Governor Kasich ceremonially signs Senate Bill 2 that strengthens Ohio's efforts to protect Lake Erie and improve the environment at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. Joining the governor are: Craig Butler, Director, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; Will Friedman, President and CEO, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority; Bill Stanley, Assistant State Director and Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy; Senate President Larry Obhof and Senator Cliff Hite.
Senate Bill 2 Fact Sheet:
Improving Water Quality in Ohio
Strengthening Efforts to Protect Lake Erie: The Lake Erie Commission can be an effective catalyst in helping Ohio meet its commitments under the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to reduce phosphorus in Lake Erie's Western Basin 40 percent by 2025 and in efforts to identify and support programs to enable the beneficial use of dredged materials. S.B. 2 updates the Lake Erie Commission's existing statutes to achieve these goals, while refocusing the commission's efforts on its Lake Erie Protection and Restoration Strategy.
Encouraging Better Use of Dredge Materials: S.B. 2 provides a straightforward regulatory framework for the safe and beneficial reuse of material dredged from federal navigation channels. Potential users and marketers of dredged material will have defined criteria for classifying this material.
Requiring Financial Assurance for Privately Owned Water Systems: When the owner of a private water system shows an unwillingness or inability to make repairs to ensure safe drinking water, the Ohio EPA will be provided tools to fix the problem, while requiring financial assurance from new or modified private water systems that ensures they have the ability to make needed repairs.
Strengthening Ohio's Certified Water Quality Professional Program: Based on consultation with stakeholders, S.B. 2 will further strengthen the new Certified Water Quality Professional provisions that were established in last year's operating budget.
Giving the Ohio EPA Director Authority to Address Water Quality Certification: S.B. 2 clarifies the Ohio EPA director's authority to waive, transfer, revoke or - at the request of the permit holder - to modify a 401 water quality certification. Currently, state statute allows only for approval and denial.
Aligning State and Federal Laws for Approval of Certain Pretreatment Permits: To make Ohio statutes consistent with federal law, S.B. 2 will allow the state EPA director, in lieu of the U.S. EPA, to issue a permit to an entity discharging into a privately owned treatment works.
Requiring Ongoing Asset Management Efforts by Public Water Systems: S.B. 2 addresses recurring asset management problems seen at some public water systems, including deferred maintenance, lack of management oversight and inadequate historical records of water lines or maps of service areas. These issues too often result in extended periods of water-use restrictions or having no water at all available for system users. S.B. 2 requires public water systems to demonstrate ongoing technical, financial and managerial capability by implementing an asset management program. This is a priority to ensure safe and reliable drinking water for Ohio citizens.
For more information about the bill visit: http://epa.ohio.gov/Portals/33/documents/SB2facts217.pdf