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EPA sets hearing on change to Ohio water pollution program

Release Date: 10/15/2008
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218,

No. 08 - OPA164

CHICAGO (Oct. 15, 2008) - The state of Ohio has requested a change in how it administers a federal program to control water pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations. EPA has proposed approving the state's request and will answer questions and listen to comments on its decision Nov. 18 at an open house and a formal public hearing at the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus. The open house will take place from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and the formal public hearing from 7 to 9 p.m. The public comment period runs until Dec. 16.

EPA has reviewed the state's application to transfer control of parts of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System - wastewater discharge - program from Ohio EPA to Ohio Department of Agriculture. EPA has proposed approving the application provided the state changes its laws and rules to resolve issues identified by EPA. The state has asked EPA to allow Ohio Department of Agriculture to administer only that part of the water pollution program that affects concentrated animal feeding operations and storm water runoff from construction of animal feeding operations. Ohio EPA would continue to issue all other wastewater discharge permits. Clean Water Act regulations allow such splitting of programs.

Animal feeding operations are agricultural enterprises where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. Concentrated animal feeding operations must have state-issued NPDES permits to lawfully discharge manure, litter, or process wastewater pollutants into lakes, rivers or streams.

Ohio's application and related documents are available on EPA's Web site at: They are also available for review at ODA's Livestock Environmental Permitting Program office in Reynoldsburg; the Auglaize Soil and Water Conservation District, 110 Industrial Drive Suite G in Wapakoneta; the Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District, 428 West Liberty St., Wooster; and EPA's regional office in Chicago.

EPA invites comments on the proposal by Dec. 16 either at the hearing, by mail or through the Web site above. Comments must include the commenter's mailing address. Mailed comments must be postmarked by Dec. 16 and sent to: Matt Gluckman, EPA Region 5 Water Division (WN-16J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604.

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