P.O. Box 1049, 122 S. Front St.
Columbus, OH 43216-1049
Tele: (614) 644-2160 Fax: (614) 644-2737

For Release:  September 12, 2006

Media Contact:  Jim Leach, (614) 644-2160

Ohio EPA Announces Two Steps to Help Protect Big Darby Creek Watershed

Two steps that will help protect the water quality in the Darby Creek watershed are moving forward. One is the certification of a statewide water quality management plan by Governor Taft and the other is Ohio EPA's issuance of a general permit that will regulate storm water discharges throughout the watershed. The 555-square mile watershed includes parts of Champaign, Clark, Franklin, Logan, Madison, Pickaway and Union counties.

"These steps will protect the Darby watershed while allowing a reasonable amount of development to occur," said Ohio EPA Director Joseph Koncelik.

The new plan sets forth criteria for development in the watershed that is a result of the efforts of a working group of stakeholders in the watershed.

The certified water quality management plan was sent to U.S. EPA for approval. Once approved, Ohio EPA will review applications for central sewer systems in western Franklin County using the criteria established in the plan.

The storm water permit would apply to storm water discharges from construction activity disturbing one acre or more. Known as a general permit because it applies to a certain category of discharges rather than a specific project, the conditions and requirements are determined up front and then followed by all dischargers who meet the criteria.

There are additional requirements in this permit that differ from Ohio EPA's standard general permit for storm water discharges from construction. One significant difference is a requirement to leave green space between construction activity and streams in the watershed. The setback distance is aimed at keeping sediment and other pollutants out of the water.

Ohio EPA held public meetings on the statewide plan and the general permit on February 22, 2006, and March 8, 2006, respectively, while both were in draft form. Ohio EPA reviewed all the comments and made changes to both the statewide plan and the general permit.

The statewide plan and general permit can be reviewed at