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Ohio EPA Issues Wastewater Discharge Permits and Water Quality Certification for Proposed Belmont County Cracker Plant
Ohio EPA has issued as final two wastewater discharge permits and one 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) associated with a proposed petrochemical production plant that would be located at Old Route 7 and Ferry Landing Road (Hwy. 2), Shadyside.
Two wastewater applications by PTTGC America LLC were submitted to Ohio EPA earlier this year and the permits will allow the facility to discharge wastewater into the Ohio River and storm water into Lockwood Run (or Big Run) and the Ohio River. The applicant plans to select one of the approved permit options to develop. The 401 WQC, also submitted earlier this year, is a required component of an application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which would allow the discharge of dredged or fill material into streams and wetlands during the construction phase of the project.
Permitted discharges may result in changes from current water quality conditions, but cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment. Ohio EPA considered technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the applications, as well as comments submitted by the public and U.S. EPA before deciding whether to issue the wastewater discharge permits and the 401 request. Among the changes incorporated to the wastewater permits as a result of comments received by Ohio EPA are strengthened monitoring requirements and more detailed analysis of wastewater intake structures.
Ohio EPA held a public hearing in Shadyside on the 401 Certification and wastewater discharge applications in mid-September and one on the draft wastewater discharge permits in mid-December. Both of the public hearings gave the public an opportunity to get their questions answered and present testimony concerning the proposals. Links to the final wastewater discharge permits and 401 Certification may be viewed online:
Option A Permit: wwwapp.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/permits/doc/0IF00018.pdf
Option B Permit: wwwapp.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/permits/doc/0IF00019.pdf
401 Certification: edocpub.epa.ohio.gov/publicportal/ViewDocument.aspx?docid=533016
Issuance of final permits can be appealed to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC). Appeals generally must be filed within 30 days of issuing a final action; anyone considering filing an appeal should contact ERAC at (614) 466-8950 for more information.
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.