Citizens' Guide To Environmental


Prepared by: Macy Reynolds

Green Environmental Coalition

Updated - August, 2000

You may download a current copy of the Citizens Guide to Environmental Protection at:
View cached Adobe PDF of this guide at the time of publication:
Citizens Guide to Environmental Protection



The Citizens' Guide to Environmental Protection gives the public information that helps plan and achieve a healthy environment. This guide is designed for community members who are concerned about both real and perceived environmental problems.

Working on environmental issues involves an environmental triad :

Each of these three groups has its own interests and goals. Each will evaluate problems depending on their point of view. It is not surprising that one group does not view another group's problem in the same way. This guide offers many suggestions for getting results from communication with various groups and provides useful contacts. However, with many different opinions and goals, the process can become lengthy.

Another consideration is the comparative risk of a problem. With enough money, time, and personnel, many environmental concerns could disappear, but that is seldom possible. Someone must evaluate how important the issue is in comparison to other threats. Deciding where the most positive environmental impact can be made with the money and people available means that other areas won't be addressed.

A specific environmental problem also has degrees of concern. Industry, citizens, and government agencies must agree on a priority list. Ideally, the whole situation should be mitigated, but that is seldom the case. However, meetings and agreements will be most effective if all three members of the environmental triad are present in meetings and kept informed.

Communications That Get Results

This guide provides you with resources that you can contact about environmental concerns (see the Contacts section of this guide). It lists both phone numbers and web addresses so that you can find information or contract a person either by phone or e-mail who might help you with your concerns.

The information in this section will help you get meaningful results in a minimal amount of time. The areas covered are:

If you follow the guidelines for these forms of communicating, you will save time and get results. The sections are organized in a step-by-step design so that you will be able to follow the process easily. You might even use the bulleted and numbered lists as checklists as you proceed to gather information.

Using the Internet To Get Results


If you have access to a computer that is on the Internet and has e-mail (all public libraries offer this service), you will find many other helpful contacts. The following suggestions will give you ideas about how to use the Internet to support your efforts. The Contact section of the Citizens' Guide to Environmental Protection has many Internet addresses or URLs (Uniform Resource Locator) that will connect you to the agency or department that can provide you with help and information.

Using the Internet if you have the Internet Address:

1. Type in the URL of the agency, department, or organization. The Citizens' Guide to Environmental Protection provides these in the Contacts section.

2. When the site is on the screen, "Click" (press the left mouse button quickly) on any highlighted word or icon (picture or graphic) for more information. A "highlighted" word or words are usually written in blue or a color that isn't the main one for the page. They are sometimes also in italicized print style.

3. Look at the title list on the left hand or right hand side of the screen. Sometimes titles are in little boxes or "sausages." These are called menus . Just click on any of these special titles to get to the information you need. You may also find menus on the top or bottom of the page.

4. Sometimes the sections you want to find are represented by pictures (called "icons"). You can also access information by "clicking" on the picture.

5. You may print any page you want a copy of by choosing File on the menu bar and selecting Print .

Searching the Internet To Find an Internet Address:

Before you begin a search:

Using a Search Engine To Find a Web Page:

Note: Finding good results from the Internet takes a little practice and precise key words. Don't give up when your first efforts are not precisely what you expected.


Using E-Mail To Get Results

Finding an E-Mail Address:

E-mail addresses are listed on most web pages. The address will generally have a special name before the "@" symbol and a company or organization name after it. Examples are:

Writing an Effective E-Mail:

Sample E-Mail:

Subject: Concern With Dioxin Release From Cement Plant

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am Steve Jones with the Citizens for Clean Air in Hometown, Ohio. Our group is concerned about whether ABC Cement Co. is releasing dioxin into the air during their kiln operation.

We would like to know the following:

    Is dioxin produced during normal operation?

    Do they have to report dioxin amounts to anyone?

    What type of monitoring devices are installed to detect dioxins?

    What is their history of dioxin release?

Please respond with any of this information you can provide or with any other departments and contact manes that can give us the information.

Note: We do not have easy access to computers, so write if you can to Steve Jones, Route 1, Hometown, Ohio 45444.

Thanks for your help and prompt reply,

Steve Jones, President of Citizens for Clean Air in Hometown, Ohio

Making Phone Calls That Get Results

Making phone calls to elected officials, government agencies, or departments can be rewarding or frustrating. Sometimes the problem is that you don't have the right person or department. Sometimes the person or agency just can't help you because that person does not have the ability to help you. In order to get as much from your phone call as possible, follow these guidelines:

1. Write on paper before you call:

2. When you get to the right person:

  • 3. If you feel you are getting a run-around or not reaching the person you need to talk with:
        • Explain that you feel you are getting a run-around.
        • "Gloria, I don't think you are guiding me in the right direction."
        • Ask if there is someone else who might help.
        • Ask if you can call back again with further questions.
        • Say you'll call back to keep the person updated on your progress… and follow through with your calls.
    • 4. Remember that the person on the phone is trying to be helpful:
        • Show sympathy with the person and you may get extra help.
        • "Gloria, I know you are trying to help me, and it must be frustrating that you can't offer me more help on this problem."
    • End the phone call:
        • Review what you learned.
        • Get the name and address of the person so you can send a follow-up letter.
        • Repeat any actions that the person or you promised to do and establish a time limit.
        • "Gloria, in closing you said you would send me the TRI data for ABC, Inc., from the last year. Could you send it in the next three days?"
        • End pleasantly…you may need to call again.
        • "Thanks for your help and interest in my call."
    • 6. After the phone call:
        • Write down the name and phone number, and address of the person you called. (See sample log sheet)
        • Jot down the major details of the call and all of the items that were agreed on to do.
        • Write a letter to the person stating: (See letter sample)
          • Date and time of the call
          • General points of the discussion
          • Any agreed on actions
          • If the call was helpful, express your thanks for the information.
        • Be prompt on anything you promised to do.


