Friday, May 10, 2013

Ohio EPA Issues Draft Rule for Wetland Mitigation - public comment requested

FOR RELEASE: May 3, 2013
CONTACT: Mary McCarron, (614) 644-2160
Ohio EPA Issues Draft Rule for Wetland Mitigation
Ohio EPA is seeking public comments on a draft rule affecting water quality standards for
wetlands. Public comments on the draft rule are sought through May 17, 2013.
Water quality standards protect Ohio’s lakes, rivers, streams and other surface waters from
pollution. This rulemaking addresses protections put in place for wetlands, setting up water quality
criteria for the Director of Ohio EPA to consider when determining whether a lowering of water
quality in wetlands would be allowed and what mitigations would be appropriate for water quality
The changes being considered would implement statutory requirements from Senate Bill 294.
This bill allows a fee to be levied in lieu of requiring traditional permittee wetland mitigation or
purchasing wetland mitigation bank credits for Section 401 water quality certifications and isolated
wetland permits. The rule would set up a defined hierarchy of mitigation preferences when
compensatory mitigation is required. The draft rule would require an applicant to use wetland
mitigation banks first when available, but also would allow the permittee to pay a fee in lieu of
constructing a wetlands mitigation project where wetland mitigation bank credits are not available.
Copies of the draft rules are available from Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water by contacting
Melinda Harris at (614) 728-1357. Written comments can be mailed by May 17, to Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or
emailed to Questions regarding the rule can be emailed to
Ric Queen or call (614) 644-2872.
Ohio EPA will consider all comments before it formally proposes rule changes. When the rule
is formally proposed, Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing and offer another public comment period
before any changes are adopted.

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