130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 257  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
H. B. No. 257


Representative Murray 

Cosponsors: Representatives Hagan, R., Ramos, Foley, Slesnick, Celeste, Antonio, Letson, Fedor, Lundy, Okey, Phillips, Gentile, Garland, Szollosi 



A BILL
To amend sections 1501.30, 1501.32, 1501.33, 1521.01, 1521.04, 1521.16, 1522.03, and 1522.05 and to enact sections 1522.10 to 1522.23 and 1522.99 of the Revised Code to establish a program for the regulation of withdrawals and consumptive uses of waters from the Lake Erie basin.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 1501.30, 1501.32, 1501.33, 1521.01, 1521.04, 1521.16, 1522.03, and 1522.05 be amended and sections 1522.10, 1522.11, 1522.12, 1522.13, 1522.14, 1522.15, 1522.16, 1522.17, 1522.18, 1522.19, 1522.20, 1522.21, 1522.22, 1522.23, and 1522.99 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 1501.30.  (A) As used in sections 1501.30 to 1501.35 of the Revised Code:
(1) "Baseline capacity of the diversion" means either of the following:
(a) For a facility with a capacity to make a diversion as of December 8, 2008, the capacity as reported in the baseline list submitted by the department of natural resources to the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources compact council on December 8, 2009, or as otherwise determined by the chief of the division of soil and water resources on the basis of sufficient documentation prescribed by the chief;
(b) For a facility with a capacity to make a new diversion on and after the effective date of this amendment, the capacity specified in the permit issued for the facility by the chief under section 1501.32 of the Revised Code.
(2) "Compact" means the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources compact as set forth in section 1522.01 of the Revised Code.
(3) "Consumptive use" means a use of water resources, other than a diversion, that results in a loss of that water to the basin from which it is withdrawn and includes, but is not limited to, evaporation, evapotranspiration, and incorporation of water into a product or agricultural crop.
(2)(4) "Diversion" means a withdrawal of water resources from either the Lake Erie or Ohio river drainage basin and transfer to another basin without return. "Diversion" does not include evaporative loss within the basin of withdrawal.
(3)(5) "Other great lakes states and provinces" means states other than this state that are parties to the great lakes basin compact under Chapter 6161. of the Revised Code and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
(4)(6) "Person" has the same meaning as in section 1.59 of the Revised Code and also includes any state, any political subdivision of a state, and any department, division, board, commission, agency, or instrumentality of a state or political subdivision of a state.
(5)(7) "Water resources" means any waters of the state that are available or may be made available to agricultural, industrial, commercial, and domestic users.
(6)(8) "Waters of the state" includes all streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, watercourses, waterways, wells, springs, irrigation systems, drainage systems, and other bodies or accumulations of water, surface and underground, natural or artificial, regardless of the depth of the strata in which underground water is located, that are situated wholly or partly within or border upon this state or are within its jurisdiction.
(B) The chief of the division of soil and water resources of the department of natural resources shall define "Lake Erie drainage basin" and "Ohio river drainage basin" for the purposes of sections 1501.30 to 1501.35 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 1501.32.  (A) No person shall divert more than one hundred thousand gallons per day of any waters of the state out of the Lake Erie or Ohio river drainage basins basin to another basin without having a permit to do so issued by the director of natural resources. An application for such a permit shall be filed with the director upon such forms as the director prescribes. The application shall state the quantity of water to be diverted, the purpose of the diversion, the life of the project for which the water is to be diverted, and such other information as the director may require by rule. Each application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of one thousand dollars, which shall be credited to the water management fund, which is hereby created.
(B) The director shall not approve a permit application filed under this section if the director determines that any of the following applies:
(1) During the life of the project for which the water is to be diverted, some or all of the water to be diverted will be needed for use within the basin.
(2) The proposed diversion would endanger the public health, safety, or welfare.
(3) The applicant has not demonstrated that the proposed diversion is a reasonable and beneficial use and is necessary to serve the applicant's present and future needs.
(4) The applicant has not demonstrated that reasonable efforts have been made to develop and conserve water resources in the importing basin and that further development of those resources would engender overriding, adverse economic, social, or environmental impacts.
(5) The proposed diversion is inconsistent with regional or state water resources plans.
(6) The proposed diversion, alone or in combination with other diversions and water losses, will have a significant adverse impact on in-stream uses or on economic or ecological aspects of water levels.
The director may hold public hearings upon any application for a permit.
(C) Whenever the director receives an application under this section to divert water out of the Lake Erie drainage basin, the director shall notify the governors and premiers of the other great lakes states and provinces, the appropriate water management agencies of those states and provinces, and, when appropriate, the international joint commission and shall solicit their comments and concerns regarding the application. In the event of an objection to the proposed diversion, the director shall consult with the affected great lakes states and provinces to consider the issues involved and seek mutually agreeable recommendations. Before rendering a decision on the permit application, the director shall consider the concerns, comments, and recommendations of the other great lakes states and provinces and the international joint commission, and, in accordance with section 1109 of the "Water Resources Development Act of 1986," 100 Stat. 4230, 42 U.S.C.A. 1962d-20, the director shall not approve a permit application for any diversion to which that section pertains unless that diversion is approved by the governor of each great lakes state as defined in section 1109(c) of that act.
(D) The director shall determine the period for which each permit approved under this section will be valid and specify the expiration date, but in no case shall a permit be valid beyond the life of the project as stated in the application.
The director shall establish rules providing for the transfer of permits. A permit may be transferred on the conditions that the quantity of water diverted not be increased and that the purpose of the diversion not be changed.
(E)(D)(1) Within a time established by rule, the director shall do one of the following:
(a) Notify the applicant that an application the applicant filed under this section is approved or denied and, if denied, the reason for denial;
(b) Notify the applicant of any modification necessary to qualify the application for approval.
(2) Any person who receives notice of a denial or modification under division (E)(D)(1) of this section is entitled to a hearing under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code if the person sends a written request for a hearing to the director within thirty days after the date on which the notice is mailed or otherwise provided to the applicant.
(F)(E) The director shall revoke a permit under this section without a prior hearing if the director determines that the quantity of water being diverted exceeds the quantity stated in the permit application.
The director may suspend a permit if the director determines that the continued diversion of water will endanger the public health, safety, or welfare. Before suspending a permit, the director shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the permittee that the director intends to suspend the permit. If the attempt fails, notification shall be given as soon as practicable following the suspension. Within five days after the suspension, the director shall provide the permittee an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence that the continued diversion of water will not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare.
If the director determines before the expiration date of a suspended permit that the diversion of water can be resumed without danger to the public health, safety, or welfare, the director shall, upon request of the permittee, reinstate the permit.
