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Ohio EPA Issues Latest Water Quality Report
Today, Ohio EPA released the draft 2016 water quality report that outlines the general condition of Ohio’s waters and includes a list that identifies impaired waters that are not meeting their federal or state water quality goals.
This draft report is based on data from 2013-2014 and may not reflect current water quality conditions. The report includes 132 removals and 329 additions to the list since the 2014 report (the 2014 report was based on data from 2011-2012). Because of favorable weather in 2016, most water bodies may look clear and free of algae, but that is subject to change depending on weather conditions during the remainder of the season. Any current recreational advisories are listed on the Ohio Department of Health’s Beach Guard website at: www.odh.ohio.gov/healthybeaches.
To improve water quality and to tackle key infrastructure issues, Ohio has spent more than $3.5 billion statewide, including more than $2 billion spent in the Lake Erie watershed, since 2011. While at the same time, Ohio has made historic reforms to strengthen the protection of Lake Erie and reached an agreement with Michigan and Ontario through the Western Basin of Lake Erie Collaborative to achieve a 40 percent reduction in phosphorus entering the lake by 2025.
Ohio EPA will present information about the draft list through a webinar on Aug. 16, 2016, at 2 p.m. The webinar may be viewed at Ohio EPA’s Central Office in conference room B, 50 West Town Street, Suite 700, Columbus, or by joining online at https://ohioepa.webex.com/mw3100/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=ohioepa&service=6.
The summary of each water body assessment unit is available online at epa.ohio.gov/dsw/tmdl/OhioIntegratedReport.aspx. Visit this website to review specifics concerning water bodies that are impaired or delisted.
Written comments on the draft list of impaired water bodies may be submitted by mail no later than Aug. 29, 2016, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or in writing to Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, Attn: 303(d) comments. Comments submitted after this date will be considered as time and circumstances permit. Following public review and comments, a final report will be submitted to U.S. EPA.
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.