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Reporting a Discharge or Manure Spill

Definitions (OAC 901:10-1-01)

Discharge means to add any pollutant or combination of pollutants from a point source to waters of the state.

Manure Spill means any unexpected, unintended, abnormal or unapproved dumping, leakage, drainage, seepage, discharge, release or other loss of manure. The term does not included releases to impermeable surfaces when the substance does not migrate off the surface or penetrate the surface and enter the soil.


No person to whom a permit has been issued shall discharge or cause to be discharged, in any waters of the state any manure, pollutants, or storm water resulting from an animal feeding facility in excess of the permissive discharges specified under an existing permit.

Emergency Response Plan

The Permit to Operate for each permitted facility includes an Emergency Response Plan that has procedures to be followed in the event of a manure spill that might result in imminent or actual discharge to waters of the state. These procedures include:

  • actions to contain or manage the spill;
  • identification of proper authorities to be contacted;
  • actions to mitigate any adverse effects of a spill;
  • identification of equipment and clean-up materials to be used in the event of a spill.

Procedure for Reporting a Discharge and Manure Spill

The farm owner or operator shall report by telephone the following information to the Division of Livestock Environmental Permitting (DLEP) after first acknowledging a discharge or manure spill (in no case more than 24 hours):

  • The times at which the discharge or manure spill occurred and was discovered.
  • The approximate amount and the characteristics of the discharge or manure spill.
  • The waters of the state affected by the discharge or manure spill.
  • The circumstances which created the discharge or manure spill.
  • The names and telephone numbers of persons who have knowledge of these circumstances.
  • Those steps currently being taken to clean up the discharge or manure spill.
  • The names and telephone numbers of persons responsible for the cleanup.

The owner or operator should call the DLEP office at (614) 387-0470 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or at (800) 282-1955 (ask for DLEP) after business hours.

For a discharge that reaches waters of the state, the owner or operator is required to call the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's spill hotline at (800) 282-9378. More information regarding the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's Division of Environmental Response, Investigation and Enforcement (OEPA-DERIE) can be found at the website http://epa.ohio.gov/derie/Home. 

If applicable, the owner or operator should also notify appropriate local authorities.

The owner or operator shall also file a written report of the occurrence in letter form within five (5) days following first knowledge of the occurrence, unless the director allows an extension of time or waives the reporting requirement. This report shall outline the actions taken or proposed to be taken to correct the problem, and to ensure that the problem does not recur.

Non-Permitted Livestock and Poultry Farms

In the event of a discharge, small and medium-sized livestock and poultry farms should contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Soil and Water Conservation at (614) 265-6610, or the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's spill hotline at (800) 282-9378.