Ohio Establishes New Permit Program for Lake Erie Basin Water Withdrawals

    View Authors June 2012
    On June 4, 2012, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill establishing a new regulatory program requiring permits for all new or expanded withdrawals of water from the Lake Erie basin above certain threshold volume levels. The bill is designed to implement the requirement in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact for each of the eight Great Lakes states to create a program for the management and regulation of such withdrawals and consumptive uses. Owners or operators of facilities in the Lake Erie watershed will have to obtain a permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources if new or increased withdrawals at their facilities reach the per-day volume threshold.

    Our report discusses how the bill's thresholds compare to those adopted thus far by most of the other Great Lakes states, criticisms by environmental groups and the business community, and why prospective permit applicants may face considerable uncertainty when the bill becomes effective.