    Writing Letters That Get Results

    You will find yourself writing letters as you work through finding a solution to an environmental problem. The letters may be to follow-up on a phone call or meeting. Other times it is a formal letter asking for action or expressing your concerns. Your audience may be other citizens, government officials, or a regulated industry. When composing a letter, consider the following steps for effective letters:

    • 1. Send the letter to a real person. To get the name if you don't have it:
      • Look up the company or agency on the Internet. Find the personnel list if there is one.
      • Look up the company or agency in the phone book and call. Ask for the name and position of the person who deals with your issue.
    • 2. Use a standard letter format. (See sample)
    • 3. State the purpose of your letter in the first few sentences including dates, names, and titles.
    • 4. List any previous contacts: give the name of the person contacted and the date. Include any advice or promises made by that person to you.
    • 5. Maintain a friendly, positive tone.
    • 6. Repeat your main points very briefly as a summary.
    • 7. End with a contact name and phone number especially if it is not in the letter heading.
  • 8. Before you mail the letter, ask yourself:
        • How will the reader react to the tone of my letter?
        • Is my purpose for writing very clear? (Did I state what action I want from the letter?)
        • What impression have I given of myself?
        • Can I sign the letter with confidence?
  • 9. Improve Your Letter's Appearance
        • Center the letter on the page
        • Double space between paragraphs
        • Justify all information on the left (don't indent paragraphs)
        • Use short paragraphs and shorter sentences
        • Use bullets for lists
        • Use 12 point type
        • Sign the letter in handwriting and put your name and title under your signature .

    Sample Letter:


    June 14, 1999

    Susan Jones
    Citizens for Clean Air
    P.O. Box 123
    Hometown, OH 45444

    Ohio EPA, Division of Water
    123 Industrial Way
    Cincinnati, OH 44444


    Dear Steve Smith:

    I called you on June 16, 1999, to request your help with the ABC Co. that I found was putting chemicals into the Otter Creek. I watched several employees dump large cans of liquid into the creek on five occasions, and I gave you the dates and times on the phone.

    You told me you would investigate the discharges within a week and would promptly send me your findings and any further actions. I will expect to hear from you soon, and I appreciate your help.


    <sign letter here>

    Susan Jones, President of Citizens for Clean Air

    Who To Contact

    The previous pages to the Citizens' Guide to Environmental Protection offered suggestions getting quick, positive results from various types of communications. However, before you use these methods, you have to decide where to start looking for help or information.

    The following section outlines what the following groups can do for you. Read the descriptions and then turn to the Contact List to find the best source. The groups discussed next are:

        • Regulated Community
        • Government
        • Citizens Groups (Grassroots Organizations).

    What Can an Elected Official or Government Agency Do For You?

    In the Citizens' Guide to Environmental Protection you will find contact information for many government sources. However, contacting them does not guarantee success. There are many services available from these sources, but you need to know what to ask for. The following information should help you decide a plan of action. Keep in mind that information held in state and federal offices is public property.

    Elected Officials can:

      • Save you a lot of time by contacting the people who can solve your problem
      • Help you contact people or agencies who can help you
      • Explain laws and regulations and how they apply to your concerns
      • Use their influence to solve your problems and concerns.

    Government Agencies can:

    Contacts for Health Information

    Ohio Local and State Government Sources

    State Agencies and Departments

    This page includes:
    Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA)
    Other Ohio Agencies and Departments
    Legislative and Executive Branches, Lobbyist Lists, Ohio Rules and Codes

    Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA)

    Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
    To protect human health and the environment through responsible regulation supported by sound science, quality service, and comprehensive environmental education.
    Listing of all OEPA Divisions
    Quick find for Ohio EPA regional offices and web pages.
    Central District
    614-728-3778, 1-800-728-3797
    Northeast Dist.
    Northwest Dist.
    419-352-8461, 419-373-3078
    Southeast Dist.
    Southwest Dist.
    1-800-686-8930, 937-285-6357
    Search OEPA

    Keyword search for OEPA

    Air Pollution Control: AirOhio Map AirOhio - maps of air pollution types for all parts of Ohio. Updated hourly.
    County Information for Ohio
    Find all OEPA activity that relates to the environment including the OEPA Director's schedule for your county
    Drinking and Ground Water
    Regulatory department for ground and drinking water, pesticides, wellhead protection, source water protection.
    Emergency and Remedial Response (DERR)
    Prevent, respond to, remove and cleanup releases or threats of releases of hazardous waste, hazardous substances and pollutants.
    Emergency Spill
    Report spills on highways, water, and ground. 1-800-282-9378
    Environmental Education
    Site for information and pamphlets. Also contact for the Ohio Environmental Education Fund.
    Federal Facilities Oversight
    Environmental problems on federal property.
    Hazardous Waste Management also Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
    Transportation, landfill, all dumping and management issues with hazardous waste transportation and disposal.
    Hazardous Waste Facilities Board
    Issues permits and enforces rules for transportation and disposal of hazardous waste.
    614-644-2742, 1-800-686-1591
    Inspector General's Office
    Investigate waste, fraud, abuse, corruption. File a complaint (/watchdog/oigcont.htm)
    1-800-686-1525, 614-644-9110
    Surface Water and Watershed Map of Ohio
    Protect, enhance, and restore all water of state for health, safety, and welfare. Includes sewers, biosolids, run-off, water treatment, storm water, watersheds, wetland, TMDL.
    Solid Waste and Infectious Waste
    Garbage, landfill, industrial and municipal waste, disposal, recylcing, re-use, and tires.
    Stream Monitoring
    Rivers and creeks.
    Voluntary Action Program (VAP)
    Rules allowing property owners, lenders, and developers to investigate and clean up contaminated properties. If someone wants to clean up a piece of property, it may be done voluntarily. If the clean up is done according to standards set forth by the Voluntary Action Program rules, the director of Ohio EPA will issue a covenant not to sue, which releases the owner from state civil liability.
    614 644-2279

