News and Analysis
On Aug. 12, the Ohio EPA will host a free webinar to discuss the agency’s compliance assistance services that can help businesses better understand and manage air, water, and waste regulations. This webinar will explain Ohio EPA’s permitting, inspection, and enforcement procedures. Learn more and register. 7/22/2021
Last week, Ohio EPA extended the comment deadline for the Maumee Watershed Nutrient TMDL Project. The deadline for public comment was extended until Monday, Aug. 9 on the information included in Steps 1 and 2 of the TMDL development process.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats have unveiled a $3.5 trillion infrastructure plan that includes several climate-related provisions. The package includes tariffs on carbon-intensive imports, according to reports. Democrats call the proposed tariff a “polluter import fee.” The framework agreement also calls for a nationwide clean electricity standard, which would mandate that utilities generate 80% “clean electricity” by 2030.
Major business organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturers, continue to push for a separate, bipartisan, $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says the Senate will conduct a key test vote on infrastructure next week.7/15/2021
Late last month, the OMA submitted comments in support of Ohio’s Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the second implementation period, as well as Ohio EPA’s stated intention to request that the U.S. EPA review and approve Ohio’s long-term strategy and the other elements of the SIP. 7/8/2021
The DeWine administration announced this week that the H2Ohio water quality program is expanding to 10 additional counties in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The program is currently operating in 10 counties, providing incentives to agricultural producers to reduce runoff. The expansion of H2Ohio will be funded by the new state budget (House Bill 110). 7/8/2021
Ohio’s new state budget makes permanent a ban (House Bill 242) that lawmakers previously passed to prevent local jurisdictions from banning or taxing single-use plastic bags and other similar containers. Without further Statehouse action, the temporary, one-year prohibition under HB 242 would have expired Jan. 15, 2022. The budget extends the ban indefinitely, aligning with OMA policy that a statewide rule is preferable to a patchwork of local regulations. 6/30/2021
The new state budget provides $350 million to clean up brownfield sites, as well as $150 million for demolition of blighted or nuisance buildings around the state. Meanwhile, continued funding for H2Ohio — the governor’s program to reduce nutrient runoff in surface waters — was approved through various agencies. 6/30/2021
Critical changes to stream and wetland permitting, set in motion during the Trump administration, went into effect earlier this year. OMA Connections Partner Roetzel will host a free webinar at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 29 to discuss the recent changes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ permit program, as well as the Ohio EPA’s response to changes in the Clean Water Act. 6/15/2021
The prospect of a U.S. carbon tax being enacted is already impacting business decisions, according to new research by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Researchers found that a 10% chance of the U.S. government adopting a $45-per-ton carbon tax in the next year prompts one-tenth of the emissions reductions the bank would expect to see if the carbon fee were enacted, reports say.
OMA Connections Partner Jones Day says there is growing interest in carbon markets, in which emission credits are purchased and sold — and derivatives on those credits are traded. Learn more. 6/23/2021
Ohio EPA will hold a free webinar Thursday, July 1 to examine the assistance offered to help businesses and others keep their wastewater treatment plant in compliance with environmental standards. The webinar will cover smaller wastewater plant issues faced by some manufacturers. 6/24/2021