Yesterday, Ohio EPA released the draft 2018 water quality report that outlines the general condition of Ohio’s waters and includes a list that identifies impaired waters that are not meeting their federal or state water quality goals, as well as waters that have improved to meet federal standards.
The report includes information showing that the percentage of large river miles in full attainment of federal water quality goals has increased from 62.5% to 87.5%.
The report proposes to designate the open waters of Lake Erie’s Western Basin as impaired due to harmful algae and drinking water due to occurrences of microcystin. Previously, only the shoreline area of the Western Basin and drinking water intakes had been designated as impaired.
Ohio EPA is preparing to announce new legislation to combat the algae blooms in Lake Erie. Among the provisions in the soon to be introduced legislation is a statewide mandate capping phosphorus discharge for direct discharges to 1.0 mg/L.
This limit would impact all manufacturers including those who indirectly discharge to local water treatment facilities because those public treatment facilities will also be under the 1.0 mandate.
Please contact Rob Brundrett if you would like to participate in the OMA workgroup on this issue.
Ohio EPA will present information through a webinar on April 25, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Comments on the draft report can be submitted by email or in writing to Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 Attn: 303(d) Comments, by the close of business May 4, 2018. 3/22/2018