    Other Ohio Agencies and Departments

    Agency List
    List of Ohio Agencies on the Internet
    Commerce Department: State Fire Marshal and BUSTR
    Division of Industrial Compliance. Boilers, under-ground tanks, plumbing inspections, enforcement. Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR).
    State Fire Marshall:
    (Commerce) 614-466-3636, (Fire Marshall) 614-466-7047, (BUSTR) 614-752-7938
    Dept. of Agriculture
    Regulatory protection to producers, agribusinesses and the consuming public.
    Department. of Health (ODOH)
    To protect and improve the health of all Ohioans by preventing disease, promoting good health and assuring access to quality health care.
    (614) 466-3543
    Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)
    Mining, excavating, water, wildlife, forests, natural resources, parks.
    Emergency Management Program
    Regulations and practices for promoting public safety involving nuclear power plant operations.
    614-728-6200, 614-889-7150
    Nuclear Power and Radiation
    Nuclear power and radiation Information.
    Ohio Attorney General's Office
    Environmental laws and regulations enforcement.
    Ohio Dept. of Development: Priority Investment Area Map
    Good maps of Ohio development.
    Map of Ohio Investment areas.
    Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)
    Planning, building, and maintaining a safe, efficient transportation system in Ohio.
    614-466-7170, 614-466-7100(env. services)
    Public Utilities Commission(PUCO)
    Regulate water, waterworks, electric, and gas; transportation of hazardous waste.
    1-800-686-7826, 614-466-3292
    Utility Radiological Safety Board of Ohio
    Utility Radiological Safety Board of Ohio
    Wildlife Division
    Conserving and improving the fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.

    Legislative and Executive Branches (Ohio Senate, House, Governor, Legislation)
    Town/City Council
    District Numbers, Regulations, Zoning Web Addresses: Some villages, towns, cities, and counties have web sites, and others don't. You may call each agency and ask for a web address.
    Phone Numbers: Blue pages under town, city, village, Township or county
    Find Your District Numbers
    Map of Ohio House Districts:
    Map of Ohio Senate Districts:
    Phone: Call Local Library, Post Office, County Board of Elections
    Find Your Representative
    Find out who your state representative is through maps or zip code. Also phone numbers and contact information.
    Gongwer News Service independent site that also has information on your representative and district.
    Find Your Senator
    Find out who your state senator is through maps or zip code. Also phone numbers and contact information.
    Gongwer News Service independent site that also has information on your senator and district.
    Gongwer News Service
    Lists contact information for all Senators and Representative, schedules for government officials, and search capability.
    Administrative Code (Ohio)
    Anderson's Search engine for Ohio's Administrative Code.
    Calendar of Legislature
    Session and Hearings schedules.
    Status of Legislation
    Find out where bills are in the legislature.
    Ohio Attorney General
    Oversees the activities of an administrative, policy, and public affairs section, as well as more than 25 legal and law enforcement sections.
    (614) 466-4320
    The Joint Legislative Ethics Committee
    Oversees Ethics issues for both Ohio House and Senate.
    JCARR (Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review) Weekly Reports and Agendas
    Reviews proposed new, amended, and rescinded rules.
    JCARR Procedures Manual
    The complete JCARR manual on-line.
    Ohio Administrative Code
    Complete text of all rules, including full appendices, certified to the Legislative Service Commission and the Secretary of State.
    Ohio Revised Code
    Complete text and search by keyword
    Ohio Session Laws
    Newest additions to the Ohio Revised Code updated annually.
    Legislation from 122 nd and 123 rd General Assembly
    Pending legislation and content of all passed legislation. Search by number, key word.
    Analysis of Bills, Legislative Service Commission
    Detailed narrative description of each bill that is scheduled for a hearing in committee.
    Lobbyist Center, Joint Legislative Ethics Committee: Lobbyists (Agents) and Employers
    Information on Lobbying and Lobbyists.
    Listed by the Lobbyist's name.
    Listed by the Employer's name.
    Ohio Auditor
    Responsible for auditing all public offices in Ohio as well as the many departments, agencies and commissions of state government.
    (614) 466-4514 (800) 282-0370
    Capital Appropriations
    Review of where tax money is spent by agencies and their divisions. (HB 850)
    (614) 466-8734

    National Agencies and Departments

    This page includes:
    Federal (U.S.) Legislative Support
    U.S.E.P.A. - United States Environmental Protection Agency
    Other Federal Agencies and Departments

    Federal (U.S.) Legislative Support

    U.S. Representative
    Gongwer News Service web site has this information.
    U.S. Senator
    Gongwer News Service web site has this information.
    U.S. President
    White House contact information

