For informational/historical purposes only.

NEWS RELEASE

Ohio Department of Transportation Internet News Release
February 14, 2003

ODOT WORKS TO FIGHT POLLUTION

COLUMBUS In an effort to fight pollution at one of its sources, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is working to decrease the amount of pollution that ends up in Ohio's lakes, streams and wetlands.

"ODOT is going to help the environment by improving water quality," said ODOT Director Gordon Proctor. "While a lot of people know ODOT builds and maintains Ohio's roads, fewer realize that working to protect the environment is one of the department's responsibilities."

When water from rain or melting snow runs off highways, it can collect elements of vehicle exhaust, brake and tire materials, oil and grease, litter and other materials that are flushed through the storm drain system. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), these pollutants and others found in the runoff can adversely affect drinking water, recreational activities, wildlife habitat, and the normal life-cycle of organisms and animals which are living in or dependent on water resources.

To address this concern, the USEPA developed regulations for storm water runoff on Ohio's state-maintained roads. To ensure compliance with these regulations, ODOT is working with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) to develop a storm water management plan that outlines the technologies ODOT will implement to reduce pollutants.

"As more severe water quality problems, such as pollution from factories, have been brought under control, other sources like pollutants in runoff from the highways have become the new focus of the state and federal governments," said ODOT Environmental Liaison Tom Linkous. "The new regulations will target efforts statewide to deal with pollutants that run off of the highways."

As part of the OEPA requirements, ODOT is incorporating public comments into the development of the department's storm water management plan. Comments can be submitted at: www.dot.state.oh.us/stormwater. These comments will be considered as the final plan is completed.

A public meeting to discuss the ODOT storm water plan will be held Feb. 24 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the ODOT Central Office headquarters at 1980 West Broad Street in Columbus.