2020 through June 2021. 

A public meeting will be held March 30, 2020, to discuss the annual agenda, answer questions and accept public comments. The meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. at Ohio EPA, 6th floor Lazarus Government Center, 50 West Town Street, Columbus. 

OEEF provides grants for environmental education projects that benefit the regulated community, pre-school through university students and teachers, and Ohio adults. Priority focus areas for the grant program include education efforts to:

  • Encourage careers in environmental science and environmental engineering;
  • Reduce nutrient loading to Ohio’s streams and lakes, improve water quality, and prevent harmful algal blooms;
  • Improve air quality by reducing emissions;
  • Improve water quality by managing storm water and reducing nutrient loadings into streams and lakes that can result in Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs); and
  • Encourage habitat restoration to improve biodiversity and improve air and water quality.

In addition to awarding environmental education grants, the OEEF also supports priorities through several outreach initiatives: 

  • Water Quality Education: Ohio EPA coordinates the national Project Wet (Water Education for Teachers), Healthy Water, Healthy People and Getting Little Feet Wet curricula by offering educator and facilitator workshops. Agency staff help citizen scientists, environmental professionals, volunteers and school classes monitor the health of local streams through Ohio’s credible data program. The OEEF also funds Ohio EPA’s annual sponsorship of the Ohio Storm Water Conference. 
  • Promoting Environmental Careers: OEEF supports college scholarships for Ohio students in environmental science and engineering, and competitions for K-12 students including State Science Day, the Future City engineering competition for middle schools, the Ohio Envirothon competition for high schools, and the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council’s “Teachers, Industry and the Environment” conference. A partnership with the Environmental Education Council of Ohio and the Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources is supporting a statewide network of more than 450 environmental professionals visiting schools as career ambassadors. 

The law that created OEEF requires the program to develop an agenda (with spending priorities) for each fiscal year. After a public hearing, the agenda is submitted to the Ohio General Assembly on April 1.

A fact sheet on the 2021 annual agenda is available on Ohio EPA’s website. Comments about the annual agenda can be sent to Carolyn Watkins, Ohio EPA Office of Environmental Education. P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or e-mail to oeef@epa.ohio.gov. Comments received by 5 p.m. on March 31 will be included in the official record.

 

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