    U.S.E.P.A. - United States Environmental Protection Agency

    All braches of the USEPA
    Office of the Administrator, Carol Browner
    202-554-1404, FAX 202-260-0229
    Air and Radiation (OAR)
    Deals with issues that affect the quality of our air and protection from exposure to harmful radiation. Areas include indoor and outdoor air quality, stationary and mobile sources of air pollution, radon, acid rain, stratospheric ozone depletion, and pollution prevention.
    Brownfields (abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination) links to information.
    Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)
    Responsible for ensuring the compliance of the regulated community with Federal environmental statutes including regulatory enforcement, compliance assistance, and compliance incentives.
    EPA Envirofacts
    Database for searching many important sites
    Environmental Justice (EJ)
    Mandates that all federal agencies with a public health or environmental mission make environmental justice an integral part of their policies and activities.
    EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment , Comparative Risk data, health risk guidelines, and Integrated Risk Information System
    The national resource center for the overall process of human health and ecological risk assessments; the integration of hazard, dose-response , and exposure data and models to produce risk characterizations
    EPA Global Warming
    Information and assessment of Global Warming Problem.
    The Inspector General's Office
    Conducts and supervises audits and investigations relating to programs and operations in the Agency; prevent and detect fraud and abuse.
    The Integrated Risk Information System(IRIS)
    An electronic data base containing information on human health effects that may result from exposure to various chemicals in the environment.
    Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances
    Protecting public health and the environment from potential risk from toxic chemicals. Promotes pollution prevention and the public's right to know about chemical risks. Evaluates pesticides and chemicals to safeguard citizens and threatened species and ecosystems from environmental harm.
    ORD's National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA).
    National resource center for the overall process of human health and ecological risk assessments; the integration of hazard, dose- response , and exposure data and models to produce risk characterizations.
    Solid Waste and Emergency Response
    Divisions include Chemical Emergency Preparedness & Prevention, Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse, Hazardous Waste Technology Innovations, Oil Spill Program, Office of Solid Waste: Hazardous, Non-Hazardous & Special Initiatives (i.e., Brownfields), Superfund Program, and Underground Storage Tanks
    Office of Air and Radiation, Policy and Guidelines (OAR P&G)
    Provides access to rules, policy, and guidance documents produced by the USEPA Office of Air and Radiation (OAR). This site allows regulators, the regulated community and members of the general public to easily obtain access to both current and historical regulatory information.
    Office of Water
    Responsible for strengthening the protection of the Nation's water resources and drinking water.
    USEPA Region 5 -
    Offices of the USEPA's Region 5 which includes Ohio and the Great Lakes states.
    Great Lakes:
    312 886-4040
    Super Fund:
    312- 886-3616

    Other Federal Agencies and Departments

    Census Bureau
    Obtain Data from the 1990 Census
    1990 Census Results from the Census Bureau
    Obtain Data from the 1990 Census
    Center for Disease Control and Prevention
    CIA site with includes publications
    Energy Department
    Emissions Information - Air, Legislation. Fuels, Coal, Oil,Nuclear Power
    Energy Information Administration
    FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
    Federal Emergency Management Agency
    USFA Hazardous Materials Guide for First Responders.
    Federal Register
    Search Page for the Federal Register.
    Fish and Wildlife Service
    Environmental Contaminants program directs efforts to identify and assess contaminant effects on fish and wildlife in order to prevent, reduce, and/or eliminate contamination problems.
    General Accounting Office
    GCDIS includes multi-disciplinary data from atmospheric science, ecology, oceanography, as well as economics, sociology, global warming data.
    Global Change Master Directory
    A comprehensive directory about Earth science and global change data.
    Government Printing Office
    Listing of all government publications.
    Hazardous Material Infomation
    DOT's Hazmat site

    Hazardous Materials Safety
    Provides pertinent news specific to the hazmat program, as well as program matters discussed by the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety.

    Library of Congress
    Listing of all publications and information about them.
    National GIS Program
    Maps and GIS information.
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center
    National Science Foundation
    National Weather Service
    The official site for all NASA projects and programs.
    Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
    Ensures adequate protection of the public health and safety, the common defense and security, and the environment in the use of nuclear materials in the United States. Medical, academic, transport, storage, and disposal, and industrial uses of nuclear materials, waste.
    301-415-8200 (Public Affairs)
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory Environmental Sciences Division with journal lists.
    OSHA Home Page Rules, Regulations, and information about Occupational Health and Safety.
    202-366-5580 (Secretary of)
    USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
    USDA Foodborne Illness Education Information Center
    U.S. Geological Survey

    Federal Government Health Services

    OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Admin.)
    To save lives, prevent injuries and protect the health of America's workers.
    202 693-1999
    NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
    Part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is the only federal Institute responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related illnesses and injuries.
    202 401-6997
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    To promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.

    Contacts for Health Information

    Ohio Local and State Government Sources: Local

    Combined Health District (County)
    Data available on deaths and causes of deaths, water problems, diseases, pollutants, and controls.
    Web Addresses: Some villages, towns, cities, and counties have web sites, and others don’t. You may call each agency and ask for a web address.
    Phone Numbers: Check local phone directory in the blue pages (gov.). City, town, village, and township listings are first. County listings are next. State and Federal listings are last.