(G) Any six or more residents of this state (F) An elected official of a political subdivision may petition the director for an investigation of a withdrawal diversion of water resources that they allege the official alleges is in violation of a permit issued under this section.
The petition shall identify the permittee and detail the reasons why the petitioners believe official believes that grounds exist for the revocation or suspension of the permit under this section.
Upon receipt of the petition, the director shall send a copy to the permittee and, within sixty days, make a determination whether grounds exist for revocation or suspension of the permit under this section.
(H)(G) Each permittee shall submit to the director an annual report containing such information as the director may require by rule.
(I)(H) The director shall issue a permit under division (A) of this section to any person who lawfully diverted more than one hundred thousand gallons per day of any waters of the state out of the Ohio river drainage basin during the calendar year ending October 14, 1984. A person who is eligible for a permit under this division shall file an application under division (A) of this section not later than one hundred eighty days after the effective date of this amendment April 6, 2007.
A person who applies for a permit under this division need not pay the application fee that is otherwise required under division (A) of this section. In addition, divisions (B) to (H)(I) of this section and rules adopted under section 1501.31 of the Revised Code do not apply to an application that is filed or a permit that is issued under this division.
(I) A person who is required to obtain a permit under section 1522.15 of the Revised Code need not obtain a permit under this section.
Sec. 1501.33.  (A) Except as provided in divisions (B) and, (C), and (D) of this section, no person shall allow a facility that the person owns to withdraw waters of the state in an amount that would result in a new or increased consumptive use of more than an average of two million gallons of water per day in any thirty-day period without first obtaining a permit from the director of natural resources under section 1501.34 of the Revised Code. The person shall submit an application for a permit to the director on a form he the director prescribes, which application shall declare and document all of the following:
(1) The facility's current withdrawal capacity per day if the withdrawal is to occur at a facility already in operation;
(2) The total new or increased daily withdrawal capacity proposed for the facility;
(3) The locations and sources of water proposed to be withdrawn;
(4) The locations of proposed discharges or return flows;
(5) The locations and nature of proposed consumptive uses;
(6) The estimated average annual and monthly volumes and rates of withdrawal;
(7) The estimated average annual and monthly volumes and rates of consumptive use;
(8) The effects the withdrawal is anticipated to have with respect to existing uses of water resources;
(9) A description of other ways the applicant's need for water may be satisfied if the application is denied or modified;
(10) A description of the conservation practices the applicant intends to follow;
(11) Any other information the director may require by rule.
Each application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of one thousand dollars, which shall be credited to the water management fund created under section 1501.32 of the Revised Code.
(B) On and after the effective date of this amendment, any person who is required to obtain a permit under section 1522.14 of the Revised Code need not obtain a permit under section 1501.34 of the Revised Code.
(C) A major utility facility that is subject to regulation under Chapter 4906. of the Revised Code need not obtain a permit under section 1501.34 of the Revised Code.
(C)(D)(1) A public water system, as that term is defined in section 6109.01 of the Revised Code, that withdraws waters of the state in an amount that would result in a new or increased consumptive use of more than two million gallons per day need not obtain a permit under section 1501.34 of the Revised Code if any of the following apply applies:
(a) The public water system was in operation on the effective date of this section June 29, 1988, and no substantial changes are proposed for that system except as specified in division (C)(D)(1)(c) of this section;.
(b) A public water system that is proposed to be constructed or installed, or an existing system for which changes are proposed, encompasses only water distribution facilities;.
(c) A public water system, other than one that encompasses only water distribution facilities, is proposed to be constructed or installed, or substantial changes in the design capacity of an existing system, other than one that encompasses only water distribution facilities, are proposed; the plans submitted for the system to the director of environmental protection under section 6109.07 of the Revised Code declare and document the information specified in division (A) of this section and rules adopted under it as determined by the director of natural resources; and the director of environmental protection has applied the criteria specified in division (A) of section 1501.34 of the Revised Code in reviewing and approving the plans as determined by the director of natural resources.
(2) Any public water system that withdraws waters of the state in an amount that would result in a new or increased consumptive use of more than two million gallons per day and that does not meet the criteria specified in divisions (C) division (D)(1)(a), (b), or (c) of this section shall obtain a permit under section 1501.34 of the Revised Code. A person who submits plans for such a system under section 6109.07 of the Revised Code may request the director of natural resources in writing to consider those plans as an application under this section. No later than twenty days after receiving the request, the director shall notify the person of one of the following:
(a) The plans declare and document the information specified in division (A) of this section and rules adopted under it and are accepted as an application under this section, and the person shall submit to the director the application fee required under division (A) of this section;.
(b) Additional specified information is necessary before the director can accept the plans as an application;.
(c) The plans do not meet the requirements of division (A) of this section and rules adopted under it and an application shall be submitted in accordance with this section.
Sec. 1521.01.  As used in sections 1521.01 to 1521.05 and 1521.13 to 1521.18 of the Revised Code:
(A) "Consumptive use," "diversion," "Lake Erie drainage basin," "other great lakes states and provinces," "water resources," and "waters of the state" have the same meanings as in section 1501.30 of the Revised Code.
(B) "Well" means any excavation, regardless of design or method of construction, created for any of the following purposes:
(1) Removing ground water from or recharging water into an aquifer, excluding subsurface drainage systems installed to enhance agricultural crop production or urban or suburban landscape management or to control seepage in dams, dikes, and levees;
(2) Determining the quantity, quality, level, or movement of ground water in or the stratigraphy of an aquifer, excluding borings for instrumentation in dams, dikes, levees, or highway embankments;
(3) Removing or exchanging heat from ground water, excluding horizontal trenches that are installed for water source heat pump systems.
(C) "Aquifer" means a consolidated or unconsolidated geologic formation or series of formations that are hydraulically interconnected and that have the ability to receive, store, or transmit water.
(D) "Ground water" means all water occurring in an aquifer.
(E) "Ground Distressed water stress resource area" means a definable geographic area in which ground water quantity or surface water is being affected by human activity or natural forces to the extent that continuous availability of supply is jeopardized by withdrawals there are or may be significant individual or cumulative adverse resource impacts from withdrawals or consumptive uses.
(F) "Person" has the same meaning as in section 1.59 of the Revised Code and also includes the United States, the state, any political subdivision of the state, and any department, division, board, commission, agency, or instrumentality of the United States, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
(G) "State agency" or "agency of the state" has the same meaning as "agency" in section 111.15 of the Revised Code.
(H) "Development" means any artificial change to improved or unimproved real estate, including the construction of buildings and other structures, any substantial improvement of a structure, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavating, and drilling operations, and storage of equipment or materials.
(I) "Floodplain" means the area adjoining any river, stream, watercourse, or lake that has been or may be covered by flood water.
