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‘Waters of the United States’ Rule Update

April 28, 2023

As previously reported, the Biden administration’s proposal to strengthen WOTUS enforcement under the Clean Water Act was dealt a blow when a federal judge earlier this month temporarily blocked the rule in 24 states, including Ohio.

OMA Connections Partner Roetzel has published this WOTUS update, noting the rule appears to be under “serious threat” due to a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. 4/25/2023

Webinar: Why Should My Business Care About PFAS?

April 28, 2023

As the Biden administration appears ready to expand its regulatory actions tied to PFAS, the U.S. EPA’s original focus on PFAS manufacturers is now expanding downstream, experts say. On May 9, OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine will host a webinar to provide updates on PFAS, with a focus on developments impacting regulations, product liability, and corporate transactions. Register here. 4/26/2023

Ohio EPA Official Visits OMA Environment Committee

April 21, 2023

This week, the OMA Environment Committee held its first 2023 meeting, sponsored by OMA Connections Partners Benesch and Jones Day. Nearly 80 members attended in person or online.

Highlights included a briefing from Jessica Kuenzli, Ohio EPA’s deputy director for business and regulatory affairs, on the agency’s key initiatives, including the H2Ohio water quality program and PFAS testing.

Craig Butler, chief executive of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District — the largest of Ohio’s 21 conservancy districts — briefed members on the district’s current operations.

The Environment Committee will meet again Nov. 1. 4/20/2023

Report: U.S. EPA Considering Future PFAS Designations

April 21, 2023

The U.S. EPA is seeking public input on whether to designate additional PFAS as hazardous substances. OMA Connections Partner Vorys has published this insight, advising companies — including oil and gas-related businesses — to review the list of PFAS under consideration for future regulation to determine if their operations could be impacted. 4/20/2023

Court Strikes Down California City’s Natural Gas Ban

April 21, 2023

In a positive development, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week ruled that the City of Berkeley (Calif.), which imposed the nation’s first municipal law banning natural gas hookups to new buildings, cannot override federal law. More from Bloomberg Law and Columbia Law School. 4/18/2023

Automakers React to U.S. EPA’s New Emissions Limits

April 14, 2023

The Biden administration has proposed strict new automobile emission limits that would require up to two-thirds of new vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2032. The AP reports this would represent a ten-fold increase over current EV sales.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation — a trade group representing Honda, GM, Stellantis, and other automakers — raised several questions in this statement regarding the EPA’s plan. The Alliance said the new proposal exceeds the Biden administration’s 50% EV sales target for 2030 announced less than two years ago. 4/12/2023

WOTUS Rule Blocked in 24 States

April 14, 2023

The Biden administration’s “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule was dealt a blow this week when a federal judge temporarily blocked the rule in 24 states, including Ohio. In his order, the judge said the U.S. EPA exceeded its statutory authority.

A forthcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision will determine whether this week’s preliminary injunction converts to a permanent injunction, as reported by OMA Connections Partner Vorys. 4/14/2023

Ohio EPA Director to Visit OMA, April 20

April 7, 2023

Ohio EPA Director Anne Vogel will be a guest presenter at the OMA Environment Committee’s April 20 meeting. In addition to Vogel’s insight, the meeting will feature an update on key state and federal activities, including the U.S. EPA’s proposed PM2.5 rule addressing particulate matter. Register here to attend via Zoom or in person. 4/5/2023

April 30 Deadline for Environmental Excellence Awards

April 7, 2023

Ohio EPA is urging businesses to apply for the agency’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence Award Program (E3), which recognizes businesses for exceptional environmental stewardship. The E3 program has spotlighted the efforts of many OMA members. Applications must be received by April 30 to be part of the 2023 awards class. 4/5/2023

U.S. EPA Continues to Target Coal

April 7, 2023

The U.S. EPA has proposed a new rule to further tighten regulations on coal-fired power plants and mercury pollution. The agency calls the proposal the most significant update yet to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), reports say. 4/5/2023