6/4/21
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce

Ohio EPA Accepting Public Comments on Documents for Developing Maumee Watershed Nutrient Plan

 
Ohio EPA’s second public outreach module on the Maumee Watershed Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) project is available for public comment. The module includes details on the first two steps of this TMDL development.

Ohio EPA is asking the public to watch a video and review the associated web page documents, then provide input on whether other documents should be considered in Steps 1 and 2 of the TMDL process for the Maumee Watershed Nutrient TMDL. The comment period ends at close of business on July 9, 2021. 

Effects of harmful algal blooms in the western basin of Lake Erie impair sources used for public drinking water and recreation. To address these impairments, Ohio EPA is developing the Maumee Watershed Nutrient TMDL. The nutrient TMDL will set goals to reduce phosphorus from point and nonpoint sources. The goals predominantly will focus on reducing phosphorus from nonpoint sources, primarily agricultural lands, which are the largest contributor of phosphorus in the Maumee River watershed. 

The federal Clean Water Act requires states to prepare TMDL plans for watersheds that do not meet water quality goals. These plans contain recommendations to address water quality impairments and restore streams to Clean Water Act goals. 

This is the second module in a series of three modules Ohio EPA is developing for the project. The first module provided background on the project’s web page and the overall TMDL process. The third module will highlight the ongoing implementation activities to reduce nutrients in the watershed while the TMDL is being developed.

Ohio EPA is asking the public to provide comments and any additional documentation or reports the Agency should consider for Steps 1 and 2 of this project. Comments may be submitted to EPATMDL@epa.ohio.gov through July 9. After public input is reviewed, Ohio EPA will begin the next step of the TMDL, a Loading Analysis Plan, which should be released later this summer and will include additional opportunity for public comments.

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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.

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