(J) "Floodplain management" means the implementation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage, including the collection and dissemination of flood information, construction of flood control works, nonstructural flood damage reduction techniques, and adoption of rules, ordinances, or resolutions governing development in floodplains.
(K) "One-hundred-year flood" means a flood having a one per cent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
(L) "One-hundred-year floodplain" means that portion of a floodplain inundated by a one-hundred-year flood.
(M) "Structure" means a walled and roofed building, including, without limitation, gas or liquid storage tanks, mobile homes, and manufactured homes.
(N) "Substantial improvement" means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty per cent of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. "Substantial improvement" includes repairs to structures that have incurred substantial damage regardless of the actual repair work performed. "Substantial improvement" does not include either of the following:
(1) Any project for the improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications that have been identified by the state or local code enforcement official having jurisdiction and that are the minimum necessary to ensure safe living conditions;
(2) Any alteration of an historic structure designated or listed pursuant to federal or state law, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued listing or designation as an historic structure.
(O) "Substantial damage" means damage of any origin that is sustained by a structure if the cost of restoring the structure to its condition prior to the damage would equal or exceed fifty per cent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
(P) "National flood insurance program" means the national flood insurance program established in the "National Flood Insurance Act of 1968," 82 Stat. 572, 42 U.S.C. 4001, as amended, and regulations adopted under it.
(Q) "Conservancy district" means a conservancy district established under Chapter 6101. of the Revised Code.
(R) "Surface water" includes all streams, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, marshes, wetlands, bays estuaries, or other waterways that are situated wholly or partially within the boundaries of this state except those private waters that do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface or underground waters.
(S) "Withdrawal" means one or more cumulative total withdrawals of water that supply a common distribution system.
(T) "Environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures" has the same meaning as in the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources compact set forth in section 1522.01 of the Revised Code.
(U) "Facility" includes any equipment or infrastructure.
(V) "Great Lakes basin" has the same meaning as in the great lakes-st. Lawrence river water resources compact as set forth in section 1522.01 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 1521.04.  The chief of the division of soil and water resources, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may make loans and grants from the water management fund created in section 1501.32 of the Revised Code to governmental agencies for water management, water supply improvements, and planning and may administer grants from the federal government and from other public or private sources for carrying out those functions and for the performance of any acts that may be required by the United States or by any agency or department thereof as a condition for the participation by any governmental agency in any federal financial or technical assistance program. Direct and indirect costs of administration may be paid from the fund.
The chief may use the water management fund for the purposes of administering the water diversion and consumptive use permit programs established in sections 1501.30 to 1501.35 of the Revised Code; for the purposes of administering activities to implement the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources compact set forth in section 1522.01 of the Revised Code, including activities established in sections 1522.10 to 1522.24 of the Revised Code; to perform watershed and water resources studies for the purposes of water management planning; and to acquire, construct, reconstruct, improve, equip, maintain, operate, and dispose of water management improvements. The chief may fix, alter, charge, and collect rates, fees, rentals, and other charges to be paid into the fund by governmental agencies and persons who are supplied with water by facilities constructed or operated by the department of natural resources in order to amortize and defray the cost of the construction, maintenance, and operation of those facilities.
Sec. 1521.16.  (A) Any person who owns a facility that has the capacity to withdraw waters of the state in an amount greater than one hundred thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period from all sources and whose construction is completed before January 1, 1990, shall register the facility by January 1, 1991, with the chief of the division of soil and water resources, and any person who owns a facility that has the capacity to withdraw waters of the state in such an amount and whose construction is completed on or after January 1, 1990, shall register the facility with the chief within three months after the facility is completed. The In addition, any person who owns a facility that has the capacity to divert any amount of water from the area of the Great Lakes basin within this state to another basin shall register the facility within three months of the effective date of this amendment or within three months after the facility is completed. For purposes of collecting information relating to the future cumulative impact of withdrawals from certain watersheds, the chief may lower the threshold for registration of withdrawals in distressed water resource areas. The chief also may require a facility in a distressed water resource area to submit additional information on the withdrawal and increase the frequency of reporting.
The person shall register the facility using a form prescribed by the chief that shall include, without limitation, the name and address of the registrant and date of registration; the locations and sources of the facility's water supply; the facility's withdrawal capacity per day and the amount withdrawn from each source; where applicable, the facility's diversion capacity per day and the amount diverted from each source; the uses made of the water, places of use, and places of discharge; and such other information as the chief may require by rule.
The registration date of any facility whose construction was completed prior to January 1, 1990, and that is registered under this division prior to January 1, 1991, shall be January 1, 1990. The registration date of any facility whose construction was completed prior to January 1, 1990, and that is required to register under this division prior to January 1, 1991, but that is not registered prior to that date, and the registration date of any facility whose construction was completed after January 1, 1990, and that is required to register under this division shall be the date on which the registration is received by the chief.
(B) In accordance with division (D) of this section, the chief shall adopt rules establishing standards and criteria for determining when an area of ground water or surface water is a ground distressed water stress resource area, the geographic limits of such an area, and a threshold withdrawal capacity for the area below which registration under this division shall not be required. The chief shall establish the standards and criteria by utilizing the science-based assessment process developed under section 1522.12 of the Revised Code. At any time following the adoption of those rules, the chief may by order designate an area of ground water or surface water as a ground distressed water stress resource area and shall establish in any such order a threshold withdrawal capacity for the area below which registration under this division shall not be required. The order also shall establish any reporting requirements for facilities in the designated area.
An elected official of a political subdivision may petition the chief to issue an order designating an area of ground water or surface water as a distressed water resource area. The petition shall specify the reasons why the official believes that grounds exist for the designation. Within sixty days after receiving such a petition, the chief shall make a determination on the petition. If the chief determines that grounds exist for the petition to be granted, the chief shall issue an order designating a distressed water resource area and establish the threshold capacity for registration and any other reporting requirements for facilities within the area. Such a decision may be appealed to the water resources commission pursuant to section 1522.20 of the Revised Code.
Following the designation of a ground distressed water stress resource area, the chief immediately shall give notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the designated area that shall include a map delineating the designated ground water stress area and a statement of the threshold withdrawal capacity established for the area below which registration under this division shall not be required and any reporting requirements for facilities within the area. The notice shall not appear in the legal notices section of the newspaper. Any person who owns a facility in the designated ground distressed water stress resource area that is not registered under division (A) of this section and that has the capacity to withdraw waters of the state in an amount greater than the threshold withdrawal capacity for the area from all sources shall register the facility with the chief not later than thirty days after publication of the notice. A person registering a facility under this division shall do so using a form prescribed by the chief. The form shall include the information specified in division (A) of this section. The person also shall submit any additional information at intervals established by the chief.
