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Ohio EPA Limits On Phosphorus From Waste Treatment Plants May Be Stricter

Jamie Gellner, President of private non-profit Ohio Water Environment Association
OWE.org
Jamie Gellner, President of private non-profit Ohio Water Environment Association

In its fight against algae in Ohio’s lakes and streams, the Ohio EPA is moving to expand enforcement of one of its regulations. It’s a move that might cause a bump in some water bills.  

Jamie Gellner, President of private non-profit Ohio Water Environment Association
Credit OWE.org
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OWE.org
Jamie Gellner, President of private non-profit Ohio Water Environment Association

The increase would be about $1 a month per household, according to state and private-sector reports. The money is for upgrading wastewater plants so they release no more than 1-milligram of phosphorous per liter of output. Ohio EPA a bill passed next year to make that limit, now only enforced in the Lake Erie basin, apply everywhere.

Jamie Gellner, president of The Ohio Environment Water Association,says his private non-profit treatment-industry group sees both a minus and a plus in the idea.

“A one-size-fits all limit in many cases will cost money where there wouldn’t be a benefit; also acknowledging that in some of those watersheds there would be a benefit to having a point-sources limit on some of those discharges.”

“Point source” refers to municipal and industrial treatment plants. It's one of the five major ways phosphorus gets into surface waters.

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Tim Rudell
Tim Rudell has worked in broadcasting and news since his student days at Kent State in the late 1960s and early 1970s (when he earned extra money as a stringer for UPI). He began full time in radio news in 1972 in his home town of Canton, OH.