Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance

Helping communities and businesses access compliance, technical and financial assistance for their environmental needs

The Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) serves as a one-stop shop for customers seeking technical and financial resources to help them achieve compliance and address infrastructure needs. The following resources and services are available through DEFA. 


Helping Communities Improve Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

Funding for Asset Management Plans

Many public water systems in Ohio experience recurring problems due to deferred maintenance, lack of management oversight and inadequate records of water lines or maps of service areas. These issues may delay repairs and result in extended periods of water use restrictions. In fact, this issue is so critical to successful operation of public water systems that the state legislature enacted Ohio Senate Bill (SB) 2, which requires public water systems to “demonstrate the technical, managerial, and financial capability of the system to comply with this chapter and rules adopted under it by implementing an asset management program.” A formal asset management plan helps guide effective financial and administrative management and capital improvements for water systems well into the future. read more...

City of Avon Lake Lateral Loan Program: Helping Homeowners Finance Sewer Repairs

In 2017, Avon Lake Regional Water implemented a low-interest Lateral Loan Program to assist private property owners in repairing/replacing their sewer laterals. This program will be another tool to help the city comply with its long-term control plan and improve water quality in the area. read more...

Helping Small Wastewater Treatment Plants Achieve Compliance

Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA), Division of Surface Water and Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) partnered to create and implement Ohio EPA’s Package Plant Initiative. Under this initiative, six workshops were offered across Ohio beginning in 2015. The workshops trained operators on better process controls, including the use of low-cost tools and equipment to determine and maintain compliance. read more...

Blueprint Columbus

In 2015, as part of their Wet Weather Management Plan, Columbus received approval from Ohio EPA to add some non-traditional wet-weather control measures to its overall plan. According to the city, the goal of the Blueprint Columbus plan is to use today’s technology to address the source of the problem by keeping rain water out of the sanitary sewers and directing it to the storm sewer where it belongs. read more...

Water Pollution Control Loan Fund — 2016 Year in Review

By the end of 2016, the WPCLF program had financed more than $7.7 billion for completion of more than 1,900 projects, making it the state’s largest source of funding for wastewater infrastructure. read more...

Water Supply Revolving Loan Account — 2016 Year in Review

By the end of 2016, the program had financed more than $1.25 billion for completion of more than 550 related projects. read more...

Helping Communities Address Failing Home Sewage Treatment Systems

It is estimated that about 31 percent of all household sewage treatment systems throughout Ohio are experiencing some degree of failure due to poor maintenance or age. When failing systems discharge untreated sewage, potential exposure to harmful bacteria and pathogens can cause public health concerns and threaten the environment.

In 2016, the WPCLF program awarded more than $13 million to 57 counties. Each county was eligible to receive up to $300,000 to distribute to homeowners. Ohio EPA will make an additional $13.1 million available to 51 county health districts in 2017. read more...

Village of New Boston—Combined Sewer Overflow Improvements

The village owns and maintains a combined sewer collection system that flows to the City of Portsmouth’s wastewater treatment plant. Under normal conditions, collected wastewater is treated and discharges to the Ohio River. During periods of wet weather, such as rain events or snow melt, the flow exceeds sewer capacity. Due to the system’s condition and age, frequent CSOs were occurring, with untreated sewage overflowing into streets, rivers and streams, causing environmental damage as well as posing a risk to public health. read more...

Promoting Recycling, Litter Prevention and Sustainable Practices

Akron Zoo - $162,000 Community Development Grant

Since 2011, the Akron Zoo has diverted more than 3.6 million pounds of organic waste from the landfill. After experiencing changes with their initial organic hauler and increasing limitations on acceptable organic material, Akron Zoo decided to look for alternative solutions for their organic waste to help them reach their long-term goal of being a zero-waste organization. read more...

Jackson Center Schools - $126,000 Scrap Tire Grant

The village of Jackson Center and Jackson Center Schools had a vision of building a new running track in the complex and creating walking paths connecting the school complex to a nearby community park to give students and residents easy access to these facilities. Before the project, the running track and walking paths were stone surfaced and needed new pavement. The village and JCS partnered to find a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to pave the new surfaces. read more...

Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) - $20,000 Special Assistance Grant

Each day, five million people rely on the Ohio River for their drinking water. The river also serves many other uses — industry, transportation, agriculture, energy and recreation. Illegal trash dumping and litter accumulation has been an ongoing problem along the Ohio River. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) was created in 1948 to help protect and restore the river. Since 1989, ORSANCO and its member states (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania) have conducted an annual river cleanup that encompasses the entire length of the river. In 2017, Ohio EPA awarded a $20,000 special assistance grant to ORSANCO’s foundation to help pay for gloves, trash bags, marketing materials and t-shirts for the 2017 Ohio River Sweep. read more...

Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste District - Using Surveillance to Deter Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping at recycling drop-off sites continues to be a substantial problem for communities, particularly for the more remote sites in rural areas. Not only does the illegal dumping offset available space designated for recyclable materials, but it can also render the existing materials as unrecyclable or unusable.

With an increase in recycling the last several years, the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste District has also experienced an increase of contamination, such as: tires, furniture, gas tanks, mattresses, yard waste and other non-acceptable items. read more...

I.D. Images—$108,027 Market Development Grant

In partnership with Medina County Solid Waste Management District, Ohio EPA awarded a $108,027 market development grant to purchase a baler. The baler will be used to prepare the once-landfilled material for the waste-to-energy market. read more...

Triple Arrow Industries — $250,000 Recycling Grant

A recycling grant from Ohio EPA was used to purchase equipment that allows the company to recycle polypropylene (PP) Super Sacks from various local and regional end users and other recycling facilities. The new equipment will wash, crush, shred and pelletize old Super Sacks into recycled PP pellets that will be used as feedstock for the automotive and packaging industries. read more...

Next Generation Films — $250,000 Market Development Grant

A market development grant from Ohio EPA was used to purchase equipment that allows the company to recycle nearly 100 percent of the scrap plastic film generated during production and convert it back into polymer feedstock for future film production. The new equipment can process three to five million pounds of plastic per year and allows Next Generation Films to continue to recycle nearly all of its scrap film. read more...

City of Cuyahoga Falls — $5,000 Litter Management Grant

A litter management grant from Ohio EPA was used to support two separate litter and river cleanup events and educational outreach in 10 different schools impacting 600 students. An estimated six tons of litter was collected by nearly 200 volunteers during the cleanup events. read more...

Fremont Plastic Products — $225,000 Market Development Grant

A market development grant from Ohio EPA was used to purchase equipment that allows the company to recycle waste plastic from the blow molding line for reuse in its manufacturing process. The new regrind equipment will shred, grind and reprocess waste plastics into pellets to create blow molding feedstock. read more...

Quality Blow Molding — $154,500 Market Development Grant

A market development grant from Ohio EPA was used to address the recovered plastic capacity issues and assist Quality Blow Molding with its production processes expansion. This included two blow molding machines, plastic granulators, blending systems, a material silo and more air compressor capacity. read more...

The Ohio State Fair

To promote more recycling at the State Fair and to help educate attendees about the benefits of recycling, Ohio EPA provided recycling grant funding to purchase 10 “Bigbelly” recycling containers. The containers were put in place for the 2016 State Fair, but will remain permanently on the grounds for future events. The Ohio Expo Commission purchased an additional 10 containers as a match for the project. read more...

Helping Businesses Achieve and Maintain Compliance

Connecting with Ohio Businesses and Communities through Webinars

Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) reaches our customers in a variety of ways to help keep them informed about environmental regulations and valuable resources to achieve compliance and become more sustainable. One increasingly popular service we provide is a monthly webinar series. Held throughout the year, these webinars provide timely and relevant programmatic and regulatory information to our businesses and communities with a minimal time investment. The ability to attend from your workplace makes it even more convenient. read more....

A Unique Ohio Bio-Grass Facility Receives Assistance with their Air Permit

Bio-Grass is a fast-growing grass that can be processed into usable products or used as a form of alternative energy. The unique nature of the company’s operations presented some challenges as they worked to obtain an air permit. For example, there were no standard emission factors available to assist in calculating air emissions from the operations. Also, the company had limited financial resources to obtain consulting expertise needed to prepare their permit application. read more...

Helping a Woodworking Business with Environmental Compliance

Ohio EPA regularly inspects businesses to ensure that they are complying with permit requirements. During a routine inspection of a family-owned woodworking business, the Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC) inspector discovered that, although the company had permits for their long-standing operations, newer equipment installed over the years also required air permits. read more...

Helping a Small Business Achieve Compliance Following an Emergency Event

Throughout the nation, small, family owned businesses often struggle to stay viable, especially if faced with a crisis such as a fire. Sometimes, what may seem like a single, isolated event to address may, in fact, lead to a host of unanticipated problems. Recently, an Ohio company was faced with a fire which caused significant damage to their facility. The family owned business, in operation for more than 25 years, set about cleaning up and repairing the damage, including replacement of an air-permitted paint booth, so they could resume operation. read more...

Meeting the Needs of Amish Communities

Ohio has a significant number of Amish communities that include various small businesses owned and operated by their members. Given their values and lifestyle, a common regulatory compliance challenge for the Amish is electronic access to regulatory information, forms and reporting tools. read more...

Small Business Compliance Assistance

Each year, the Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP) in the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) helps thousands of businesses with their environmental compliance needs. OCAPP is a free, confidential resource for Ohio businesses that need help with Ohio EPA regulations, conducting more than 200 site visits annually to help with permit applications and other Ohio EPA-related records. These success stories are examples of how Ohio EPA’s compliance assistance services help businesses meet Ohio EPA requirements, reduce potential liability and save money through more environmentally friendly practices. read more...

