News and Analysis
OMA-member Airstream made news recently by announcing what it calls it an “industry-first initiative to neutralize estimated carbon emissions created by the driving of the company’s products.” The Jackson Center, Ohio-based manufacturer of travel trailers and touring coaches is buying trees in a carbon-neutrality bid. Read the Dayton Daily News’ article on Airstream’s initiative. 2/15/2021
This week, the OMA Environment Committee met virtually for its first meeting of 2021. Chaired by Julianne Kurdila of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., the meeting featured guest speaker Laura Berkey-Ames, the director of energy and resources for the National Association of Manufacturers, who addressed some of the key federal environmental regulatory actions and legislation expected under the Biden administration and a Democratic-controlled Congress.
Ohio EPA’s Ernie Stall provided members an update and information on Ohio’s solid waste management districts and how manufacturers can best work with them. Tim Ling, corporate environmental director for Plaskolite LLC, presented an update on storm water regulations.
OMA members also heard updates on key state legislative proposals, as well as a report from OMA Environmental Counsel Christy Schirra of Bricker & Eckler. The committee will meet again May 19. 2/10/2021
Your business can reduce hazardous waste requirements by managing fluorescent lamps, batteries, aerosol cans, antifreeze, paint, and paint-related waste as Universal Waste. Ohio EPA will host a free webinar on Feb. 23 to provide an overview of Ohio’s Universal Waste rules, a subset of the hazardous waste rules that provide more flexibility and less stringent management options for commonly generated wastes.
Also, Ohio EPA will offer four online environmental sessions during the 2021 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo. Sessions will cover major environmental regulations, hazardous waste rules, air pollution permit requirements, and virtual inspections. 2/10/2021
H2Ohio, which is Gov. Mike DeWine’s water quality initiative, would be allocated $240 million over the next two years under the administration’s new budget. That is a sizeable increase from the $180 million transferred to the H2Ohio program in fiscal years 20-21. The Ohio EPA would receive the bulk of the new H2Ohio funding. 2/1/2021
Does your business need to develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) to comply with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System industrial storm water permit? On Feb. 11, Ohio EPA will host a free webinar so you can learn the elements of a SWPPP along with the mistakes to avoid. Continuing Education Units will be available. 2/1/2021
Politico.com reported earlier this week that Democrats on Capitol Hill “are pushing to include a $100 billion national green bank as part of an upcoming COVID-19 recovery and infrastructure bill.” According to the publication, the money would be used to spur $500 billion in private investments and create 4 million jobs over four years related to clean energy and GHG emission reduction. 2/3/2021
There’s still time to register for the Wednesday, Feb. 10 meeting of the OMA Environment Committee, which will be held virtually.
Among the presenters at this event will be Rachel Jones, vice president of energy and resources policy for the National Association of Manufacturers. Jones will discuss developments on the environmental front under the Biden administration. Ohio EPA Assistant Director Laura Factor will detail Ohio EPA’s state budget request. Register now. 2/4/2021
One of the OMA’s top environmental advocacy goals is to work for science-based, technologically achievable, and economically reasonable regulations. To keep members updated in this important area of public policy, the OMA Environment Committee will hold its first meeting of 2021 at 10 a.m. Feb. 10. Due to COVID-19, the meeting will be held via Zoom. Register now. 1/26/2021
Last September, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed an early renewal of the 2017 Nationwide Permits (NWPs). The Corps also published a public notice regarding the proposed regional conditions for the Ohio NWPs. In December, Ohio EPA released a public notice of the Draft Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) for the proposed NWPs.
Information on the draft 401 WQC and the proposed nationwide and regional conditions is available here. The Corps published the final version of the NWPs on Jan. 13; the revised NWPs will take effect March 15.
A virtual public hearing on the draft 401 WQC is scheduled for Feb. 4 at 3:30 p.m. (Read Ohio EPA’s press release.) Interested parties must register for the hearing. Comments on the draft should be submitted by email no later than 5 p.m. Feb. 11. Contact Rob Brundrett at the OMA with questions. 1/28/2021
According to Politico, the U.S. EPA, under the Biden administration, “could have significant legal authority to regulate carbon dioxide from power plants.” That’s because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit this week “rejected the Trump EPA’s argument that the Clean Air Act constrains EPA to only those improvements that can be made on-site at coal-fired power plants.” Instead, the court ruled that the agency can consider options “envisioned under the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Manufacturers has compiled its recommendations for climate-related policies that promote U.S. manufacturing jobs. 1/20/2021