CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein

Ohio EPA Issues Final Construction Storm Water Permit to Protect Big Darby Creek Watershed

Ohio EPA issued a final alternative general permit renewal for storm water discharges associated with construction activities in Central Ohio’s Big Darby Creek watershed, which is among the most biologically diverse stream systems of its size in the Midwest and home to several endangered species.

The general permit covers the entire 555-square mile Big Darby Creek watershed, including parts of Champaign, Clark, Franklin, Logan, Madison, Pickaway and Union counties. It authorizes construction activities disturbing one or more acres (such as storm water discharges, including those from on-site concrete and asphalt batch plants, and trench dewatering, etc.). There are no significant changes in this permit renewal compared to the original permit issued in 2006.

It is known as a general permit because it applies to a certain category of discharges rather than a specific project. The permit conditions and requirements are determined up front and then followed by all dischargers who meet the criteria.

The permit identifies who can apply to be covered, how an entity obtains coverage and how a permittee terminates coverage. The permit also contains requirements for permittees to prepare and implement plans to minimize storm water discharged to Ohio’s rivers and streams.

The Big Darby general permit contains additional requirements that differ from Ohio EPA's standard general permit for storm water discharges from construction. One significant difference is a requirement to leave green space between construction activity and streams in the watershed. The setback distance is aimed at keeping sediment and other pollutants out of waterways, including the Big and Little Darby Creeks, which are designated state and national scenic rivers. In addition, the general permit contains requirements to maintain ground water recharge.

The final permit renewal, fact sheet and related documents are available for review at Ohio EPA’s website and Division of Surface Water (50 W. Town St., Columbus) by first calling (614) 644-2001. Interested parties also may write to Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049 for more information.

Issuance of the permit can be appealed to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC). Appeals generally must be filed within 30 days of issuing the final action; therefore, Ohio EPA recommends that anyone wishing to file an appeal contact ERAC at (614) 466-8950 for more information.


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