Environmental Protection

Accepting Comments on Voluntary Action Program Changes to Biocriteria Rules

The Ohio EPA plans to modify the biocriteria training and certification requirements for the Voluntary Action Program (VAP) and will hold a public hearing on March 4, 2013 to accept comments.

The VAP program was created to allow those who want to clean up a piece of property to do so by following specific standards developed by Ohio EPA. When cleanup requirements are met, the director of Ohio EPA issues a covenant that protects the property owner or operator and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further investigation and cleanup.

This protection applies only when the property is used and maintained in the same manner as when the covenant was issued. To establish property has been cleaned, sometimes biocriteria are used, which involves gathering data to evaluate the numbers and kinds of organisms present in waterways.

The hearing is at 10:30 a.m. on March 4 in conference room A, Ohio EPA central office, 50 West Town Street, Suite 700, Columbus. The hearing will conclude once everyone has had an opportunity to comment. Those who plan to attend will need to bring a photo I.D. in order to register at the visitor’s desk.

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