Ohio EPA has revised and re-released four sets of draft surface water quality rules for public comment by June 6, 2011. These draft rules are a reflection of the Agency’s response to new developments in science, policy, and case law. When finalized, the rules could impact wastewater discharge permit holders, developers, and agricultural entities.
- Draft surface water quality standards describe how clean Ohio’s waterways should be, including isolated streams.
- New standards for nutrients are identified only for inland lakes at this time. The antidegradation package requires a review of permit actions, particularly wastewater, seeking to lower water quality.
- Draft Section 401 water quality certifications contain permit review procedures for projects that could physically impact surface waters and, for the first time, address isolated streams.
- The stream mitigation package establishes a new review protocol for all Section 401 projects.
Following the present public comment period, the draft rules will be filed with the Ohio General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. After considering the Committee’s comments, Ohio EPA will issue proposed rules and the public will have another public comment opportunity prior to rule finalization.
For more information on how the new Ohio EPA draft water rules may affect you, please contact Laura Ringenbach or any member of Taft’s Environmental Practice Group.