(C) Any person who owns a facility registered under division (A) or (B) of this section shall file a report annually with the chief listing the amount of water withdrawn per day by the facility, the amount of water diverted per day, if applicable, the return flow per day, and any other information the chief may require by rule. A person who owns a facility registered under division (A) or (B) of this section that is within the area of the state in the Great Lakes basin shall certify that the person has reviewed the environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures developed for the facility's water use sector in rules adopted under Chapter 1522. of the Revised Code. The person also shall list the general categories of environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures adopted by the person and the amount of water conserved per day by category. Any person who, under Chapter 6109. of the Revised Code, provides such information to the Ohio environmental protection agency is exempt from reporting under this division. The director of environmental protection shall provide the chief any such reported information upon request.
(D) A person who owns a facility registered under division (A) or (B) of this section shall submit a fee annually to the chief in the following amount:
(1) Two hundred fifty dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than two hundred fifty thousand gallons per day up to and including five hundred thousand gallons per day;
(2) Five hundred dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than five hundred thousand gallons per day up to and including one million gallons per day;
(3) Four thousand dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than one million gallons per day up to and including five million gallons per day;
(4) Five thousand five hundred dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than five million gallons per day up to and including ten million gallons per day;
(5) Seven thousand dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than ten million gallons per day up to and including fifty million gallons per day;
(6) Eight thousand five hundred dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than fifty million gallons per day up to and including one hundred million gallons per day;
(7) Ten thousand dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than one hundred million gallons per day.
The fees assessed under this division shall be annually indexed to inflation. The fees shall be credited to the water management fund created in section 1501.32 of the Revised Code.
A person who owns a facility registered under division (A) or (B) of this section that has the capacity to withdraw two hundred fifty thousand gallons per day or less is not required to submit a fee under this division.
(E) The chief shall adopt, and may amend or rescind, rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to carry out this section.
(E)(F)(1) No person knowingly shall fail to register a facility or file a report as required under this section.
(2) No person shall file a false report under this section. Violation of division (E)(F)(2) of this section is falsification under section 2921.13 of the Revised Code.
(F)(G) At the request of the director of natural resources, the attorney general may commence a civil action to compel compliance with this section, in a court of common pleas, against any person who has violated or is violating division (E)(F)(1) of this section. The court of common pleas in which a civil action is commenced under this division has jurisdiction to and shall compel compliance with this section upon a showing that the person against whom the action is brought has violated or is violating that division.
Any action under this division is a civil action, governed by the rules of civil procedure and other rules of practice and procedure applicable to civil actions.
Sec. 1522.03. (A) Subject to the limitations established in division (B) of section 1522.05 of the Revised Code, the director of natural resources The chief of the division of soil and water resources shall do both of the following:
(1) Adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the implementation, administration, and enforcement of this chapter;
(2) Enforce the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources compact and take appropriate actions to effectuate its purposes and intent.
(B) Subject to the limitations established in division (B) of section 1522.05 of the Revised Code, any Any appropriate state agency or governmental officer shall enforce the compact and take appropriate actions to effectuate its purpose and intent.
Sec. 1522.05. (A) Pursuant to Section 9.2 of the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources compact, the governor may take such actions as are necessary for the initial organization and operation of the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources council created in Section 2.1 of the compact. Agencies of the state are hereby authorized to cooperate with the council.
(B)(1) The governor, the department of natural resources, or any other agency of the state shall not adopt rules or implement any program regulating the use, withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion of water pursuant to Sections 4.10 and 4.12.2 of the compact unless the general assembly enacts legislation after the effective date of this section authorizing the implementation of the program or adoption of rules.
In addition, the governor, the department of natural resources, or any other agency of the state shall not adopt rules or implement any mandatory program governing water conservation and efficiency pursuant to Section 4.2 of the compact unless the general assembly enacts legislation after the effective date of the compact authorizing the implementation of the program or adoption of rules. However, the governor, the department of natural resources, or any other agency of the state may adopt rules concerning and may implement voluntary water conservation and efficiency programs without authorization from the general assembly. Such voluntary programs shall not include any mandatory requirements.
(2) Division (B)(1) of this section does not prohibit the effectuation of Sections 4.8 and 4.9 of the compact after the effective date of the compact or prohibit the continued implementation and enforcement by the governor or applicable agencies of this state of laws, rules, or programs regulating the use, withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion of water that are in effect on or before the effective date of this section.
Sec. 1522.10.  As used in sections 1522.10 to 1522.22 of the Revised Code:
(A) "Aquifer" means a consolidated or unconsolidated geologic formation or series of formations that are hydraulically interconnected and that have the ability to receive, store, or transmit water.
(B) "Baseline capacity" means all of the following:
(1) For a facility with the capacity to make a withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion as of December 8, 2008, the capacity of the facility as reported in the baseline list submitted by the department of natural resources to the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources compact council on December 8, 2009, or as determined by the chief of the division of soil and water resources on the basis of sufficient documentation prescribed by the chief;
(2) For a facility that developed the capacity to make a withdrawal or consumptive use after December 8, 2008, but before the effective date of this section, the capacity of the facility as determined by the chief on the basis of sufficient documentation prescribed by the chief;
(3) For a facility that develops the capacity to make a withdrawal or consumptive use after the effective date of this section, the capacity of the facility specified in a permit issued for the facility under section 1522.14 of the Revised Code;
(4) For a facility that developed or develops the capacity to make a diversion after December 8, 2008, the capacity of the facility specified in a permit issued for the facility under section 1522.15 of the Revised Code.
"Baseline capacity" includes only the capacity of a facility that is representative of the state of the systems at the facility and that is based on approved withdrawal or consumptive use limits for the facility or the most restrictive capacity information available for the facility.
(C) "Compact" means the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources compact as set forth in section 1522.01 of the Revised Code.
(D) "Consumptive use," "environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures," and "person" have the same meanings as in the compact.
(E) "Facility" has the same meaning as in section 1521.01 of the Revised Code.
(F) "Ground water" means all water occurring in an aquifer.
(G) "High-quality streams and rivers" means those stream and river segments to which either of the following applies:
(1) The stream or river segment is designated by the director of environmental protection under section 6111.041 of the Revised Code as a beneficial use for exceptional warmwater aquatic life habitat or coldwater aquatic life habitat.
(2) The stream or river segment is categorized by the director under division (A)(2) of section 6111.12 of the Revised Code as an outstanding state water or superior high quality water.
(H) "Large watershed" means any watershed that is greater than three hundred square miles in size as determined by the chief.
(I) "Medium watershed" means any watershed that is at least one hundred square miles in size, but not greater than three hundred square miles in size as determined by the chief.
