x-^tD SW
*. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency	19-N-0154
|	\ Hffirp of Insnprtnr ^pnpral	May 15,2019
.	u.o. CMViiuMiimiiidi nuiei/U
\ Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
Why We Did This Project
The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) Office
of Inspector General (OIG)
received a hotline complaint
about the status of Ohio's
request to EPA Region 5 for
approval to transfer the
Concentrated Animal Feeding
Operation (CAFO) portion of its
National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES)
permit program from the Ohio
Environmental Protection
Agency (Ohio EPA) to the Ohio
Department of Agriculture.
EPA Region 5 Needs to Act on Transfer Request
and Petition Regarding Ohio's Concentrated
Animal Feeding Operation Permit Program
What We Found
EPA Region 5 has not made a decision regarding
Ohio's NPDES CAFO permit program transfer
request. The most recent request was made in 2015.
Regulations per 40 CFR § 123.62 specify the process
by which states may transfer all or part of their
NPDES program from one state agency to another.
However, these regulations do not establish timelines
for the EPA to review and approve or disapprove
such requests.
EPA Region 5's lack of
timely decisions on
program transfer
requests and petitions
leaves state programs
without clarity and
petitioners unaware of
petition status.
Based on the complainants'
concerns, the OIG identified the
following questions for review:
1.	Has EPA Region 5 given
approval for Ohio's NPDES
CAFO permit program
2.	What actions has EPA
Region 5 taken in response
to a November 2011 citizen
petition regarding
withdrawing Ohio's CAFO
permit program?
This report addresses the
• Ensuring clean and safe
We found that although EPA Region 5 began an informal investigation of the
allegations raised in the citizen petition to commence withdrawal proceedings,
more than 8 years after the 2011 submission the region still had not made a
determination about the petition. When the EPA receives a citizen petition for
withdrawal, it may conduct a review of the allegations to determine whether
cause exists to prompt withdrawal proceedings per 40 CFR §123.64(b)(1), but
the regulations impose no timeline for action.
Recommendations and Planned Agency Corrective Actions
We recommend that the Region 5 Regional Administrator issue decisions
regarding (1) Ohio's request to transfer its NPDES program with respect to
CAFOs from the Ohio EPA to the Ohio Department of Agriculture and (2) the
citizen petition to withdraw Ohio's NPDES CAFO program and related permitting
authority. EPA Region 5 agreed with the OIG recommendations, and the
recommendations are resolved with corrective actions pending. Region 5 officials
already have begun to take corrective actions to address the recommendations
and plan to complete them by March 31, 2020.
Address inquiries to our public
affairs office at (202) 566-2391 or
List of OIG reports