Nutrient Loss Reduction Policy Challenges for Stakeholders: An Ohio Case Study
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Technical, economic, and political complexities of controlling nutrient discharges requires informed stakeholder engagement. USEPA has stated that nutrient pollution is one of America's most widespread, costly, and challenging environmental problems, and has urged states to adopt numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) since the early 2000s. Ohio's experience is a good example of the complexities of regulating nutrient discharges to surface waters.

Ohio has several well-publicized examples of nutrient problems including Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB), Grand Lake St. Marys, and the Ohio River - approximately 40% of Ohio's assessed waters have nutrient issues. Many impairments are predominantly due to non-point source (NPS) runoff. Ohio's experience with nutrient assessments and regulation has led to a concerted dialogue between the state and affected stakeholders, namely wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), agricultural groups, and environmentalists over how to advance legislation and regulations to improve water quality without significant adverse economic consequences for affected stakeholders (Nemura 2017). This dialogue is improving understanding between point and non-point sources about challenges, similarities, and differences.

Ohio's history of nutrient reduction goals under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) is illustrative as is Ohio's efforts to address nutrients through total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, NNC, and efforts to regulate agriculture. The stakeholder engagement process associated with these efforts is described along with the authors' perspective on the challenges facing stakeholders in identifying cost-effective and affordable strategies.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Adrienne Nemura, Elizabeth Toot-Levy
  • All Authors: Adrienne Nemura, Elizabeth Toot-Levy
  • Title: Nutrient Loss Reduction Policy Challenges for Stakeholders: An Ohio Case Study
  • Event or Publication: Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas: Water and Natural Resources
  • Citation: Geosyntec will be well represented at the Water Environment Federation's Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois on September 21-25, 2019.
  • Date: Sept. 24, 2019 at 3:30-4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Type: Presentation