The city of Toledo participates in multiple regional partnerships and planning efforts aimed at mitigating spills that could potentially impact sources of drinking water.

According to the Emergency Operations Base Plan for Lucas County and The City of Toledo, the city faces a risk of exposure to a hazardous materials release due to the concentration of chemical industries and transportation infrastructure located in and around the metropolitan area. In addition, due to its location where the Maumee River drains into Lake Erie, the city of Toledo’s drinking water supply has the potential to be impacted by upstream activities throughout the watershed. By investing in regional spill response planning efforts, the city increases the likelihood that upstream spills can be mitigated before reaching the drinking water intake in Lake Erie.

Through the Western Lake Erie Area Contingency Plan, the city collaborates with other local, state and federal agencies to respond to and mitigate any hazardous materials incidents that occur in the city. The plan describes the strategy for a coordinated response to a discharge or substantial threat of discharge of oil, a release of a hazardous substance from a vessel, offshore facility, or onshore facility operating within the boundaries of the coastal and inland area of Western Lake Erie. The Division of Environmental Services investigates the cause and source of the incident and assists with identifying potential hazardous conditions based on the type and quantity of hazardous materials involved. The division is also responsible for determining if any sewers or waterways are involved in an incident and collecting samples to further characterize any hazardous materials if necessary.

The Northwest Ohio and Michigan Mutual Aid District is a nonprofit organization of member companies whose primary purpose is to control and respond to industrial emergency response situations occurring within a 50-mile radius of the City. An emergency response could include water, land or airborne spill control, fire-fighting, hazardous material control and mitigation, or other situations that require specialized services available from members. These efforts are voluntary and supplemental to those of local emergency and contingency planning activities.

These collaborative planning efforts drive progress toward the Source Water Initiative’s third goal of ensuring that effective systems for spill prevention and response are accessible and in use by diverse stakeholders.