Updates to the region’s Water Quality Management Plan can be reviewed May 6 at the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments offices, 300 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Toledo.
The plan covers Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood counties in Ohio and Bedford, Erie and Whiteford townships in Michigan.
The plan will be open for review starting at 6 p.m.
Kurt Erichsen, TMACOG vice president of environmental planning, describes the plan as the area’s “agreement on how we will work together to meet the goals of the Clean Water Act.”
“I characterize it as a statement on behalf of local governments as to what the roles of agencies are in implementing the Clean Water Act,” he said.
Systems to collect and treat wastewater and sewage and the management of septic systems are covered by the plan as well as agricultural run-off.
Revisions include proposed changes for boundaries affecting planning areas for the cities of Toledo, Oregon, Fostoria, Luna Pier and Port Clinton; Erie Township; the Village of Oak Harbor and Ottawa County.
“A planning area represents a 20-year service area for a wastewater treatment plant,” Erichsen said. “That can cross political boundaries. When we talk about the Oak Harbor facility planning area that is not an area owned by the village. It’s an area that would be considered within the service area of their treatment plant. The planning areas for two plants meet at Tettau Road in Ottawa County. What we’re doing is moving a few parcels from Oak Harbor to Port Clinton so the entire landfill is in the Port Clinton planning area. The intent is for the City of Port Clinton to treat leachate from that landfill.”
Another update involves the Village of Walbridge and City of Northwood. Erichsen said the boundary for the cities of Toledo and Oregon is being moved a block or so to the west of Drouillard Road along a rail line.
“There is a practical reason. If you’re putting in a sewer line you’re going to want to service both sides of the road. Also, there are a small number of houses on the west side of Drouillard and are being served by Oregon. We need to make sure we reflect that. It’s also consistent with the Northwester Water and Sewer District boundaries,” he said.
There are no changes this year to the section covering agriculture run-off. However, Erichsen said that section underwent a complete re-write last year.
“There is a pretty thorough discussion of what we know about agriculture and algae blooms,” he said.
The plan will be submitted to TMACOG’s environmental council on May 22 and then to the council’s board of trustees in mid-June. If approved, it will be submitted to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Once certified by Gov. John Kasich it will be submitted to the U.S. EPA.