News and Analysis
When in Toledo this week, Governor Mike DeWine announced a new water quality initiative, H2Ohio. The initiative will be included in his proposed state budget which is expected to be unveiled today.
DeWine said the new initiative could provide funding of as much as $900 million over ten years to protect Ohio’s water quality.
Investments would be made in programs affecting state waters including Lake Erie and other rivers, lakes, and waterways. Efforts could include pollution prevention, land-based management programs, water-based restoration programs, as well as science, research and measurement. 3/14/2019
The proceeds of the increase would be used to provide more funding to the local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
The bill sponsor, Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township), also introduced this bill in the 132nd General Assembly. The OMA opposes the increase of the solid waste fee to protect the competitiveness of regulated entities. 3/14/2019
From OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore: “On February 26, 2019, EPA announced its decision to retain the current sulfur dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The current primary SO2 NAAQS of 75 parts per billion (ppb) averaged over one hour was established in 2010. …
“Several industry groups asserted that the current SO2 NAAQS was too tough and argued that EPA should weaken the standard. They recommended that EPA raise the NAAQS to 110 – 150 ppb, but environmental groups argued the standard was not protective enough of human health and should be lowered to 50 ppb. Ultimately, EPA rejected both arguments and determined the current standard “is requisite to protect public health, with an adequate margin of safety, from effects of SO2 in ambient air.” It noted that this was consistent with the April 2018 recommendation of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, an independent advisory board. EPA also supported its decision by reiterating that SO2 levels in the United States had dropped by more than 85 percent between 1990 and 2017 and more than 60 percent since 2010.
“As a result of this decision, revisions to state implementation plans will not be triggered, and existing sources will not face potential imposition of requirements for installation of additional controls for SO2. However, the one-hour standard remains a potential barrier to permitting new projects with significant SO2 emissions.”
Read the full post here. 3/1/2019
The Ohio Materials Marketplace is a free online platform of the Ohio EPA that allows businesses and organizations to connect and find reuse and recycling solutions for waste and by-product materials.
- Several new materials have been added to the marketplace including: scrap cardboard, expanded polystyrene foam, commingled recyclables, pallet racking, miscellaneous calcium compounds and more!
- 980 members are now in the marketplace.
- The marketplace has helped divert more than 1763 tons (3,526,830 pounds) from the landfill!
Ohio EPA will be hosting its Sustainability Conference in Columbus on April 17, 2019. More information about the conference and registration can be found here. 3/4/2019
In a February 26, 2019 special election,Toledo’s voters passed the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (the LEBOR). The LEBOR is an amendment to the City of Toledo’s Charter that creates a new cause of action for the violation of the right of Lake Erie and its watershed to “exist, flourish, and naturally evolve.”
The LEBOR initiative is similar to many other community rights proposals that seek to establish rights for natural resources that citizens can protect through legal action.
The corporations or entities that could be impacted by the LEBOR’s enactment range far and wide. Generally, companies that have an Ohio EPA issued water discharge permit authorizing them to discharge into surface waters within the Lake Erie watershed could be affected.
On February 27th, Drewes Farm Partnership v. City of Toledo was filed in federal court in Toledo, asserting many challenges to the LEBOR, including the argument that the LEBOR exceeds Toledo’s limited authority to pass legislation and is in violation of state and federal preemption laws. The Drewes case seeks a preliminary injunction to stop the LEBOR going into effect before its defects are litigated.
These, and other legal challenges, are anticipated in the near future, with industry groups, agricultural interest groups, and businesses all interested in challenging the LEBOR for its overreach and broad declarations.
More information can be found in this memorandum from OMA environmental counsel Bricker & Eckler LLP. 2/28/2019
Ohio EPA Offers Compliance Help with Conditional Exemption for Hazardous Waste Contaminated Wipes and ApparelMarch 1, 2019
The Ohio EPA has established a web page to help manufacturers interested in taking advantage of the recently introduced conditional exemption for hazardous waste contaminated wipes and apparel that are laundered and returned for reuse.
The exemption includes – but is not limited to – rags, mops, drop cloths, and apparel (for example, gloves, uniforms, smocks and coveralls), which can be made of woven or unwoven and natural or synthetic materials (fabric, leather or rubber-like material).
Because many of these contaminated textiles are intended to be cleaned onsite or sent to a laundry or similar facility for cleaning, they may be excluded from the hazardous waste regulations provided the facility that generated the material meets all conditions of the exclusion. 2/28/2019
The bill creates and funds a comprehensive statewide watershed planning structure to be implemented by local soil and water conversation districts to encourage efficient crop growth, soil conservation and water protection methods.
Governor DeWine has indicated that his state budget would take a comprehensive look at Lake Erie and ways to reduce the impacts of agricultural runoff and the resulting nutrient loading of Lake Erie.
OMA members remain heavily involved in water quality issues and are working to protect manufacturers’ interests in any Ohio water quality plan. If you are interested in water issues, please contact OMA’s Rob Brundrett. 2/21/2019
A number of Ohio EPA reports are due in the first half of 2019. Ohio EPA sent letters on January 30th to regulated facilities to remind them of these annual reporting requirements.
The reports coming due in April include:
- Annual Emissions Report, due April 15
- Title V Compliance Certification, due April 30
- Quarterly Compliance Report, due April 30
If you need assistance, please use these links and contacts:
- Emissions Reporting Guidance & Training
- Training Videos
- Customer Support Center FAQ – Search for answers or ask new questions
- Air Services Access: Linda Lazich, (614) 644-3626
- Air Services Software Support, Emissions Reporting or Facility Profile: Safaa El-Oraby, (614) 644-3571
- eBusiness Center PIN or Password: eBiz Helpdesk, (877) 372-2499
This week OMA President Eric Burkland and Public Policy Director Rob Brundrett sat down with the new Ohio EPA Director Laurie Stevenson and Assistant Director Laura Factor.
Director Stevenson is no stranger to the manufacturing community. The director has worked at Ohio EPA in a wide variety of positions including the head of business relations.
Director Stevenson will be at the OMA Environment Committee meeting on April 10 to discuss the agency’s priorities and any state budget issues. All members welcome; you can register here. 2/14/2019
New Ohio EPA Director Laurie Stevenson (center) with Assistant Director Laura Factor, and OMA’s Rob Brundrett
This week the OMA submitted general comments in response to Ohio EPA’s Early Stakeholder Outreach for its Application of Biological Survey Data to Development of Water Quality Based Effluent Limitations (OAC 3745-2-03).
The new rule is intended to provide clarification and additional detail regarding when and how the biocriteria narrative should be used, as well as define what information is needed by Ohio EPA in order evaluate a request to use the biocriteria narrative.
OMA’s Rob Brundrett is following the issue; contact him if you have questions.2/7/2018