    Ohio Local and State Government Sources: State

    Aging, Ohio Dept. of
    Advocate for the needs of all older citizens. The emphasis is on improving the quality of life for older Ohioans, helping senior citizens live active, healthy and independent lives, and promoting positive attitudes toward aging and older people.
    Counselor and Social Worker Board
    Protect the citizens of the State of Ohio through the licensure of Counselors and Social Workers.
    Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, Ohio Commission on
    To promote the use of dispute resolution process and conflict management skills.
    Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), Ohio
    To protect human health and the environment through responsible regulation supported by sound science, quality service, and comprehensive environmental education.
    Health, Ohio Dept. of
    To protect and improve the health of all Ohioans by preventing disease, promoting good health and assuring access to quality health care.
    Mental Health, Ohio Dept. of
    To ensure high quality mental health care is available to all Ohioans particularly individuals with severe mental illness in their communities.
    Minority Health, Commission on
    Funds projects which are innovative, culturally sensitive and specific in their approach toward reduction of the incidence and severity of those diseases or conditions which are responsible for excess morbidity and mortality in minority populations.
    Public Safety
    Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Medical Services, and Highway Patrol
    614 466-2550
    Worker’s Compensation, Bureau of
    Provides medical and compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths.
    How To Find Your Local Government Offices and Descriptions of Their Focus

    County TRI Map and Data from Ohio EPA
    Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) for each county.
    County EPA Data
    Map of EPA district offices and contact information, county information, news releases for counties and the state. Click on County name.">
    Combined Health District (County)
    Data available on deaths and causes of deaths, water problems, diseases, pollutants, and controls.

    Web Addresses: Some villages, towns, cities, and counties have web sites, and others don't. You may call each agency and ask for a web address.
    Phone Numbers: Check local phone directory in the blue pages (government). City, town, village, and township listings are first. County listings are next. State and Federal listings are last.


    This page includes:
    State and Local Environmental Organizations
    National Environmental Organizations

    State Environmental Organizations

    Buckeye Forest Council
    To protect Ohio's forests and inhabitants through advocacy, education, and organization.

    B-W Greenway Community Land Trust
    Greene County Wetland Preservation to educate the public about the value of wetlands and greenways; to promote sustainable use of land, and to protect, preserve, and steward open space for farming, recreation, habitat, and watershed management.

    C.F. Water
    Landfill Concerns, Clark Co., Ohio

    Earth Day Coalition
    To protect and restore Ohio's environment and public health through pollution prevention, student conferences, clean transportation, economic development, and EARTHFest

    Environmental Fund of Ohio
    Site for information on and donation collection for 27 Ohio environmental and conservation groups.

    Friends of Dysart Woods
    To preserve and protect valuable forest land in Dysart Woods State Park.

    Green Environmental Coalition
    Advocates for Ohio's environment focused on clean water, toxic chemical reductions, urban sprawl, and public participation.

    Izaak Walton League, Ohio Chapter
    To protect the Ohio's soil, air, wood, water, and wildlife and promote sustainability. (23 Ohio chapters)

    Miami Group Sierra Club
    A division of the Ohio Sierra Club

    Neighbors In Need
    A Dayton group concerned about Nuclear weapons.

    Ohio B.A.S.S.
    To preserve bass resources.  Many Ohio chapters.

    Ohio Environmental Council
    Bringing relevant and up-to-date information for solving environmental problems to the citizens of Ohio.

    Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA)
    Support and promote a healthful, ecological, accountable and permanent agriculture in Ohio and elsewhere.

    Ohio Citizen Action
    To improve the quality of life, public health, and environment through citizen action.

    Ohio Family Farm Coalition
    Supports the preservation and strengthening of family farm agriculture in Ohio.
    (419) 453-3456

    Ohio League of Women Voters
    To encourage active participation of citizens in government and to influence public policy.

    Ohio Sierra Club
    To protect the wild places of the earth, promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources, educate, and restore the quality of the environment.
    (614) 46

    Ohio Family Farm Coalition
    Supports the preservation and strengthening of family farm agriculture in Ohio.
    (419) 453-3456

    Ohio League of Women Voters
    To en/oh"
    (614) 46 influence public policy.

    Ohio Sierra Club
    To protect the wild places of the earth, promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources, educate, and restore the quality of the environment.
    (614) 461-0734

    Rivers Unlimited
    To protect and restore Ohio's 61,000 miles of rivers and streams.

    Rural Action
    To build leadership, promote sustainability, and support individuals and communities in Appalachian Ohio. 614-767-4938

    Sandusky County Organized to Protect the Environment
    Group to protect the environment in Sandusky, Ohio.

    Tecumseh Land Trust
    To preserve farmland in Green and Clark Counties in Ohio, for agricultural use.

    The Nature Conservancy, Ohio Chapter
    Preserve Ohio plants, animals and natural communities by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

    Ohio State University Extension Agency
    Bulletins on many agriculture-related topics.

    Soil and Water Testing Facilities

    OARDC Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
    Soil and Water testing until Dec. 1, 1999 1-330-263-3760

    Alloway Testing, Soil, manure, sludge, water, specials.
    Testing for soil, manure, sludge, water, specials
    508 Bissman Court, Mansfield, OH 44906
    (419) 223-1362 (Lima), (419) 525-1644 (Mansfield)

    Brookside Labs
    Soil, soil-less mix, plant tissue, feed, manure, compost, sludge, nutrient solutions, water, specials
    308 S. Main St., New Knoxville, OH 45871
    (419) 753-2448.

    CLC Labs
    Soil, plant tissue, water, specials.
    325 Venture St., Westerville, OH 43081
    (614) 888-1663

    Calmar Lab
    Soil, soil-less mix, plant tissue.
    130 S. State St., Westerville, OH 43081
    (614) 523-1005

    Holmes Lab
    Soil, feed, manure, water
    3559 U.S. Route 62, Millersburg, OH 44654
    (800) 344-1101, (330) 893-2933

    Soil, plant tissue, feed, manure, water, specials.
    Leader St., Marion, OH 43302
    (800) 622-4877

    Spectrum Analytical Inc.
    Soil, soil-less mix, plant tissue, feed, manure, compost, sludge, nutrient solutions, water, specials
    P.O. Box 639, Washington Court House, OH 43160
    (800) 321 -1562

    National Environmental Organizations

    American Forests
    Citizen conservation organization, works with parks, tree planting, Global ReLeaf, and climate.

