Ohio EPA has issued a Water Quality Certification for the Kinder Morgan Utopia pipeline to be built in Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Harrison, Carroll, Tuscarawas, Stark, Wayne, Ashland, Richland, Huron, Seneca, Sandusky, and Wood counties
Anyone planning to discharge, dredge or use fill material in a way that results in the placement of fill into waters of the state must first obtain a permit from U.S Army Corps of Engineers which must be certified with a Water Quality Certification (commonly known as a 401) from Ohio EPA. The Agency reviewed the project and ruled that it complies with Ohio’s water quality standards. Ohio EPA also held an information session and public hearing in Fremont and received and reviewed public comments on the Utopia 401 application.
Discharges from this project have a potential to affect the quality of streams and wetlands in the following watersheds: Tuscarawas, Walhonding, Mohican, Huron-Vermillion, Sandusky, Cedar-Portage, Lower Maumee and Ottawa-Stony. Although the project may result in a change from current water quality conditions, the changes cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment.
Ohio EPA considered technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the project before deciding to issue the Water Quality Certification, according to a press release.
A copy of the certification along with public comments and responses may be viewed online: epa.ohio.gov/Portals/47/citizen/response/Utopia401WQC154671.pdf. The Water Quality Certification can be appealed to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC). Appeals generally must be filed within 30 days of issuing a final action; anyone considering filing an appeal should contact ERAC at (614) 466-8950 for more information.