Saturday, August 19, 2017

Ohio EPA plans public hearing on proposed harmful algal bloom reporting and monitoring rules

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) will host a public hearing on Feb. 24 on proposed regulations that would establish reporting and monitoring requirements surrounding harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the state’s drinking water systems.

Due to increased levels of rainfall in 2015, last summer saw excessive runoff into the state’s lakes, reservoirs and rivers, which led to increased levels of HABs. This is especially concerning for surface waters that are used as sources for public drinking water systems, as all reporting programs related to HABs in the state are currently voluntary. The new rules that the Ohio EPA is proposing would strengthen the agency’s ability to understand HABs throughout the state and better protect the health of Ohio residents whose drinking water comes from surface water sources.

The rules were released in draft form in 2015 for public review and have since been updated to incorporate that input. They would establish action levels for microcystins; settle screening, monitoring and reporting requirements for public water systems; establish levels at which increased monitoring would be required; and establish public notification requirements. The regulations would also establish standards for laboratories conducting HAB testing and create HAB treatment protocol and HAB general plan requirements for public water systems.

The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the Ohio EPA offices in Columbus.

Organizations in this story

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency 50 West Town Street Columbus, OH - 43215

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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