    American Rivers Society
    Sharing information about the appropriate use and management of river resources including wetlands, watersheds, and water quality.

    Defenders of Wildlife
    Wildlife protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Concerned with biodiversity and maintaining habitat.

    Concerned with environmental issues concerning the Great Lakes.

    Environmental Defense Fund
    Issues are stabilizing the Earth's climate, safe-guarding the world's oceans, protecting human health, and defending and restoring biodiversity.

    Environmental Defense Fund's TRI Scorecard
    Toxic Release Index (TRI) of pollutants in each community in the US prepared by Environmental Defense Fund. Search by Zip or area of the state.

    Environmental Law Institute
    An internationally recognized independent environmental research and education center. ELI advances environmental protection by improving law, policy, and management.
    (202) 939-3800

    Friends of the Earth
    Work for conservation and public health protection with a focus on the underlying social and economic causes of environmental problems both at home and abroad and building coalitions

    Greenpeace International
    An international group concerned with forests, climate, toxics, nuclear, oceans, and genetic
    31 20 523 62 22

    Institute for Global Communications (IGC).
    Provides alternative sources of information as well as online access and comprehensive Internet services to organizations and activists working on peace, economic and social justice, human rights, environmental protection, labor issues and conflict resolution.

    Izaak Walton League
    To protect the nation's soil, air, wood, water, and wildlife and promote sustainability.

    The League of Conservation Voters
    The League of Conservation Voters educates citizens about the environmental voting records of Members of Congress. This edition of the National Environmental Scorecard provides objective, factual information about the environmental voting records of all Members of Congress. Also includes information on how to find your legislators.

    National Audubon Society
    Concerned with birds, migration habitats, and maintaining bird habitats.

    National Citizens Alliance
    Concerned with cement kilns, and the fuels they use to burn.
    (517) 471.2747

    National Environmental Scorecard
    Concerned with cement kilns, and the fuels they use to burn.

    Natural Resources Defense Council
    The NRDC's purpose is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its palnts and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. They also work to foster the fundamental right of all people to have a voice in decisions that affect their environment.

    U.S. PIRG
    U.S. PIRG is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to serving as a watchdog for the nation's citizens and environment.

    Rainforest Action Network
    Protect the Earth's rainforests and support the rights of their inhabitants through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action.
    (415) 398-4404

    Sierra Club
    Promotes conservation of the natural environment by influencing public policy decisions.

    The Nature Conservancy
    Preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by  protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
    (703) 841-5300

    The Wilderness Society
    Preserving wilderness and wildlife, protecting America's prime forests, parks, rivers, deserts.
    1-800- THE WILD

    Union of Concerned Scientists
    UCS is an independent nonprofit alliance of 50,000 concerned citizens and scientists across the country. We augment rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world.


    This guide provides many ideas for improving environmental and health problems. Agreements between government agencies, the regulated industry, and concerned citizens provide the best means for improving the environment.

    Asking companies to become good neighbors, keeping an open dialogue, and continuing to seek environmentally responsible technology will result in strong communities and a healthy economy.

    Each member of the environmental triad has a responsibility. The government has the responsibility to set reachable standards and enforce these rules. The regulated industries must continue to reduce waste, emissions, and discharges as they adopt responsible manufacturing processes. Citizens also have a responsibility to become well-informed voters who are knowledgeable about the process of law-making and public participation. When all three members of the triad work together, the result will be a healthy, sustainable environment.

    Selected Environmental Terms and Abbreviations

    For a more complete listing of terms and abbreviations, use the US EPA website:

