Big Darby Creek Watershed - General Permit
The Big Darby Creek watershed is among the most biologically diverse stream systems of its size in the Midwest. Befitting this distinction, Ohio water quality standards regulations assign the most stringent aquatic life use designations (exceptional warmwater habitat and coldwater habitat) and the outstanding state water antidegradation category to many of the larger streams in the watershed. The watershed is home to several endangered species and Big and Little Darby Creeks are designated state and national scenic rivers.
However, recent studies document declines in water quality and stream habitat, some of which have been found to be directly related to construction activity. Among the most visible and widely publicized future threats to the Big Darby Creek watershed is conversion of farm land to suburban and commercial land uses, especially in Franklin County.
As a result, Ohio EPA has developed an alternative general permit for storm water associated with construction activity specifically for the Big Darby Creek watershed. This alternative permit implements many of the basic recommendations regarding the programs, activities and Best Management Practices developed through the Total Maximum Daily Load process and the State Water Quality Management Plan and 208 Plan. Ohio EPA believes implementation of these recommendations is necessary to protect the unique water quality and biological integrity of the Big Darby Creek system.
Ohio EPA currently has three NPDES construction storm water general permits (CGPs):
- Statewide CGP
- Big Darby Creek Watershed CGP
- Portions of Olentangy River Watershed CGP
Ohio EPA is proposing to combine all three general permits into one with the Statewide CGP renewal (OHC000005). Draft OHC000005 incorporates the Big Darby Creek watershed CGP and Portions of the Olentangy River watershed CGP requirements as appendices. These two watersheds’ current conditions, that exceed the statewide CGP, have been included as appendices. Please go here for more information.