(J) "Rule" or "rules" mean a rule or rules adopted by the chief under sections 1522.11 to 1522.22 of the Revised Code in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
(K) "Small watershed" means any watershed that is less than one hundred square miles in size as determined by the chief.
(L) "Stream or river" means a water body having a channel with a well defined bed and banks, either natural or artificial, that confine and conduct continuous or periodic flowing water.
(M) "Surface water" includes all streams, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, marshes, wetlands, bays, estuaries, or other waterways that are situated wholly or partially within the boundaries of this state except those private waters that do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface or underground waters.
(N) "Withdrawal" has the same meaning as in the compact and also means one or more cumulative total withdrawals of water that supply a common distribution system.
Sec. 1522.11.  (A) Not later than six months after the effective date of this section, the chief of the division of soil and water resources shall establish by rule conservation and efficiency goals and objectives in accordance with section 4.2.1 of the compact.
(B) Not later than one year after the effective date of this section, the chief, following public notice and comment, shall adopt rules establishing a water conservation and efficiency program in accordance with section 4.2 of the compact that is consistent with the goals and objectives established under division (A) of this section. The program shall include, without limitation, development of environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures for each water use sector and promotion of those measures. The measures for each sector shall be reviewed at least every ten years.
(C) In implementing divisions (A) and (B) of this section, the chief shall give consideration to the Ohio great lakes compact advisory board's recommendations in its December 15, 2010, final report.
(D) Not later than three months after completion of the review by the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources council under section 4.2.3 of the compact, the chief shall conduct a review of the goals and objectives established under division (A) of this section and the program established in rules adopted under division (B) of this section.
Sec. 1522.12.  Not later than one year after the effective date of this section, the chief of the division of soil and water resources shall establish by rule a science-based assessment process for determining whether a withdrawal or consumptive use will cause significant individual or cumulative adverse resource impacts. The assessment process shall take into account all of the following:
(A) Quantitative standards to determine the impacts of ground water withdrawals on surface water, ground water, and water dependent natural resources;
(B) Quantitative standards that maintain stream flows protective of aquatic life;
(C) Source water quality;
(D) Impacts of cumulative withdrawals.
Sec. 1522.13.  (A) Not later than six months after the effective date of this section, a person who, as of the effective date of this section, is the owner of a facility with the capacity to make a withdrawal of water from the area of the state within the Great Lakes basin shall obtain a permit for the withdrawal capacity from the chief of the division of soil and water resources if any of the following applies:
(1) The capacity is to make a withdrawal from a high-quality stream or river in a small watershed, and the withdrawal capacity is greater than ten thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(2) The capacity is to make a withdrawal from a high-quality stream or river in a medium watershed, and the withdrawal capacity is greater than twenty-five thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(3) The capacity is to make a withdrawal from a source of water other than a source specified in division (A)(1) or (2) of this section, and the withdrawal capacity is greater than one hundred thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(B) The chief shall issue the permits required by this section to each facility in this state for which a permit is required under division (A) of this section. A permit issued by the chief under this section shall be for the baseline capacity of a facility and shall be subject to appropriate terms and conditions prescribed by the chief.
(C) A permit issued under this section shall be valid for a period of time specified by the chief, not to exceed ten years.
(D) A person who is issued a permit under this section shall submit an annual report to the chief with information the chief may require by rule.
(E) The following withdrawals are exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit under this section:
(1) Withdrawals used to supply vehicles, including vessels and aircraft, whether for the needs of the persons or animals being transported or for ballast or other needs related to the operation of the vehicles;
(2) Withdrawals used in a noncommercial project on a short-term basis for firefighting, humanitarian, or emergency response purposes;
(3) Withdrawals used for general residential purposes and serving fewer than twenty-five persons;
(4) Withdrawals from diffused surface water, including storm water retention ponds, private ponds, farm ponds, golf course ponds, nursery ponds, and those private waters that do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface or ground water.
(F) The capacity to make a withdrawal of water may not be transferred by the owner of a facility to another facility without obtaining a new permit under section 1522.14 of the Revised Code.
(G) Prior to the expiration date of a permit issued under this section and in accordance with rules, the permittee may submit an application for a renewal of the permit to the chief. The chief shall grant a permit renewal if the proposed withdrawal specified in the permit renewal application does not exceed the baseline capacity of the facility. However, the chief may grant a permit renewal if the proposed withdrawal exceeds the baseline capacity of the facility if all of the following apply:
(1) The withdrawal does not equal or exceed the threshold for an increased withdrawal under section 1522.14 of the Revised Code.
(2) The applicant demonstrates environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures to be utilized at the facility.
(3) The applicant complies with any other criteria that the chief may require by rule.
The renewal of a permit that authorizes a facility to exceed the baseline capacity of the facility does not constitute a modification of the baseline capacity for that facility.
(H) A renewal shall be valid for a period of time specified by the chief, not to exceed ten years. A permit renewal shall not be granted if the permitted capacity has not been utilized for the eight years prior to the application for the renewal.
Sec. 1522.14.  (A) Not later than six months after the effective date of this section, the chief of the division of soil and water resources shall establish a permitting program for new or increased withdrawals or consumptive uses of water from the area of the state within the Great Lakes basin. Except as provided in division (J) of this section and after the establishment of the permitting program, the following persons shall obtain a permit from the chief prior to making a new or increased withdrawal or consumptive use of water from the area of the state within the Great Lakes basin:
(1) A person who proposes to develop the capacity at a facility to make a new withdrawal or to increase a withdrawal beyond the baseline capacity of the facility from a stream or river that is not a high-quality stream or river if any of the following applies:
(a) The capacity will be to make a withdrawal from a stream or river within a small watershed, and the withdrawal capacity of the facility will be greater than one hundred thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(b) The capacity will be to make a withdrawal from a stream or river within a medium watershed, and the withdrawal capacity of the facility will be greater than two hundred fifty thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(c) The capacity will be to make a withdrawal from a stream or river within a large watershed, and the withdrawal capacity of the facility will be greater than one million gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(2) A person who proposes to develop the capacity at a facility to make a new withdrawal or to increase a withdrawal beyond the baseline capacity of the facility from a stream or river that is a high-quality stream or river if any of the following applies:
(a) The capacity will be to make a withdrawal from a stream or river within a small watershed, and the withdrawal capacity of the facility will be greater than ten thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(b) The capacity will be to make a withdrawal from a stream or river within a medium watershed, and the withdrawal capacity of the facility will be greater than twenty-five thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(c) The capacity will be to make a withdrawal from a stream or river within a large watershed, and the withdrawal capacity of the facility will be greater than one hundred thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(3) A person who proposes to develop the capacity at a facility to make a new withdrawal or to increase a withdrawal beyond the baseline capacity of the facility from ground water if either of the following applies:
(a) During the period from the effective date of this section until one year after the effective date of this section, the capacity will be to make a withdrawal from ground water, and the withdrawal capacity of the facility will be greater than five hundred thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(b) Beginning one year after the effective date of this section, the capacity will be to make a withdrawal from ground water, and the withdrawal capacity of the facility will be above a threshold or thresholds established in rules. The rules shall be adopted not later than one year after the effective date of this section. In adopting the rules, the chief shall use the science-based assessment process developed in rules adopted under section 1522.12 of the Revised Code.
