Ohio’s Agricultural Pollution Abatement Program is administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Division of Soil and Water Conservation (DSWC) and implemented locally by all 88 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs).
The ODA-DSWC is granted authority through Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 939 and Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Section 901:13-1 to establish state standards for a level of management and conservation practices in farming and animal feeding operations.
Common violations of these rules include:
- Overflow and discharge from animal manure collection, storage or treatment facilities;
- Manure contaminated runoff from feedlots and manure management facilities;
- Pollution from other wastewaters, such as milk house wastewater or silage leachate;
- Excessive erosion;
- Pollution occurring from the land application of manure;
- Improper composting of animal mortality.
Enforcement of these regulations is typically performed through a complaint process. If the ODA-Division of Soil and Water Conservation or Delaware SWCD receives a complaint alleging that an agricultural operation is not in compliance with these standards, then our collective staffs will investigate. If the ODA- Division of Soil and Water Conservation determines that the agricultural operation is in violation of the law, then we will seek to find a cooperative solution to return the operation to compliance. ODA may require corrective actions, and ODA has the discretionary authority to issue civil penalties.
SWCDs also assist ODA by providing landowners and farm operators’ technical assistance, advice, and expertise and informing them of the level of conservation necessary to comply with the rules and standards.
What if I Observe a Potential Violation?
Please contact us at (740) 368-1921 or use our “Contact Us” page and have the following information ready:
- A description of the alleged violation (ex: pollution from a manure application or manure storage facility, sediment pollution, etc.);
- A description of the possible pollutant (ex: liquid manure, solid manure, sediment, etc.);
- The location. In rural areas, a street address is not always available. Please identify the nearest intersection and directions (ex: About ___ mile west of the intersection of State Route A and Township Road B on the _____ side of the road.);
- The date and time that you observed the potential violation.
If you are Witnessing an Environmental Emergency?
An environmental emergency is an immediate and significant threat to public health and/or the environment due to the release of materials to the environment. If you are witnessing an emergency that requires an immediate response, please report it immediately to Ohio EPA’s 24-hour spill hotline at 1-800-282-9378 or 614-224-0946. Ohio EPA’s Environmental Response Unit is a specialized group of staff stationed throughout Ohio who can respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Can I Remain Anonymous?
You do not have to provide any personal information. However, by providing your name and contact information, we will be able to contact you to clarify information or gather additional information from you to help investigate your concerns. All the information submitted, including your contact information, may be considered public information and may be released upon request.
The information contained herein was excerpted from the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website and the Knox SWCD website.