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.



11/20/17
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Heather Lauer

Ohio EPA Accepting Public Comments on Proposal to Remove Beneficial Use Impairment from Ashtabula River Area of Concern

Public meeting set for Dec. 4 in Ashtabula

Ohio EPA will hold a public meeting on a proposal to remove a Beneficial Use Impairment from the federally designated Ashtabula River Area of Concern (AOC). The meeting will be held Dec. 4, 2017, at 6 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the Harbor-Topky Memorial Library, 1633 Walnut Blvd., Ashtabula.

Ohio EPA believes the “degradation of benthos” beneficial use impairment can be removed because the causes of the impairment have been remediated. “Benthos” is a term for aquatic organisms that live all or part of their life cycles in the bottom sediments of a stream.

Approximately 500,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments were dredged from the lower 2.5 miles of the river from 2005-2007. In 2010 and 2012, more than 3,800 feet of in-stream habitat was restored. However, most of the stream banks in this area remain hardened with wood and steel sheet piling to prevent erosion and provide ship docking.

While these structures impact aquatic life, they are used for boat docking at local marinas and cannot be removed. Additionally, the lower reach of the river is influenced by natural low flows and Lake Erie levels, both of which cause excessive sedimentation that affect benthic communities. 

The benthic organisms should continue to recover over time. The extended time necessary for additional recovery should not prevent this beneficial use impairment from being removed from the AOC. Ohio EPA and the Ashtabula AOC Advisory Council are requesting public input on the recommendation.

For additional information or to submit comments, contact Ted Conlin at Ohio EPA Northeast District Office, 2110 E. Aurora Road, Twinsburg, OH 44087, or Ted.Conlin@epa.ohio.gov. Comments can be presented at the public meeting or submitted in writing by Dec. 18, 2017.

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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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