(4) A person who owns a facility with a capacity to make a new withdrawal or to increase a withdrawal beyond the baseline capacity of the facility from Lake Erie if the withdrawal capacity of the facility will be greater than two million five hundred thousand gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period;
(5) A person who owns a facility with a capacity to make a new consumptive use or to increase a consumptive use beyond the baseline capacity of the facility if the consumptive use capacity of the facility will be greater than two million gallons per day averaged over any thirty-day period.
(B) A person shall apply for a permit under this section by submitting an application to the chief. The permit application shall contain the following information, as applicable:
(1) The withdrawal capacity per day of the facility for which a permit is sought if the withdrawal is to occur at a facility already in operation;
(2) The total new or increased daily withdrawal capacity proposed for the facility;
(3) The locations and sources of water proposed to be withdrawn;
(4) The locations of proposed discharges or return flows;
(5) The locations and nature of proposed consumptive uses;
(6) The estimated average annual and monthly volumes and rates of withdrawal;
(7) The estimated average annual and monthly volumes and rates of consumptive use;
(8) The effects the withdrawal is anticipated to have with respect to water resources;
(9) A description of alternative sources of water, if any, available to satisfy an applicant's withdrawal or consumptive use needs if the application is denied or modified;
(10) A description of the water conservation practices the applicant intends to utilize;
(11) Any other information the chief may require by rule.
(C) An applicant shall submit a permit fee in the following amount with the application for a permit under this section:
(1) Four hundred dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than two hundred fifty thousand gallons per day up to and including five hundred thousand gallons per day;
(2) Five hundred dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than five hundred thousand gallons per day up to and including one million gallons per day;
(3) Six hundred dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than one million gallons per day up to and including five million gallons per day;
(4) Seven hundred dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than five million gallons per day up to and including ten million gallons per day;
(5) Eight hundred dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than ten million gallons per day up to and including fifty million gallons per day;
(6) Nine hundred dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than fifty million gallons per day up to and including one hundred million gallons per day;
(7) One thousand dollars for the capacity to withdraw greater than one hundred million gallons per day.
The fees assessed under this division shall be annually indexed to inflation. The fees shall be credited to the water management fund created in section 1501.32 of the Revised Code.
A person that has the capacity to withdraw two hundred fifty thousand gallons per day or less is not required to submit a permit fee under this division.
(D) The chief shall provide public notice in a newspaper of local circulation and on the internet web site of the department of natural resources of the receipt of an application for a permit under this section. The chief shall provide a public comment period of not less than forty-five days prior to acting on the application. In accordance with section 6.2 of the compact, the chief shall assure public accessibility to all documents relevant to the application and shall make the record of decision available for public inspection.
(E) The chief shall issue a permit under this section if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) All water withdrawn will be returned, either naturally or after use, to the source watershed less an allowance for consumptive use.
(2) The withdrawal or consumptive use will be implemented so as to ensure that the proposal will result in no significant individual or cumulative adverse impacts.
(3) The withdrawal or consumptive use will be implemented so as to incorporate environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures.
(4) The withdrawal or consumptive use will be implemented so as to ensure that it is in compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws as well as regional, interstate, and international agreements, including the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909.
(5) The proposed use is reasonable based on a consideration of the following factors:
(a) Whether the proposed withdrawal or consumptive use is planned in a fashion that provides for the efficient use of the water and will avoid or minimize the waste of water;
(b) If the proposal is for an increased withdrawal or consumptive use, whether efficient use is made of existing water supplies;
(c) The balance between economic development, social development, and environmental protection of the proposed withdrawal or consumptive use and other existing or planned withdrawals and water uses sharing the water source;
(d) The supply potential of the water source, considering quantity, quality, and reliability and safe yield of hydrologically interconnected water sources;
(e) The probable degree of any adverse impacts caused or expected to be caused by the proposed withdrawal or consumptive use under foreseeable conditions to other lawful consumptive or nonconsumptive uses of water or to the quantity or quality of the waters and water dependent natural resources of the basin, and the proposed plans and arrangements for avoidance or mitigation of such impacts;
(f) Whether the proposal includes restoration of hydrologic conditions and functions of the source watershed.
(F) In determining whether to issue a permit or permit renewal under this section, the chief shall consider the permit application in light of the cumulative effect on the water source of other permit applications for withdrawals and consumptive uses submitted during the ten years prior to the submission of the application.
(G) A permit issued under this section shall be valid for a period of time specified by the chief, not to exceed ten years.
(H) Any person who is issued a permit under this section shall submit an annual report to the chief with information the chief may require by rule.
(I) The following withdrawals are exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit under this section:
(1) Withdrawals used to supply vehicles, including vessels and aircraft, whether for the needs of the persons or animals being transported or for ballast or other needs related to the operation of the vehicles;
(2) Withdrawals used in a noncommercial project on a short-term basis for firefighting, humanitarian, or emergency response purposes;
(3) Withdrawals used for general residential purposes and serving fewer than twenty-five persons;
(4) Withdrawals from diffused surface water, including storm water retention ponds, private ponds, farm ponds, golf course ponds, nursery ponds, and those private waters that do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface or ground water.
(J) The capacity to make a withdrawal of water may not be transferred by the owner of a facility to another facility without obtaining a new permit for the facility prior to the transfer.
(K) Prior to the expiration of a permit issued under this section and in accordance with rules, the permittee may submit an application for renewal of the permit to the chief. The chief shall grant a permit renewal without further review if a permittee demonstrates that the permittee is in compliance with all terms and conditions of the permit, and the permittee demonstrates through third-party verification that the permittee has implemented environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation practices that result in measurable conservation as defined by rule.
(L) A renewal shall be valid for a period of time specified by the chief, not to exceed ten years.
(M) The chief shall adopt rules necessary to administer this section, including rules that do all of the following:
(1) Provide guidance on standards for determining whether and when to conduct a public meeting or hearing concerning a permit application;
(2) Establish environmentally sound and economically feasible conservation measures required for permittees in each water use sector;
(3) Require permittees to improve water conservation as the adverse resource impact of a withdrawal or consumptive use increases.
