Fractured Tills, Ohio's Ground Water Resources, and Public Policy

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The public health of all Ohioans is dependent on land use decisions that preserve the quality of Ohio's water resources. If a potentially polluting site is located over fractured glacial tills, those fractures could hasten contaminant transport from surface contamination to underlying ground water. This paper addresses public policy, government programs, and the law as they affect land use decisions in fractured environments. A review of programs in Ohio identified a number of efforts currently in place that, if modified, could include ground water pollution potential mapping (DRASTIC) and the concept of fracture flow in guiding science-based land use decisions. Two of these programs, the Sole Source Aquifer designation and the Wellhead/Source Water Protection Program, are detailed. In addition, two Ohio law cases directly addressing ground water resource protection are described: Cline v. American Aggregates and CF/Water et al. v. Schregardus. The latter case is the first in the United States to explicitly state that fractures must be taken into consideration by the regulatory agency when reviewing a permit to install a potentially contaminating land use.


Author Institution: Bennett & Williams Environmental Consultants Inc. Columbus, OH
Author Institution: Former Assistant Chief OEPA Surface Water Division, Columbus, OH
Author Institution: Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Author Institution: Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Author Institution: Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water, Columbus, OH



The Ohio Journal of Science, v106, n2 (April, 2006), 64-73.