5/10/21
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: James Lee
CITIZEN CONTACT: Jessica Langdon

Ohio EPA Updating State Water Quality Management Plan

Public Hearing Scheduled May 20

Ohio EPA is considering updates to water quality management plans prepared by five regional planning agencies. The plans describe and promote efficient and comprehensive programs for controlling water pollution in a defined geographic area. The plans address a variety of water quality issues ranging from sewage treatment to urban and agricultural runoff.

Ohio EPA is accepting public comments on the plan. The virtual public meeting begins at 2:30 p.m. on May 20, 2021, during which the public may submit written comments on the record about the plan. Citizens who want to participate must register in advance for the meeting.

Plans from the following area planning agencies are proposed to be updated:

  • Eastgate Regional Council of Governments (Mahoning and Trumbull counties);
  • Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina counties);
  • Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization (Portage, Stark, Summit, and Wayne counties);
  • Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties); and
  • Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Wood counties).

These five areawide agencies oversee planning in 19 Ohio counties with large urban populations. The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, and Preble counties) did not have any updates that needed certified for this current effort. Each agency prepares and approves the water quality management plan for its member counties. The state then certifies that the documents include the required plan elements and are consistent with each other and with drainage basin plans.

The state of Ohio prepares and maintains the water quality management plans for the remaining 64 counties. The governor then certifies the entire statewide plan and submits it to U.S. EPA for its approval.

Written comments may be submitted though May 27. Comments should be sent to the attention of Walter Ariss, Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH, 43216-1049 or emailed to walter.ariss@epa.ohio.gov. The proposed update is available for review online.

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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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