Sec. 1522.15.  (A) A person who develops the capacity to make a new diversion from the area of the state within the Great Lakes basin to another basin, or develops the capacity to increase a diversion above the baseline capacity of the diversion from the area of the state within the Great Lakes basin to another basin, shall obtain a permit from the chief of the division of soil and water resources. The person shall submit an application for the permit to the chief in a manner prescribed by the chief.
(B) An application submitted under division (A) of this section shall be accompanied by a permit fee of five thousand dollars. The applicant also shall pay an amount equal to any fees imposed on the state related to review of the proposed diversion by the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources council or the regional body under the compact.
(C) The chief shall not approve a permit application submitted under division (A) of this section unless the application meets the requirements in section 4.9 of the compact. The chief also shall not approve such a permit application unless the applicant demonstrates all of the following:
(1) The need for all or part of the proposed diversion cannot be reasonably avoided through the efficient use and conservation of existing water supplies.
(2) The diversion will be implemented so as to incorporate environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures.
(3) The diversion, as demonstrated through third-party verification, will not introduce invasive species into the basin in which water is diverted.
(D) The chief shall hold a public hearing on an application submitted under division (A) of this section. The chief shall provide public notice in a newspaper of local circulation and on the internet web site of the department of natural resources of the receipt of the application and the date and location of the public hearing regarding the application. The chief shall provide a public comment period of not less than forty-five days prior to acting on the application. In accordance with section 6.2 of the compact, the chief shall assure public accessibility to all documents relevant to the application and shall make the record of decision available for public inspection.
(E) The director shall adopt rules establishing criteria and standards governing permits issued under this section. The rules shall include the establishment of standards for environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation practices applicable to permits issued under this section.
(F) The chief shall issue a permit to any person who had the capacity to make a diversion from the area of the state within the Great Lakes basin to another basin prior to December 9, 2008. The permit shall be for the baseline capacity of the diversion. A person who is eligible for a permit under this division shall file an application not later than three months after the effective date of this section. A person who applies for a permit under this division need not pay the application fee that is otherwise required under division (A) of this section.
Permits issued under this section shall be valid for a period of time specified by the chief, not to exceed ten years from the date of issuance.
Sec. 1522.16.  (A) A permit issued under this chapter does not grant a property right to withdraw water nor does it grant a property right in the reasonable use of water.
(B) In any determination of the reasonable use of water under common law or section 1521.17 of the Revised Code, the issuance of a permit under this chapter may only be conclusive as to whether a use is prior to another in the quantity claimed.
Sec. 1522.17.  Not later than three months after the department of natural resources participates in an assessment of cumulative impacts under section 4.15 of the compact, the chief of the division of soil and water resources shall issue a report on the status of the water supply potential of the area of the state within the Great Lakes basin; the locations of individual or cumulative adverse impacts; the methods that the chief plans to use to address adverse impacts; and the number of distressed water resource areas designated under section 1521.16 of the Revised Code. The report shall be submitted to the members of the general assembly and disseminated to the public through the department of natural resources' web site. The report shall be updated at least every five years.
Sec. 1522.18.  (A) If the chief of the division of soil and water resources finds that a person who makes a water withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion has violated any requirement of this chapter or rules adopted under it or the terms and conditions of a permit issued under it, the chief may issue an order directing the person to cease the violation. The order shall identify the facility where the violation has occurred or is occurring and the specific requirement violated and, when practicable, prescribe what action the person may take to comply with the order. The chief shall fix and specify in the order a reasonable date or time by which the person shall comply.
(B) The chief may issue an order immediately suspending a permit if the chief determines that a water withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion will endanger the public health, safety, or welfare. In addition, the chief may temporarily suspend permits for facilities that are located in a distressed water resource area designated under section 1521.16 of the Revised Code because of significant adverse impacts to water resources or water dependent natural resources. Before suspending a permit under this division, the chief shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the permittee that the chief intends to suspend the permit. If the attempt fails, notification shall be given as soon as practicable following the suspension. In accordance with section 1522.21 of the Revised Code, the permittee may appeal the suspension to the water resources commission, and the decision of the commission shall be issued not later than ten days after receipt of the notice of appeal. If the chief determines before the expiration date of a suspension that the water withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion can be resumed without significant adverse impacts to water resources or water dependent natural resources in a distressed water resource area, the chief, upon request of the permittee, shall reinstate the permit.
(C) An order of the chief affecting the rights, duties, or privileges of a person who makes a water withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion or of an applicant for a water withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion permit under this chapter shall be in writing and contain a finding by the chief of the facts on which the order is based. Notice of the order shall be given by certified mail to each person whose rights, duties, or privileges are affected. Notice also shall be provided to interested parties and neighboring water users in a manner prescribed by the chief.
Sec. 1522.19. (A) An elected official of a political subdivision may petition the chief of the division of soil and water resources for an investigation of a withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion of water resources alleged to be in violation of any requirement of this chapter, a rule adopted under it, or the terms and conditions of a permit issued under it. The petition shall identify the permittee and specify the reasons why the official believes that grounds exist for an order to be issued under section 1522.18 of the Revised Code. Upon receipt of the petition, the chief shall send a copy to the permittee and, within sixty days, make a determination as to whether grounds exist to issue an order under section 1522.18 of the Revised Code.
(B) Any aggrieved person, in accordance with section 7.3 of the compact, may commence a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel a person to comply with this chapter, a rule adopted under it, or the terms and conditions of a permit issued under it.
Sec. 1522.20.  (A) There is hereby created the water resources commission consisting of three members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. A member of the commission shall have knowledge of or experience in water withdrawal technology, ecology, hydrology, or environmental or natural resources laws of this state. At least one member of the commission shall have a background in economic development or job creation. At least two members shall represent the public interest. Not more than two members shall belong to the same political party. No member shall be currently on the payroll of, or receiving pension or other benefits from, a registered user under section 1521.16 of the Revised Code or the owner of a facility for which a permit has been issued under this chapter.
(B) Terms of office for members of the commission shall be for six years, commencing on the twenty-ninth day of June and ending on the twenty-eighth day of June, except that the terms of the initial members appointed to the commission shall be for two, four, and six years as designated by the governor at the time of the appointment. Each member shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which the appointment was made. Each vacancy occurring on the commission shall be filled by appointment within sixty days after the vacancy occurs. A member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of that term. A member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of the member's term until the member's successor takes office.
(C) The commission may appoint a secretary to hold office at the commission's pleasure and shall appoint one or more hearing officers to assist the commission who shall be attorneys at law admitted to practice in this state. A commission member may serve as secretary. The secretary and hearing officers shall perform duties prescribed by the commission and shall receive compensation fixed by the commission in accordance with schedules that are established by law for the compensation of state employees.