Learn from workplace safety and health experts, build your network, and find new safety gear and services – all for free – at the 2021 Ohio Safety Congress. Attend educational sessions and visit the Expo Marketplace – all from the comfort of your own home or office. Register now at www.ohiosafetycongress.com and join @OhioBWC March 10-11. #OSC21

Do you wear multiple hats managing your business’ environment, safety, and health regulations? Ohio EPA recognizes that it can be a challenge to understand and keep up with all the regulations that apply to your business. This extended portion of the 2021 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo will include four environmental sessions that will help keep you and your business out of trouble. Session information can be found here.

Earning continuing education units (CEUs) is an important activity for maintaining a professional accreditation, certification, or operator license. More details about these different CEUs and how Ohio EPA webinar participants can earn credit for attending can be found here.



Presenter(s) Session Information
Title: A Deeper Dive into the Universal Waste Rules

Type: DEFA’s Technical Webinar Series

Date/Time: Feb. 23, 2-3 p.m.

Description: Did you know that you can reduce your hazardous waste requirements by managing fluorescent lamps, batteries, aerosol cans, antifreeze, paint, and paint-related waste as Universal Waste? This webinar will cover Ohio’s Universal Waste rules, a subset of the hazardous waste rules, that provide more flexibility and less stringent management options for these commonly generated hazardous wastes.

CEUs: Available

Register Online


Presenter(s) Session Information

Title: Open Burning, Odors, Dust, and Asbestos in Demolition in Your Community

Type: DEFA’s In Your Community Webinar Series

Date/Time: March 11, 2-3 p.m.

Description: The most frequently reported complaints to Ohio EPA’s Division of Air Pollution Control are for open burning, odor, and dust. Ohio EPA also receives numerous questions about the regulation and management of asbestos during demolition. There are state regulations dealing with open burning, dust, and nuisance odors, but what should you do if you or your community is having issues with these? And how should your community deal with various asbestos issues that may arise when demolition occurs, including handle emergency demolitions.

CEUs: Available

Register Online
Title: NPDES Construction Storm Water 101

Type: DEFA’s Technical Webinar Series

Date/Time: March 25, 10-11 a.m.

Description: This webinar will provide an overview of Ohio’s construction storm water requirements and the construction general permit. Topics will include permit coverage, Notice of Intent and Notice of Termination applications, basic storm water pollution prevention plans, and both active and post-construction requirements.

CEUs: Available

Register Online


Presenter(s) Session Information

Title: Out of Compliance with Your NPDES Permit? Get On-Site Help From the Compliance Assistance Unit

Type: DEFA’s Technical Webinar Series

Date/Time: April 15, 9-10 a.m.

Description: Problems Operating your WWTP? Non-Compliance with NPDES Permits? Is your WWTP not running the way it is supposed to run? The CAU guys use cheap, easy and effective process control tools to diagnose treatment problems and then to monitor the treatment system to keep it in compliance. It isn’t rocket science, it is wastewater treatment.

CEUs: Available

Register Online
Title: Opportunities and Challenges of Drinking Water and Wastewater Regionalization

Type: DEFA’s In Your Community Webinar Series

Date/Time: April 20, 2-3 p.m.

Description: Speakers will discuss the concept of regionalization and consolidation for drinking water and wastewater utilities. Case examples of successful regionalization projects in Ohio will be discussed along with an analysis of the different funding agencies and programs available to communities.

CEUs: Available

Register Online

For upcoming trainings, you can also visit our training calendar.

Other Training Opportunities

The Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) offers many free online and classroom training sessions around the state of Ohio.

The Ohio Rural Water Association offers training for water and wastewater professionals. 

The Operator Training Committee of Ohio, Inc. (OTCO) offers training for water and wastewater professionals.

The Ohio Water Environment Association is a non-profit, wastewater related organization offering training options.

U.S. EPA Research Webinar Series . U.S. EPA holds several monthly webinars. For a full list of events go to the U.S. EPA Research events calendar

Compliance Assistance Hotline: (800) 329-7518
Funding: (614) 644-2798 ~ Fax: (614) 644-3687

Compliance: (614) 644-3469 ~ Fax: (614) 644-2807

Loans: Contact Us
Recycling and Litter Prevention: Contact Us
Compliance: Contact Us

Physical address:
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Mailing address:
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 


Rouch, Jerry Chief (614) 644-3660
Sowry, Dan Assistant Chief, Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (614) 728-8575
Bernstein, Jon Assistant Chief,
Office of Financial Assistance
(614) 644-3715
Thompson, Sherrie Program Administrator (614) 644-2268
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