April 17, 2009
Re: Draft Revisions to Water Quality Standards OAC Chapter 3745-1
Dear Mr. Heitzman:
The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) would like to thank you for the opportunity to review and submit comments on the proposed draft revisions to the Water Quality Standards OAC Chapter 3745-1.
OFBF is the largest general farm organization in the state of Ohio with members in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. Our members produce virtually every kind of agricultural commodity and as a result, OFBF is strongly interested in Ohio’s environmental policies and their potential impact to sustaining a viable agbioresource industry. OFBF policies support the development of programs that are scientifically based, economically sound and whenever possible, delivered in a flexible and voluntary manner.
OFBF would like to offer specific comments regarding the proposed draft rules:
3745-1-05 – Antidegradation
No comments related to the proposed changes.
3745-1-07 – Water Use Designations and Statewide Criteria
Page 7. (4) Recreation. It is unclear where private farm ponds fit into the logic scheme presented in this rule. How will the E. coli criteria presented in Table 7 – 13 be enforced in private farm ponds? Coliform bacteria are universally present in high numbers in the intestinal tracts and feces of warm-blooded animals, including wildlife, livestock and humans. Without implementing expensive bacterial source tracking methodologies, the identification of who or what is the cause/source of the bacteria cannot be reliably determined. An “elevated” presence of E. coli could very well be natural.
Page 25. Table 7 – 13. The description of this table should be modified to reflect that compliance with the E. coli criteria shall be based on a single sample maximum or a geometric mean of at least five samples collected during separate 24-hour periods within a 30-day period.
3745-1-31 Lake Erie Standards
Page 1. Paragraph (C) establishes a limit on the amount of dredge material that can be open lake disposed in the Western Lake Erie Basin to a maximum of fifty thousand cubic yards per applicant per year. The US Army Corps of Engineers estimate that 850,000 cubic yards of material must be dredged annually to maintain shipping at the Port of Toledo. Of that amount, approximately 540,000 cubic yards has historically been open lake disposed, a value more than ten times greater than the amount allowed by this proposed standard. What analysis was used to determine the validity of the 50,000 cubic yard maximum allowed by this proposed standard? What will be the impact on the ability to move freight into and out of Port of Toledo if the navigation channel cannot be adequately maintained? What was the result of the economic impact assessment related to the implementation of this rule?
Once again, thank you for the opportunity to provide comments. Feel free to give Dr. Larry Antosch of our staff a call, at 614-246-8264, if you have any questions regarding these comments.
John C. Fisher
Executive Vice President
Cc: Brent Porteus, President OFBF
OFBF Board of Trustees