(D) A member of the commission shall be reimbursed for all travel, hotel, and other expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of the member's work as a member. Those expenses shall be paid in accordance with rules of the office of budget and management. Members of the commission shall receive no other compensation.
(E) Annually one member shall be elected as chairperson of the commission and another member shall be elected as vice-chairperson.
(F) The governor may remove a member of the commission from office for inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance. Prior to removing a member, the governor shall deliver to the member the charges against the member in writing with at least ten days' written notice of the time and place at which the governor will publicly hear the member and the charges against the member. If the member is removed from office, the governor shall file in the office of the secretary of state a complete statement of the charges made against the member and a complete report of the proceedings. The action of the governor removing a member from office is final.
(G) The commission shall adopt rules governing procedures of appeals and practice before the commission and may, for its own internal management, adopt rules that do not affect private rights.
(H) The commission shall have its own operating budget independent of any state agency or other commission.
Sec. 1522.21.  (A)(1) As used in this section, "order" includes a modification, vacation, or termination of an order, but does not include an order that adopts a rule.
(2) Any person that is or may be aggrieved or adversely affected by an order or decision of the chief of the division of soil and water resources under this chapter may appeal the order or decision. The appeal shall be made by filing a notice of appeal with the water resources commission for review of the order or decision not later than thirty days after the order is issued or the decision is made. The person also shall file a copy of the notice of appeal with the chief not later than three days after filing the notice of appeal with the commission. The notice of appeal shall contain a copy of the order or decision complained of and the grounds on which the appeal is based. The commission has exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide such appeals. The filing of a notice of appeal under division (A)(2) of this section does not operate as a stay of any order or decision of the chief.
(3) Upon the filing of a notice of appeal, the commission shall conduct a hearing de novo and render a decision in a timely fashion. The appellant, the chief, and other interested persons shall be given written notice of the time and place of the hearing at least thirty days prior to the hearing. The hearing shall be of record. For the purpose of conducting a de novo hearing, the commission shall hear evidence and testimony from witnesses and may require the attendance of witnesses and the production of written or printed materials.
(B) If, upon completion of a hearing, the commission finds that the order or decision of the chief was lawful and reasonable, it shall issue a written order affirming the order or decision of the chief. If the commission finds that the order or decision was unlawful or unreasonable, it shall issue a written order vacating or modifying the order or decision of the chief or remanding the action to the chief for further proceedings consistent with its order.
(C) The commission may grant appropriate interim relief pending final determination of an appeal if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) All parties to the appeal have been notified and given an opportunity to be heard on a request for interim relief.
(2) The person requesting the relief shows that there is a substantial likelihood that the person will prevail on the merits.
(3) The relief will not adversely affect public health or safety or cause significant imminent environmental harm to water resources or water dependent natural resources.
Sec. 1522.22.  (A) Any party aggrieved or adversely affected by a decision of the water resources commission, including a decision granting or denying interim relief, may appeal the decision. The appeal shall be made to the court of appeals of Franklin county, which shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear appeals of decisions rendered by the commission.
(B) Any party desiring to make an appeal under this section shall file with the commission a notice of appeal designating the order appealed. A copy of the notice also shall be filed by the appellant with the court, and a copy shall be sent by certified mail to the chief of the division of soil and water resources unless the chief is the party appealing the order. Notices shall be filed and mailed not later than thirty days after the date on which the appellant received notice from the commission by certified mail of the issuance of the order appealed. No appeal bond shall be required to make an appeal effective.
(C) The filing of a notice of appeal shall not automatically operate as a suspension of the order of the commission. If it appears to the court that an unjust hardship to the appellant will result from the execution of the commission's order pending determination of the appeal, the court may grant a suspension of the order and fix its terms.
(D) Not later than twenty days after receipt of the notice of appeal, the commission shall prepare and file in the court the complete record of proceedings out of which the appeal arises, including any transcript of the testimony and any other evidence that has been submitted before the commission. The expense of preparing and transcribing the record shall be taxed as a part of the costs of the appeal. The appellant, other than the state or a political subdivision, or an agency of either, or any officer of either acting in a representative capacity, shall provide security for costs satisfactory to the court. Upon demand by a party, the commission shall furnish at the cost of the party requesting the record a copy of the record. If the complete record is not filed within the time provided for in this division, any party may apply to the court to have the case docketed, and the court shall order the record filed.
(E) In hearing the appeal, the court is confined to the record as certified to it by the commission. The court may grant a request for the admission of additional evidence when satisfied that such additional evidence is newly discovered and could not with reasonable diligence have been ascertained prior to the hearing before the commission.
(F) At the hearing, counsel may be heard on oral argument, briefs may be submitted, and evidence may be introduced if the court has granted a request for the presentation of additional evidence.
(G) The court shall affirm the order complained of in the appeal if it finds, upon consideration of the entire record and any additional evidence that the court has admitted, that the order is supported by reliable, probative, and substantial evidence and is in accordance with law. In the absence of such a finding, it shall reverse, vacate, or modify the order or make another ruling that is supported by reliable, probative, and substantial evidence and is in accordance with law.
Sec. 1522.23.  (A) At the request of the chief of the division of soil and water resources, the attorney general may commence a civil action in a court of common pleas against a person who has violated or is violating this chapter or a rule adopted or an order or term or condition of a permit issued under it. An action under this division is a civil action governed by the rules of civil procedure and other rules of practice and procedure applicable to civil actions.
A person who has violated or is violating this chapter or a rule adopted or an order or term or condition of a permit issued under it is liable for a civil penalty of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars for the violation and an additional civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for each day during which the violation continues. In addition, the person may be enjoined from continuing the violation.
(B) Any aggrieved person may commence a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel a person to comply with this chapter if that person made a withdrawal, consumptive use, or diversion that is prohibited under this chapter or failed to obtain a permit for a withdrawal or consumptive use under this chapter. Not later than sixty days before commencing the action, the aggrieved person shall provide notice to the chief, the great lakes-st. Lawrence river basin water resources compact council, and the person alleged to be in noncompliance. No civil action may be taken if the chief or the council has commenced and is diligently pursuing appropriate enforcement actions to compel compliance. The prevailing or substantially prevailing party may recover the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, whenever the court determines that such an award is appropriate.
Sec. 1522.99.  A person who knowingly files a false report that is required under this chapter or otherwise submits to the chief of the division of soil and water resources a document pursuant to this chapter that contains false information is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
Section 2.  That existing sections 1501.30, 1501.32, 1501.33, 1521.01, 1521.04, 1521.16, 1522.03, and 1522.05 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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