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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

OMA Environment Committee Receives Air Update

June 1, 2018

This week manufacturers gathered at the OMA to attend an Environment Committee meeting, which included networking plus lunch on the OMA.

The committee’s agenda included an update on possible phosphorus legislation and discussion with Ohio EPA regarding permit process improvements.

Ohio Air Chief Bob Hodanbosi presented his popular annual Ohio air update for the members.

State Rep. Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton) came by to discuss what is going on in the General Assembly and to tell members about his recently introduced bill, House Bill 643, a plan to deal with Lake Erie algal blooms. 5/31/2018

Bob Hodanbosi & Erica Engel-Ishida, OH EPA Div. of Air Pollution Control, update OMA Environment Committee members.

Materials Marketplace has Diverted 3 Million Pounds from Landfill

June 1, 2018

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

  • New materials have been added to the marketplace including: limestone screenings, industry safety fencing, water treatment residuals, and more.
  • 739 members are now on the Marketplace.
  • The Marketplace has helped divert about 1,696 tons (3,391,290 pounds) from the landfill.

Learn more here. 5/31/2018

OMA Testifies in Support of Lake Erie Water Improvement Funding Bills

May 25, 2018

This week the OMA testified in support of Senator Randy Gardner’s and Rep. Steve Arndt’s bipartisan Clean Lake 2020 bills. The companion bills, Senate Bill 299 and House Bill 643, which propose funding resources for Lake Erie water quality improvements, had their second hearings in the House and Senate Finance Committees.

The OMA testified to both committees that the proposal is “a thoughtful funding approach to address Lake Erie water quality issues. The bill takes a prudent approach in providing funding resources that will improve the lake’s water quality. Ohio manufacturers rely heavily on the lake for a variety of business-supporting reasons and it is imperative that the lake be in the best possible condition to support the portions of Ohio’s economy that rely on it.”

The bills are in stark contrast to Ohio EPA-sponsored bills that would put draconian limits on point source discharges.

Join the OMA Environment Committee on May 31; Rep. Arndt will be speaking to members about his bill and the state’s phosphorus issues. 5/24/2018