As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at firstname.lastname@epa.ohio.gov or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. In order to reach us, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946

Credible Data - References

Credible Data is a program that classifies surface water monitoring performed by watershed groups, state agencies, schools, local volunteers and other organizations. Ohio EPA uses the data submitted under the program in ways prescribed by State law.

The 3 Levels of Credible Data

The law and the administrative regulations are the basis for establishing three broad categories or levels of data that will be deemed “credible” for distinctly different purposes. The overall premise is that there must be an increasing level of scientific rigor behind the sampling and analytical work as we progress from Level 1 to Level 2 to Level 3.

Level 1 was designed with educators in mind and may be appropriate for Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Park Districts, Health Departments, or anyone with an interest in Ohio water quality. The purpose of Level 1 is primarily to promote public awareness and education about surface waters of the state.

Level 2 was designed with watershed groups in mind. Level 2 data can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of pollution controls, to conduct initial screening of water quality conditions, and to promote public awareness and education about surface waters of the state. Level 2 groups are often in the position to perform the valuable function of monitoring long term surface water quality trends in a watershed (where Ohio EPA may not have the resources to frequently revisit a particular area).

Level 3 provides the highest level of scientific rigor and methods are equivalent to those used by Ohio EPA personnel. The law limits the Director’s use of data collected under the credible data program for certain regulatory applications (for example, setting water quality standards and evaluating attainment of those standards) to just verified Level 3 data. In other words, data submitted under this program as Level 1 and Level 2 data cannot be used for those regulatory purposes.