COLUMBUS - State Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) today announced the Senate's unanimous passage of legislation that continues Ohio's efforts to protect our natural resources and ensure safe, clean drinking water for all Ohioans.
"This science-based, holistic legislation takes further steps to help protect one of our most precious natural resources," said Senator Hite. "I appreciate the input received from the agriculture and environmental communities as well as local governments in helping to develop this important piece of legislation."
Senate Bill 2 enhances the role of the Lake Erie Commission by meeting Ohio's commitments to reducing phosphorus run-off by 40 percent, as outlined in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. This legislation better equips the Commission as it works to implement the Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Strategy.
Other provisions of Senate Bill 2 include:
.Assures thorough management of privately owned water systems.
.Requires ongoing asset management improvements by public water systems to address recurrent problems.
.Harmonizes federal and state law, allowing the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director to issue permits for entities discharging into privately owned treatment facilities.
.Encourages beneficial use of dredged materials from federal navigation channels such as Port Cleveland and Port Toledo.
.Strengthens the Ohio EPA's ability to evaluate and enforce the clean up of landfill facilities and properties. The bill also updates state requirements pertaining to construction and demolition debris to ensure safe processing, storage and disposal of materials.
.Provides the Ohio EPA Director authority to waive, transfer and revoke or modify a 401 Water Quality Certification. Ohio law currently only allows the Director to approve or deny a certification.
Senate Bill 2 will now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.