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New Ohio EPA Director Will Focus on H2Ohio Expansion

February 10, 2023

Anne Vogel, the new Ohio EPA director, has told news media that the expansion of H2Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine’s clean water initiative — will be a priority as she begins her leadership at the agency. The governor’s new budget recommends $31.35 million per year for OEPA to expand H2Ohio.

Vogel told Gongwer News Service she also wants Ohio to be ready to capture a share of the U.S. EPA’s “historic $370 billion infusion for climate change mitigation efforts,” authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act. 2/6/2023

DeWine Budget Seeks Funding Boost for H2Ohio

February 3, 2023

Under Gov. Mike DeWine’s FY2024-25 budget, H2Ohio — the administration’s water quality initiative — would see $307.2 million in funding over the biennium, up from $172 million under current levels.

According to Gongwer News Service, much of the new spending would be tied to an H2Ohio Rivers Initiative outlined in the State of the State address. 2/2/2023

Report: White House Issues Most Significant Action on GHG Emissions Since 2016

February 3, 2023

The White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) recently issued interim guidance instructing federal agencies on how to assess the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change when evaluating major federal actions under the National Environmental Policy Act.

OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine says the CEQ’s guidance is effective immediately, even as the CEQ gathers public comments until March 10. 2/2/2023

GOP AGs Seek to Block Biden’s ESG Retirement Rule

February 3, 2023

The Biden administration’s 65-page rule to allow retirement plans to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations took effect this week.

Twenty-five GOP attorneys general, including Ohio AG Dave Yost, have sued to block the rule, saying it will unleash activist retirement plan managers and threaten workers’ savings. Also, 49 U.S. senators are backing a measure to cancel the rule 1/30/2023

OMA Joins Call to Fix SEC’s Climate Disclosure Rule

January 27, 2023

The OMA has signed onto a letter organized by the National Association of Manufacturers calling on U.S. House and Senate leaders to work with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make the agency’s proposed climate disclosures rule more workable for manufacturers.

Last year, the SEC unveiled a proposal to institute sweeping climate disclosure obligations for publicly traded companies. The proposed rule would mandate reporting on complex climate-related information — including greenhouse gas emissions — regardless of whether the information has an impact on financial performance. 1/23/2023

Virtual Training: Hazardous Waste Operations

January 27, 2023

On Feb. 13, Ohio BWC will conduct a virtual training session for individuals who respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances. The course will cover decontamination requirements, including how to conduct spill control. Click here for more information or to register. 1/25/2023

Legal Challenges to New WOTUS Rule Underway

January 27, 2023

As reported earlier, the Biden administration recently published a final rule establishing a revised definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. While the rule won’t become effective until March 20, legal challenges have already begun, according to this update from Thompson Hine, an OMA Connections Partner. 1/23/2023

Legal Challenges Ahead for New WOTUS Definition

January 20, 2023

Republican-led states are preparing to go to court to challenge the Biden administration’s new definition of waterways and wetlands that are subject to federal permitting requirements, according to reports.

The administration’s definition of waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) was published Jan. 18 in the Federal Register, triggering a 60-day deadline for lawsuits before the rule takes effect in March. See analyses by OMA Connections Partners Thompson Hine and Jones Day. 1/18/2023

OMA Supports Improvements to Emissions-related Law

January 20, 2023

The OMA this week joined other Ohio trade groups in submitting joint comments to Ohio EPA in support of the agency’s scheduled maintenance and malfunction rules, which offer improvements to existing law related to the Clean Air Act.

The OMA supported the agency’s definition of “malfunction” and proposal to maintain certain existing malfunction/shutdown exceptions, while also supporting an extended timeline for submission of malfunction reports. 1/19/2023

Webinar: Ohio EPA’s Online Compliance Tool

January 13, 2023

Ohio EPA recently announced the release of a new and improved version of the agency’s Permit Wizard — an online application that helps new and existing small businesses identify necessary environmental permits, licenses, or registrations anonymously.

The agency invites OMA members to participate in a brief tutorial webinar on Thursday, Jan. 19 to provide information on how to use this resource. Register here. 1/10/2023