Changes in Environmental Planning - Focus on Water Quality
The TMACOG Environmental Council is allocating its resources to more directly focus on drinking water and water supply quality.
All TMACOG councils and committees are organized to serve member goals. These goals are periodically reviewed to ensure that efforts are providing the best value possible. In recent months, members of an ad hoc committee looking at the Environmental Council have agreed that a focus on clean, safe, water supply should be a top priority. They have recommended that the council be re-named the Water Quality Council.
TMACOG Chair and member of the ad hoc committee Jim Sass said, “Reliable, clean, water supply is essential to everyone. In our area, Lake Erie is our primary natural resource and a critical economic development tool.” He said that to focus on water supply has been an increasing priority for TMACOG members. “We took a hard look at the department,” said Sass. “This change will bring new energy and new focus to our work.”
Sass described the ad hoc committee that made the recommendations as a “diverse and powerful group of professionals working on the forefront of water quality issues.” One of the committee members is Jon Eckel, director of public service for the City of Perrysburg. Following a presentation of the annual work program from TMACOG Environmental staff, he said, “I was amazed at how many programs and subsequent grants our staff was responsible for and what good work these people do.” He encouraged members of the group to “go back to your member communities and let them know how important this program is.”
To modify the mission of the department, some changes are being made to committees.
The Water Quality Council will replace the Environmental Council. This council will make policy recommendations and develop the regional water quality agenda. Committees under the WQ Council will continue to include:
• 208 Plan – the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan
• Stormwater Coalition
• Natural Resources Assistance Committee which selects Clean Ohio grant
projects in Lucas County
New committees will be created:
• Water Supply – focusing on the impact of water quality on the public water supply
• Watersheds – which will plan and implement on-the-ground clean water projects.
Details of the work plans of the new committees and funding structure of the new council will follow in subsequent Big Picture stories and on the TMACOG blog.