  • Air Pollution: The presence of contaminants or pollutant substances in the air that interfere with human health or welfare, or produce other harmful environmental effects.
  • Airborne Particulates: Total suspended particulate matter found in the atmosphere as solid particles or liquid droplets. Chemical composition particulates vary widely, depending on location and time of year.
  • Anti-Degradation Clause: Part of federal air quality and water quality requirements prohibiting deterioration where pollution levels are above the legal limit. ATSDR: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Attainment Area: An area considered to have air quality as good as or better than the national ambient air quality standards as defined in the Clean Air Act. An area may be an attainment area for one pollutant and a non-attainment area for others.
  • Audit: A thorough examination conducted by Ohio EPA to ensure the NFA letter for a property was issued in
  • accordance with Ohio's Voluntary Action Program rules and that the property complies with applicable standards for the property. An audit may involve only an examination of all available documentation reviewed by the Certified Professional in issuing the NFA letter or it may involve collection and analysis of samples from the property.
  • Brownfields: Abandoned, idled, or under used industrial and commercial facilities/sites where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. They can be in urban, suburban, or rural areas. EPA's Brownfields initiative helps communities mitigate potential health risks and restore the economic viability of such areas or properties.
  • Carcinogen: Any substance that can cause or aggravate cancer.
  • CERCLA: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (1980)CERCLIS: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System
  • CKD: Cement Kiln DustClear Cut: Harvesting all the trees in one area at one time, a practice that can encourage fast rainfall or snowmelt runoff, erosion, sedimentation of streams and lakes, and flooding, and destroys vital habitat.
  • Comment Period: Time provided for the public to review and comment on a proposed EPA action or rulemaking after publication in the Federal Register.
  • Comparative Risk Assessment: Process that generally uses the judgement of experts to predict effects and set priorities among a wide range of environmental problems.
  • Conservation: Preserving and renewing, when possible, human and natural resources. The use, protection, and improvement of natural resources according to principles that will ensure their highest economic or social benefits.
  • Dioxin: Any of a family of compounds known chemically as dibenzo-p-dioxins. Concern about them arises from their potential toxicity as contaminants in commercial products. Tests on laboratory animals indicate that it is one of the more toxic anthropogenic (man-made) compounds.
  • Ecosystem: The interacting system of a biological community and its non-living environmental surroundings. EDF: Environmental Defense Fund
  • Effluent: Wastewater--treated or untreated--that flows out of a treatment plant, sewer, or industrial outfall. Generally refers to wastes discharged into surface waters.
  • Emission: Pollution discharged into the atmosphere from smokestacks, other vents, and surface areas of commercial or industrial facilities; from residential chimneys; and from motor vehicle, locomotive, or air- craft exhausts.
  • Emissions Trading: The creation of surplus emission reductions at certain stacks, vents or similar emissions sources and the use of this surplus to meet or redefine pollution requirements applicable to other emissions sources. This allows one source to increase emissions when another source reduces them, maintaining an overall constant emission level. Facilities that reduce emissions substantially may "bank" their "credits" or sell them to other facilities or industries.
  • Environment: The sum of all external conditions affecting the life, development and survival of an organism. Environmental Equity/Justice: Equal protection from environmental hazards for individuals, groups, or communities regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic atatus. This applies to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies, and implies that no population of people should be forced to shoulder a disproportionate share of negative environmental impacts of pollution or environmental hazard due to a lack of political or economic strength levels..
  • Environmental Impact Statement: A document required of federal agencies by the National Environmental Policy Act for major projects or legislative proposals significantly affecting the environment. A tool for decision making, it describes the positive and negative effects of the undertaking and cites alternative actions.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Long-term maintenance of ecosystem components and functions for future generations.
  • Feedlot: A confined area for the controlled feeding of animals. Tends to concentrate large amounts of animal waste that cannot be absorbed by the soil and, hence, may be carried to nearby streams or lakes by rainfall runoff.
  • Fugitive Emissions: Emissions not caught by a capture system.
  • GIS: Geographic Information Systems; Global Indexing System
  • Global Warming: An increase in the near surface temperature of the Earth. Global warming has occurred in the distant past as the result of natural influences, but the term is most often used to refer to the warming predicted to occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases. Scientists generally agree that the earth's surface has warmed by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past 140 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently concluded that increased concentrations of greenhouse gases are causing an increase in the Earth's surface temperature and that increased concentrations of sulfate aerosols have led to relative cooling in some regions, generally over and downwind of heavily industrialized areas.
  • Greenhouse Effect: The warming of the Earth's atmosphere attributed to a buildup of carbon dioxide or other gases; some scientists think that this build-up allows the sun's rays to heat the Earth, while making the infra-red radiation atmosphere opaque to infra-red radiation, thereby preventing a counterbalancing loss of heat.
  • Ground Water: The supply of fresh water found beneath the Earth's surface, usually in aquifers, which supply wells and springs. Because ground water is a major source of drinking water, there is growing concern over contamination from leaching agricultural or industrial pollutants or leaking underground storage tanks.
  • Habitat: The place where a population (e.g., human, animal, plant, microorganism) lives and its surroundings, both living and non-living. Hazardous Waste: By-products of society that can pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly managed. Possesses at least one of four characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity), or appears on special EPA lists.
  • HAZMAT: Hazardous Materials
  • Heavy Metals: Metallic elements with high atomic weights; (e.g., mercury, chromium, cadmium, arsenic, and lead); can damage living things at low concentrations and tend to accumulate in the food chain.
  • High-Level Radioactive Waste (HLRW): Waste generated in core fuel of a nuclear reactor, found at nuclear reactors or by nuclear fuel reprocessing; is a serious threat to anyone who comes near the waste without shielding. (See: low-level radioactive waste.)

