PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Lindey Amer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mike Settles
Ohio EPA Schedules Meeting to Discuss EMC Ashtabula Permit Request
A request to adjust the mercury levels allowed in the EMC Ashtabula permit will be the subject of a Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, Ohio EPA public meeting. An information session will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a public hearing at the Kent State Ashtabula Blue/Gold Room, 3300 Lake Road West, Ashtabula.
Ohio EPA is reviewing an application from EMC Ashtabula to adjust the facility’s permit for the discharge of mercury into Lake Erie, which is designated as a superior, high-quality waterway. The facility is located at 2700 Lake Road, Ashtabula.
If approved, the change would allow the facility to discharge mercury to Lake Erie at levels that exceed the 1.3 parts per trillion limit required in the existing permit. Ohio EPA has evaluated the cost and feasibility of the proposal and determined that an exclusion for the mercury discharge limit can be applied to the proposed permit. In order to receive a variance from the mercury limit, the facility would be required to identify the sources of mercury and take steps to minimize the mercury releases from those sources.
The proposal may result in a change from current water quality conditions, but cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment. Ohio EPA will consider technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the proposal before deciding whether to approve or deny the permit change.
Comments on the proposed permit adjustment the company requested may be presented at the Jan. 17 hearing, or submitted in writing to Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or by email to email@example.com. The public comment period will end Jan. 24. Following consideration of public comments, Ohio EPA will make a decision on application approval or denial.
The proposed discharge permit and related material are available for review at Ohio EPA’s Northeast District Office in Twinsburg. Call (330) 963-1200 for an appointment.
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.