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County considers new runoff rules

Lawrence County’s planning board will develop new storm water drainage regulations in response to a commissioners’ request and changes in state requirements.

Monday, October 16, 2000

Lawrence County’s planning board will develop new storm water drainage regulations in response to a commissioners’ request and changes in state requirements.

Writing new regulations will mean land developers, homeowners and even government will face stricter standards when it comes to drains and controlling runoff, said Doug Cade, consultant to the Lawrence County Planning Commission.

Commission chair Brenda Neville appointed a subcommittee last month – Richard Meyers, Gary Riley, Dale Manns and Doug Malone – to look into writing regulations. A representative of the county engineer’s office is also being asked to serve on the subcommittee.

County commissioners asked for the study after a complaint in Rome Township about water flooding a property because of nearby development.

But, state officials are ready to require new regulations be developed in some parts of Ohio, Cade said.

Lawrence County soon will be in "phase two storm water permitting" with the Ohio EPA, Cade said.

The permitting will work in the same manner as the sanitary sewer permitting process, which means it will be a lot more regulated, he said.

In 2003, storm water permits will be required on one acre of disturbed ground. It’s now five acres before more stringent rules apply.

The Ohio EPA has said it is ready to enforce compliance of those federal rules, Cade added.

Developing storm water regulations for Lawrence County will be challenging because such regulations are not always one size fits all, said Meyers, who will chair the subcommittee.

Riley, who is also a developer, agreed, adding that new regulations also will create some hardship.

Developers already watch how water moves across their property, he said.

More regulations would be "costly and we’re in the poorest county in the state," Riley said.

EPA and state officials’ intent likely is to regulate water runoff so development does not impact neighbors, Meyers said.

The subcommittee will meet to review current policies, the Ohio Revised Code, rules enacted in other parts of the state, discuss county and township ditching and other issues to start, he said.

"We need to see what’s there and then look at new regulations."

Planners also might run into problems with how much can be regulated locally, Meyers added.