News and Analysis
Last week, Ohio EPA submitted to U.S. EPA the emissions inventory and emission statement program to satisfy attainment demonstration requirements under the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The submissions and associated attachments can be read here. 7/30/2020
Ohio EPA has a number of upcoming opportunities to comment on a variety of rules, regulations and programs. In order of the fastest approaching deadline, opportunities include:
- Aug. 10, 2020, comments due, Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Operations Rule: OAC Rule 3745-27-19.
- Aug. 10, 2020, comments due, Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), Coal Combustion Residual Rules.
- Aug. 12, 2020, comments due, Division of Environmental Response and Revitalization (DERR), Voluntary Action Program.
- Aug. 13, 2020, comments due and virtual public hearing, Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), Solid Waste Management District Rule.
- Aug. 13, 2020, comments due, Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC), Sulfur Dioxide Regulations.
- Aug. 17, 2020, comments due and virtual public hearing, Division of Environmental Response and Revitalization (DERR), Hazardous Waste Set Gen.
If you are interested in working with the OMA on any of the above, please contact Rob Brundrett. 7/30/2020
Ohio manufacturers should note that the U.S. EPA last week did not propose stricter ozone standards despite pressure from environmental groups. The EPA’s new proposal retains the 70-part-per-billion (ppb) standard for ozone, commonly referred to as smog, set under the Obama administration. Even under the current standard, the Cincinnati and Cleveland areas are both at high risk of being elevated to “moderate non-attainment” status, which would mean tighter controls on emitting industries.
“At a time when we are facing record-breaking unemployment, a lower ozone standard could slow our economic rebound and threaten manufacturing competitiveness,” the National Association of Manufacturers wrote in a statement of support for the EPA’s proposal. 7/20/2020
In another recent federal development, the Trump administration has announced a “top to bottom overhaul” of the regulations to “right-size the federal government’s environmental review process.” The goal is to speed up approval for major projects like pipelines and highways.
The administration’s new regulations are expected to reduce the types and number of projects subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), shorten the timeline for reviews, and drop a requirement that agencies consider the cumulative environmental effects of projects. Read the National Association of Manufacturers’ supportive comments. 7/20/2020
According to a report released last week by Ceres, a non-profit environmental organization, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the U.S. electric power sector fell 8% between 2018 and 2019. This is due largely to the increasingly rapid shift away from coal-fired power, according to reports. The U.S. power sector has reduced carbon emissions 30% since the sector’s peak in 2007, the report said, even as the economy grew. 7/13/2020
Ohio EPA has announced the availability of a general permit that will be available to applicants for projects that impact ephemeral streams, which flow only for a short time, usually after a large storm or snowmelt.
The general permit comes in response to U.S. EPA’s recently finalized Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The new federal rule removes certain waters from federal jurisdiction under the federal Clean Water Act. States retain the authority to determine oversight of these non-jurisdictional waters. 6/30/2020
Ohio EPA is accepting applications for $3.25 million in grants for publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations. Eligible applicants include public or private entities in the 26 counties that Ohio EPA has identified as eligible to receive funds from the grant program. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30, 2020. 7/1/2020
Three states are urging the U.S. EPA to impose new mandates related to the monitoring and reduction of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from industrial stormwater discharges. Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Mexico recently submitted comments on the draft Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) that ask EPA to require permitted industrial facilities to monitor PFAS in their stormwater discharges and to develop practices intended to minimize the potential for PFAS to be introduced into stormwater.
The OMA also submitted comments on the draft permit. The comment period closed June 1, and it remains to be seen whether the EPA will adopt the three states’ suggestions. If it does, it could have wide-ranging implications for states like Ohio that use the federal MSGP as a model for the state general permit. If your company is tracking PFAS issues in Ohio, contact Rob Brundrett to keep up to date on Ohio’s PFAS response. 6/25/2020
Summer heat can bring air quality concerns. Ohio EPA’s Division of Air Pollution Control offers an online air quality data and reporting system that allows Ohioans to monitor conditions from home or work. Tools include a map showing current air quality in several locations across Ohio, as well as air quality index forecasts. 6/24/2020