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.



9/10/20
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Heather Lauer

Ohio EPA Holding Hearing about Proposed Stream Quality Designation Rules

Virtual Public Meeting Sept. 24

Ohio EPA is proposing changes to beneficial use designation rules for the Maumee River, Sandusky River, Huron River, and Portage River watersheds. A virtual public hearing about the amended rules will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.

During the virtual hearing, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., the public may submit written comments on the record about the proposed rule. Citizens who want to participate must register in advance of the meeting. 

Ohio EPA is required to periodically update beneficial use designation rules to reflect the latest water quality data. Beneficial use designations are the water quality goals for lakes, rivers, streams and other water bodies. Designations include uses for aquatic life habitats, human recreation, and water supplies.

The Agency has evaluated the data for the Maumee, Sandusky, Huron, and Portage river drainage basins. Three broad types of changes are proposed. This includes changing or verifying existing beneficial use designations for specific water bodies, and adding designations for waterbodies that currently are not designated. A fact sheet is available online.

Recent waterbody surveys indicate that additions or changes to beneficial use designations are needed for 61 stream segments in the four drainage basins. Additionally, verifications of existing designations are included for 52 waterbody segments.

More information about the proposed rules is available online. Ohio EPA is currently accepting public comments about the proposed rules until 5 p.m. on Sept. 24, the day of the virtual public hearing. Written comments can be submitted during the virtual hearing or emailed to dsw_rulecomments@epa.ohio.gov.  After considering public comments, Ohio EPA will make any necessary changes and finalize the rules.

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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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