The Maumee Area of Concern was established in 1987 in accordance with the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, overseen by the International Joint Commission, which defined Areas of Concern. The Maumee RAP committee, set up originally under TMACOG (Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments) was made up government officials, businesses and industries, universities and other interested individuals with a passion for cleaner water. The group was charged with developing a Remedial Action Plan or RAP. Today, the Maumee RAP Committee works for clean, clear and safe water within the greater Toledo area through public education and empowerment, restoration projects, collaboration of partners and volunteer opportunities under the PCS umbrella.
The work of the Maumee RAP and its partners, including Ohio EPA, occurs in three stages aiming to permanently improve water quality of the rivers and streams of the Area of Concern by correcting and removing biological and chemical issues, or Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs). The Maumee Area of Concern has 11 Beneficial Use Impairments that impair waterways that ultimately flow into Lake Erie. These issues are being address by;
Stage 1 – Identification of environmental problems and sources (completed in 1992)
Stage 2 – Elimination of the pollution source to improve water quality (currently in progress)
Stage 3 – Protection of the improved location
The Maumee RAP undertook an ambitious effort to create the Maumee Area of Concern Stage 2 Watershed Restoration Plan, combining requirements from the International Joint Commission, USEPA’s, and Ohio’s watershed plan requirements in 2006. This regional plan helps guide the projects focused on restoring the impacted waterways. For some funding opportunities, projects must be outlined in this watershed restoration plan or reviewed and supported by the Maumee RAP Committee. A new effort is underway to update this document and provide a dynamic, online mapping tool to focus work in the Area of Concern to accelerate progress at removing BUIs.
After much discussion the Maumee RAP Committee determined in early 2007 that their best path forward for efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability would be to form their own non-profit 501(c)3 organization and to leave the umbrella of TMACOG. In March 2007, Partners for Clean Streams (PCS) was officially created. Currently, the Maumee RAP Committee is one of PCS’s committees focusing on specific goals of addressing the Area of Concern’s Beneficial Use Impairments continuing to restore and improve the Maumee AOC.