9/10/20
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MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Heather Lauer

Ohio EPA Holding Hearing about Proposed Stream Quality Designation Rules

Virtual Public Meeting Sept. 24

Ohio EPA is proposing changes to beneficial use designation rules for the Maumee River, Sandusky River, Huron River, and Portage River watersheds. A virtual public hearing about the amended rules will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.

During the virtual hearing, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., the public may submit written comments on the record about the proposed rule. Citizens who want to participate must register in advance of the meeting. 

Ohio EPA is required to periodically update beneficial use designation rules to reflect the latest water quality data. Beneficial use designations are the water quality goals for lakes, rivers, streams and other water bodies. Designations include uses for aquatic life habitats, human recreation, and water supplies.

The Agency has evaluated the data for the Maumee, Sandusky, Huron, and Portage river drainage basins. Three broad types of changes are proposed. This includes changing or verifying existing beneficial use designations for specific water bodies, and adding designations for waterbodies that currently are not designated. A fact sheet is available online.

Recent waterbody surveys indicate that additions or changes to beneficial use designations are needed for 61 stream segments in the four drainage basins. Additionally, verifications of existing designations are included for 52 waterbody segments.

More information about the proposed rules is available online. Ohio EPA is currently accepting public comments about the proposed rules until 5 p.m. on Sept. 24, the day of the virtual public hearing. Written comments can be submitted during the virtual hearing or emailed to dsw_rulecomments@epa.ohio.gov.  After considering public comments, Ohio EPA will make any necessary changes and finalize the rules.

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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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