OMA Secures Changes to Draft Action Plan re. Phosphorous Limits

Just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Ohio Lake Erie Commission announced it had completed its revision of the Ohio Domestic Action Plan (DAP) 1.0 to reduce phosphorus entering Lake Erie under the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement with a goal of reducing phosphorus loading to Lake Erie by 40% by 2025.

This version of the Ohio DAP will be submitted to U.S. EPA for review and comment and to serve as Ohio’s part of the U.S. Domestic Action Plan, the final version of which is due in Feb. 2018.

The OMA had met with top leaders of Ohio EPA to oppose the agency’s decision to confine – through legislative mandate – all permitted water dischargers to a 1.0 mg/L monthly average phosphorus limit.

In the revised DAP 1.0 the language has been changed to “Ohio EPA will evaluate possible legislation that will limit all treatment works discharging waste water containing phosphorus to achieve at least a monthly average effluent concentration of 1 mg/L phosphorus unless alternative limits or conditions are deemed appropriate by the Director.”

While not totally eliminating the possibility of legislative action, the change in tone is good news for manufacturers that would be impacted either directly or indirectly through new regulation. 11/30/2017