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Ohio EPA Materials Marketplace – One Year Later

August 10, 2018

The Ohio EPA’s Ohio Materials Marketplace is a free online platform that allows businesses and organizations to connect to find reuse and recycling solutions for waste and by-product materials.

The organization has recently published its one-year report, which claims that 3,362,000 pounds of material have been diverted from Ohio landfills as a result of the service. 8/9/2018

OMA Comments to Ohio EPA re. Textile Exclusion

August 3, 2018

On Tuesday, Ohio EPA held a public hearing on its latest iteration of the Hazardous Waste Laundered Textile Exclusion rule proposal. The OMA was the only organization that attended to provide comments.

OMA’s Rob Brundrett, Director, Public Policy Services, said in his formal comments: “Placing more stringent requirements in Ohio versus neighboring states that already operate textile-exclusion policies has the potential of placing Ohio manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage or creating a system that does not conform with generally accepted environmentally safe practices. Consequently, the OMA reiterates its belief that Ohio should consider those rules already adopted by neighboring states,” and that “instead of creating and implementing an entirely novel regulatory scheme for textile exclusion, Ohio EPA should consider and adopt the approach taken by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.”

Ohio EPA will continue to prepare the rules and will be responding to the OMA comments. 8/1/2018

Ohio EPA Releases Proposed Rule Changes for Indirect Discharge Permits

August 3, 2018

Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water issued a Notice of Interested Party Review for Pretreatment and Indirect Discharge Permit (IDP) Program rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC Chapters 3745-3 and 3745-36).

Currently, the Pretreatment and IDP rules overlap with one another quite significantly, and the IDP rules frequently cross-reference the Pretreatment rules. The proposed revisions expand the IDP rules so that all the applicable requirements are explicitly stated within that chapter (OAC 3745-36).

The bulk of the changes are more in the spirit of re-organization than they are imposing entirely new terms. There is one substantive change to note: Under the reorganized rules, non-significant categorical industrial users that do not fall under the jurisdiction of a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) operating their own pretreatment program (per OAC Chapter 3745-3) will now need to obtain an indirect discharge permit pursuant to OAC Chapter 3745-36.

Please see this comparison from OMA environmental counsel, Bricker & Eckler, which details the current versus proposed rules and this Ohio EPA document that helps illustrate the difference between the two rule chapters.

Comments to the rules are due August 10. Please contact OMA’s Rob Brundrett with questions or if you would like to comment. 8/2/2018

Ohio EPA Compliance Conference is Oct. 30-31

July 20, 2018

On October 30-31, Ohio EPA will host its 10th Compliance Assistance Conference at the Marriott Northwest in Dublin, Ohio.

The conference provides information and contacts to help organizations with environmental compliance responsibilities.

A large part of the conference is targeted to those who need to know the basics about environmental compliance. However, the agenda also includes advanced topics, such as Title V permits and reporting and a special four-hour Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) session.

There also will be a plenary panel session from EPA program chiefs who will share priorities and cover hot topics.

The complete conference agenda and registration information is available here. 7/18/2018

Governor Kasich Signs Lake Erie Executive Order, Manufacturers Mostly Shielded

July 13, 2018

On Wednesday, Governor Kasich signed an Executive Order, Taking Steps to Protect Lake Erie, that would tighten regulations on farming operations in newly-designated “watersheds in distress.”

The order directs the Department of Agriculture to designate eight different Lake Erie watersheds in distress. Then new rules would be required to be in place prior to the 2020 crop year. Farmers operating in the designated areas would have to adopt management plans that minimize nutrient runoff.

There was great concern that the executive order would include a statewide phosphorus discharge limit for industrial dischargers. Due to OMA advocacy activity, particularly the OMA Environment Committee and its working group on phosphorus, those provisions were not included in the final order.

There is still a concern that commercial fertilizer manufacturers will be negatively impacted depending on what the nutrient management plans look like when they are established.

You can view a fact sheet about the executive order and see an analysis by OMA environmental counsel here.

Thank you to the members who worked on this issue. 7/12/2018

Kasich Signs Lake Erie Funding Bill

July 13, 2018

This week Governor Kasich signed Senate Bill 299, the bill which was approved by the House and Senate to provide funding for Lake Erie and the battle against toxic algae blooms.

The bill includes $3.5 million to the Department of Agriculture for soil and water conservation districts and another $20 million in capital funding that has no specified purpose. Governor Kasich indicated at the signing that the dollars will be used in conjunction with his newly signed Executive Order targeting nutrient runoff into Lake Erie. 7/12/2018

OMA Expresses Concerns to Ohio EPA re. its Permitting Authority

June 29, 2018

This week the OMA sent a letter to Ohio EPA regarding the agency’s “General Permit Authorization for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity from Oil and Gas Linear Transmission Line and Gathering Line Installation.” The OMA has serious questions about whether Ohio EPA has the legal authority to promulgate the permit.

OMA wrote: “… the OMA is concerned with the precedential effect that promulgation of this Permit may have in Ohio. Specifically, the OMA is concerned with other industries and/or activities that Ohio EPA may next attempt to regulate, under the same questionable legal authority as it now uses to issue this “non-NPDES” stormwater permit.” 6/28/2018

Groups to U.S. EPA: Use Honest Cost-Benefit Balancing

June 29, 2018

With more than 100 other organizations, OMA signed a letter to the Office of Management and Budget on how EPA performs cost-benefit analysis.

The groups wrote: “We believe the time has come for EPA to reexamine its statutory interpretations, and unless prohibited by statute, implement its regulatory statutes through cost-benefit balancing.”

The goal of the communication is to advance broad regulatory reforms that move federal agencies toward transparent science, strong risk-assessment, and honest cost-benefit considerations. 6/26/2018

Opportunity to Comment on Hazardous Waste Rule

June 8, 2018

Ohio EPA announced its Early Stakeholder Outreach for Hazardous Waste Management E-manifest and Export/Import Rules. Comments are due by June 25.

Ohio’s hazardous waste rules generally must be consistent with their federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) counterpart regulations in 40 CFR Parts 260 to 279 unless otherwise allowed by law.

A number of Ohio rules need to be amended to address changes to their federal RCRA counterpart provisions. Contact OMA’s Rob Brundrett if you would like to comment. 6/7/2018

Senate Moves Water Bill

June 8, 2018

This week the Ohio Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 299, legislation designed to help eliminate the toxic algae in Lake Erie by providing funding for increased lab and research space, lake monitoring, reduction of open lake disposal of dredged materials, soil and water conversation districts and nutrient management plants.

The OMA supports the effort and previously submitted proponent testimony. The bill now moves to the House for consideration. 6/7/2018