News and Analysis
Ohio EPA Releases Updated Storm Water Permit
Ohio EPA released this week an updated storm water general permit. This permit includes a host of new industry sectors and contains a number of new requirements.
The OMA worked with Ohio EPA to improve its original proposal. Among changes included in the final permit was the delay of sampling benchmarks until data can be collected to ensure the benchmarks are set appropriately.
OMA environmental counsel Frank Merrill’s analysis is here.
Extended Producer Liability Legislation Introduced
Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) introduced Senate Bill 253 which sets up an extended producer liability framework in Ohio. The legislation would require manufacturers of consumer electronics to register with Ohio EPA and include in their registration a description of its take-back program operated by the manufacturer.
The OMA has historically opposed this type of regulation, especially where the private market already addresses the issue. The bill has not been scheduled for a hearing.
OMA Urges Delay of New Storm Water Permit
The OMA sent a letter to Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally last week asking that the proposed storm water general permit (SWGP) be delayed to allow for additional scientific study.
In its letter the OMA and its allies wrote: “Because of the imprecise science of establishing benchmarks based on literature without any industry-specific or site-specific information, we encourage Ohio EPA to revise the proposed SWGP to allow for four years of monitoring only for the specified parameters by industry sector. During the first four years of the SWGP, the results of such annual monitoring would be submitted to Ohio EPA for evaluation. For the last six months of the fourth year of the SWGP, Ohio EPA should meet with the affected industries to determine the appropriate benchmarks for the monitored parameters.”
No Charge Webinar on U.S. EPA GHG Reporting Rule on December 13
Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs is hosting a no charge webinar on Tuesday, December 13 from Noon until 1:30 p.m. on U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule and its effect on Ohio companies. The impact of the rule will be examined from several different perspectives by a panel of speakers, including:
- Kevin Crist, Director, Center for Air Quality, Ohio University
- Bob Hodanbosi, Chief, Division on Air Pollution Control, Ohio EPA
- Sean Hogan, Senior Analyst, U.S. EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program/Office of Atmospheric Programs
- Andrew D. Shroads, QEP, Senior Air Quality Specialist/Regional Director, Sanford Cohen & Associates, Inc.
- Moderator: Michael Zimmer, Executive in Residence, Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
Email Elissa Welch to register.
More Restrictive Great Lakes Compact Unveiled
This week Governor Kasich produced a revamped proposal to regulate large-scale water withdrawals from the Great Lakes watershed. Earlier this year Kasich vetoed Republican legislation to adopt regulations, saying that the proposal didn’t go far enough to protect Lake Erie.
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon), stopped short of offering endorsement, saying parts of the bill are going to “allow way too much future regulation potential by a future governor” that could diminish the ability to draw the water.
Representative Wachtmann tells the Columbus Dispatch that the governor’s proposal lowers the limits of what can be withdrawn from Lake Erie without a permit from five million gallons a day in the prior bill to two-and-one-half million gallons. Similarly, according to Wachtmann, the governor’s new proposal reduces withdrawals from rivers from two million gallons per day to one million.
Interested members should contact OMA’s Ryan Augsburger.
OMA Urges Caution (Again) on Boiler MACT
The OMA joined with the NAM to express continued concern about U.S. EPA’s proposed Boiler MACT regulations. A joint-letter to Senator Sherrod Brown and other key members of the U.S. Senate urges support for bi-partisan legislation (S.1392) that would provide a more certain path forward to achievable rule implementation. The legislation encourages EPA to use existing discretion to provide less costly alternatives.
Ohio EPA Announces E3 Recognition Program
The Ohio EPA’s new Encouraging Environmental Excellence (ƐЗ) program recognizes small to large businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, governments and others committed to environmental excellence. The program rewards those who reduce waste, improve efficiency and work to continuously improve as an environmental steward.
“If you’re doing something great for the environment, tell us about it,” says Ohio EPA Director Scott J. Nally. “By recognizing Ohio businesses and other organizations, we can improve Ohio’s environment through innovation and efficiency.”
U.S. EPA Regulations Under Scrutiny
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is asking U.S. senators to co-sponsor the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (S. 1392), aimed at protecting manufacturers from punitive U.S. EPA regulations.
The NAM is asking companies to sign a letter expressing concerns with the regulations in question and urge these senators to co-sponsor the legislation. Click here for resource materials and to take action.
Director Nally at the OMA this Week
Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally visited with the OMA Environment Committee this week to discuss the agency’s priorities, including a reform bill aimed at cleaning up outdated regulations within the agency.
The committee also heard from Bob Paduchik of the American Coalition for a Clean Coal Economy. Paduchik spoke on the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and other U.S. EPA proposals that could result in Ohio utilities shutting down inexpensive coal-fired power plants.
Full committee materials can be found here and here.
OMA Environment Committee Materials – 11/10/2011