  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): A mixture of chemical and other, non-pesticide, methods to control pests. IPM: Inhalable Particulate Matter. Integrated Pest Management
  • IRIS: Instructional Resources Information System. Integrated Risk Information System. EPA's Integrated Risk Information System, an electronic data base containing the Agency's latest descriptive and quantitative regulatory information on chemical constituents. Landfills: 1. Sanitary landfills are disposal sites for non-hazardous solid wastes spread in layers, compacted to the smallest practical volume, and covered by material applied at the end of each operating day. 2. Secure chemical landfills are disposal sites for hazardous waste, selected and designed to minimize the chance of release of hazardous substances into the environment.
  • LLRW: Low Level Radioactive Waste, Wastes less hazardous than most of those associated with a nuclear reactor; generated by hospitals, research laboratories, and certain industries. The Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and EPA share responsibilities for managing them.
  • Medical Waste: Any solid waste generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals, excluding hazardous waste identified or listed under 40 CFR Part 261 or any household waste as defined in 40 CFR Sub-section 261.4 (b)(1).
  • Monitoring Well: 1. A well used to obtain water quality samples or measure groundwater levels. 2. A well drilled at a hazardous waste management facility or Superfund site to collect ground-water samples for the purpose of physical, chemical, or biological analysis to determine the amounts, types, and distribution of contaminants in the groundwater beneath the site.
  • Non-potable: Water that is unsafe or unpalatable to drink because it contains pollutants, contaminants, minerals, or infective agents.
  • NRDC: Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Ozone Depletion: Destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer which shields the earth from ultraviolet radiation harmful to life. This destruction of ozone is caused by the breakdown of certain chlorine and/or bromine containing compounds (chlorofluorocarbons or halons), which break down when they reach the stratosphere and then catalytically destroy ozone molecules.
  • Particulates: 1. Fine liquid or solid particles such as dust, smoke, mist, fumes, or smog, found in air or emis- sions. 2. Very small solids suspended in water; they can vary in size, shape, density and electrical charge and can be gathered together by coagulation and flocculation.
  • Permit: An authorization, license, or equivalent control document issued by EPA or an approved state agency to implement the requirements of an environmental regulation; e.g., a permit to operate a wastewater treatment plant or to operate a facility that may generate harmful emissions.
  • Pesticide: Substances or mixture there of intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. Also, any substance or mixture intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.
  • Plume: 1. A visible or measurable discharge of a contaminant from a given point of origin. Can be visible or thermal in water, or visible in the air as, for example, a plume of smoke. 2 The area of radiation leaking from a damaged reactor. 3. Area downwind within which a release could be dangerous for those exposed to leaking fumes.
  • Pollution: Generally, the presence of a substance in the environment that because of its chemical composition or quantity prevents the functioning of natural processes and produces undesirable environmental and health effects. Under the Clean Water Act, for example, the term has been defined as the man-made or man-induced alteration of the physical, biological, chemical, and radiological integrity of water and other media.
  • Potable Water: Water that is safe for drinking and cooking. PPM/PPB: Parts per million/ parts per billion
  • Public Hearing: A formal meeting wherein EPA officials hear the public's views and concerns about an EPA action or proposal. EPA is required to consider such comments when evaluating its actions. Public hearings must be held upon request during the public comment period.
  • Public Notice: 1. Notification by EPA informing the public of Agency actions such as the issuance of a draft permit or scheduling of a hearing. EPA is required to ensure proper public notice, including publication in newspapers and broadcast over radio and television stations. 2. In the safe drinking water program, water suppliers are required to publish and broadcast notices when pollution problems are discovered.
  • RAD: Radiation Adsorbed DoseRAPCA: Regional Air Pollution Control AgencyRCRA: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • RCRIS: Resource Conservation and Recovery Information System Release: Any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment of a hazardous or toxic chemical or extremely hazardous substance. Remedial Action (RA): The actual construction or implementation phase of a Superfund site cleanup that follows remedial design.
  • Remediation: 1. Cleanup or other methods used to remove or contain a toxic spill or hazardous materials from a Superfund site; 2. for the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response program, abatement methods including evaluation, repair, enclosure, encapsulation, or removal of greater than 3 linear feet or square feet of asbestos-containing materials from a building.
  • RICO: Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act Riparian Habitat: Areas adjacent to rivers and streams with a differing density, diversity, and productivity of plant and animal species relative to nearby uplands.
  • Risk: A measure of the probability that damage to life, health, property, and/or the environment will occur as a result of a given hazard. Risk Assessment: Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the risk posed to human health and/or the environment by the actual or potential presence and/or use of specific pollutants.
  • Risk Factor: Characteristics (e.g., race, sex, age, obesity) or variables (e.g., smoking, occupational exposure level) associated with increased probability of a toxic effect.
  • Sludge: A semi-solid residue from any of a number of air or water treatment processes; can be a hazardous waste.
  • Smog: Air pollution typically associated with oxidants.
  • Smoke: Particles suspended in air after incomplete combustion.
  • Solid Waste: Non-liquid, non-soluble materials ranging from municipal garbage to industrial wastes that contain complex and sometimes hazardous substances. Solid wastes also include sewage sludge, agricultural refuse, demolition wastes, and mining residues. Technically, solid waste also refers to liquids and gases in containers.
  • Source Reduction: Reducing the amount of materials entering the waste stream from a specific source by redesigning products or patterns of production or consumption (e.g., using returnable beverage containers). Synonymous with waste reduction.
  • Sprawl: Unplanned development of open land.
  • Stakeholder: Any organization, governmental entity, or individual that has a stake in or may be impacted by a given approach to environmental regulation, pollution prevention, energy conservation, etc.
  • Superfund: The program operated under the legislative authority of CERCLA and SARA that funds and carries out EPA solid waste emergency and long-term removal and remedial activities. These activities include establishing the National Priorities List, investigating sites for inclusion on the list, determining their priority, and conducting and/or supervising cleanup and other remedial actions.
  • Toxic Chemical: Any chemical listed in EPA rules as "Toxic Chemicals Subject to Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986."
  • Toxic Release Inventory: Database of toxic releases in the United States compiled from SARA Title III Section 313 reports.
  • Toxic Waste: A waste that can produce injury if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin.
  • TRI: Toxic Release Inventory
  • Voluntary Action Program (VAP): Ohio's Voluntary Action Program was created by Senate Bill 221 and signed into law by Governor George V. Voinovich in June of 1994. The program encourages people to redevelop and reuse land that is contaminated by hazardous substances or petroleum. The amount of cleanup required for a particular piece of property depends on how that property will be used in the future. Land that will be reused for industrial purposes, such as a factory, is not required to be cleaned up as much as land that will be reused for residences.
  • Waste Stream: The total flow of solid waste from homes, businesses, institutions, and manufacturing plants that is recycled, burned, or disposed of in landfills, or segments thereof such as the "residential waste stream" or the "recyclable waste stream."
  • Wellhead Protection Area: A protected surface and subsurface zone surrounding a well or well field supplying a public water system to keep contaminants from reaching the well water.
  • Wetlands: An area that is saturated by surface or ground water with vegetation adapted for life under those soil conditions, as swamps, bogs, fens, marshes, and estuaries.