MEDIA CONTACTS:  Lynn Garrity, Ohio Lake Erie Commission, (614) 506-0619
                                   Anthony Chenault, Ohio EPA, (614) 644-2160

Ohio Lake Erie Commission Requests Public Comments about Black River Area of Concern

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA are accepting comments for the proposed removal of a beneficial use impairment of degradation of aesthetics within the Black River Area of Concern

Beneficial use impairments (BUI) identify specific problems that can prevent a waterbody from meeting its full water quality potential. The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA have proposed recommending the removal of the “degradation of aesthetics” BUI because conditions meet restoration criteria. The restoration criteria for this BUI includes no observed ongoing occurrences of sludge deposits, oil sheens, scum, or other objectionable materials.

A summary of the proposed recommendation is available here.

This beneficial use impairment is the third BUI to be removed from the initial nine BUIs for the Black River Area of Concern. 

Written comments on the proposed BUI removal recommendation will be accepted through December 21, 2020, and can be emailed to Melanie Barbis, melanie.barbis@epa.ohio.gov, at Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water.

OLEC was established to preserve Lake Erie's natural resources, protect the quality of its waters and ecosystem, and promote economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) serves as the commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development Services, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and five additional members appointed by the governor.


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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