Beneficial Use

Ohio EPA now has general beneficial use permits under Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3745-599 for certain foundry sands and sewage sludge incinerator ash (SSIA). This SSIA general permit authorizes land application of SSIA for soil blending/agronomic benefit (with additional nutrients added through blending) and as fill material. We are developing guidance for using this permit and will post that on this webpage when complete. In the interim please contact the DMWM Beneficial Use Group for assistance as needed.

Throughout 2017, the Division of Materials and Waste Management’s Beneficial Use Group has been working with stakeholders to develop a Drinking Water Treatment Materials (DWTM) beneficial use general permit. Look for revised draft DWTM General Permits and a complete response to comments soon. Because we have made significant changes, we will post the revised, draft DWTM General Permits on this website and alert interested parties they are available for review and comment. They should be ready to post soon. More information is available below.

We also continue working on rules related to Lake Erie dredged materials under recently passed Senate Bill 2 legislation (SB2). In part, SB2 authorizes Ohio EPA to draft new rules, including authorization-by-rule where possible, for material meeting certain constituent thresholds (under development), and beneficial use permits for land applying materials dredged from Lake Erie navigation channels.

The DMWM Beneficial Use Group is also working on permit applications recently received and on further beneficial use program development and efficiencies.

Your input is always welcome and appreciated.

Drinking Water Treatment Materials (DWTM) General Permit

Throughout 2017 and continuing in 2018, the Division of Materials and Waste Management’s Beneficial Use Group has been working with stakeholders developing a Drinking Water Treatment Materials (DWTM) beneficial use general permit. We would like to thank everyone who provided comments and who participated in our August 2017, webinar discussing the DWTM draft general permits. Based significantly on your input, we revised our approach to these permits. Instead of separate permits for alum, lime, ferric or other-based materials, we’ve grouped all drinking water treatment materials under either direct land application or soil blend prior to use. We reviewed written comments on the draft DWTM general permits throughout the year, including those discussed during the webinar, and incorporated many of the concepts into the Permits. Look for revised draft DWTM General Permits and a complete response to comments soon.

The Agency has determined, based on interested party input and developing science, that we will not seek additional permits for beneficial use land placement of DWTM until the new DWTM General Permits are issued. This recognizes the long-established practice of DWTM land placement, the need for flexibility moving to a more efficient permitting system, the science developing for microcystins fate and transport in the environment, and the continuing need for land applying accumulated DWTMs. Ohio EPA is working with researchers from Ohio State University and Ohio Sea Grant regarding the developing science for understanding how microcystins react in/with the environment. As always, DWTM land appliers need to prevent any impacts to waters of the state from their activities and, when available, apply for an OAC Chapter 3745-599 general or individual permit.

We recently committed to sharing literature we’ve encountered researching microcystins. Please see research references posted under the Resources tab below. This is only a sample of the papers published and available and is not meant to represent either a thorough treatment of the subject nor an Agency preference for any one author or group of authors. We welcome other sources interested parties feel should be considered. We are also benchmarking with researchers to develop a framework for managing DWTMs that may be impacted by microcystins.

Program Background

Ohio EPA’s Beneficial Use Program rules are contained in Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3745-599, which became effective on March 31, 2017. The Agency’s Division of Material and Waste Management (DMWM) manages the program. The following materials are included in the rules:

  • Foundry Sands;
  • Drinking Water Treatment Residuals;
  • Waste Materials burned for energy recovery;
  • Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) Incinerator Ash; and
  • Dredged material from federal navigational channels in Lake Erie

Under the beneficial use rules, these “beneficial use byproducts” (BUBs) may be used in applications increasing in complexity from authorized by rule, burning for energy recovery, and general or individual permits.

When used in accordance with specified conditions, BUBs may be used as an ingredient in certain construction materials such as cement or asphalt concrete, with no input or authorization required by DMWM. BUBs may also be used as a fuel or ingredient in a combustion unit, again with no further authorization required from DMWM (Other authorizations for air and water emissions may apply to these activities).

General Permits for beneficially using certain foundry sands and sewage sludge incinerator ash in soil mixes and bioretention practices, and as fill material, are final and available for use. Please see a Notice of Intent (NOI) form you can use to seek coverage under the general permits, along with guidance on how to navigate and utilize the beneficial use general permitting process. General Permits are under construction for drinking water treatment materials and for certain dredged materials from federal navigational channels.

If you wish to use a BUB in an application other than those provided for in the General Permit, you may apply for an individual permit. Simply complete the application and submit with the required fee as directed for agency consideration.

Lastly, for materials not included in OAC Chapter 3745-599, such as paper sludge or non-hazardous waste baghouse dust, we continue to offer beneficial use land application permits known as Integrated Alternative Waste Management Plans (IAWMPS) and Land Application Management Plans (LAMPs). Please contact the DMWM Beneficial Use Unit to determine which applies best to your proposed project. We will continue collaborating with all interested parties considering materials we might add to OAC Chapter 3745-599, as well as additional beneficial uses and ways to improve the new rules. Your input is always welcome.

The Beneficial Use Rules are located in OAC Chapter 3745-599, which  became effective March 31, 2017

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    Beneficial Use
    Sarvis, Harry  Environmental Manager
    (614) 644-3519
    Schierberl, John
    (614) 644-2955
    Flynn, Maera
    Environmental Specialist 3, Beneficial Use
    (614) 728-5338 
    Cherosky, Phil Environmental Specialist 2, Beneficial Use
    (614) 644-3249

    Dredged Material - Make It Your Business!
    Each year, 1.5 million cubic yards of material is dredged from the federal navigation channels along Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline. Historically, most of the material dredged from Lake Erie has been placed back into the open waters of the lake. Thanks to the enactment of Senate Bill 1, open-lake disposal will no longer be an option as of July 1, 2020. It’s time to stop wasting dredged material and start using it to help Ohio. For more information, visit the webpage.