News and Analysis
Ohio’s mineral resources produced more than $1.5 billion worth of geologic commodities last year. That’s according to a new report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. 11/12/2019
There have been recent additions to the Ohio EPA’s Materials Marketplace — a free online tool that allows participating companies to easily post available or wanted materials, identify reuse opportunities, and exchange underutilized materials. Several new materials have been added, including post-consumer polyester fiber fill from pillows, black and green mum pots, and bags of oxalic acid. Meanwhile, there’s a big demand for used wood pallets. 11/5/2019
The Ohio State University reports on OSU research showing that adding plants and trees to the landscapes near factories and other sources of emissions could reduce air pollution by an average of 27%. The study shows that plants — not technologies — may be a cheaper option for cleaning the air near industrial sites. 11/7/2019
Recently, California — joined by 21 other states — turned to the courts to contest final regulations issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The agencies have ruled that federal law pre-empts state and local tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions standards, as well as zero emission vehicle mandates.
The lawsuit raises several issues, including whether federal agencies have authority to pre-empt state vehicle emissions standards. Read the analysis by OMA Connections Partner Jones Day regarding what appears to be a long, intense legal battle. 11/4/2019
With some federal lawmakers expressing support for a carbon tax, the Tax Foundation has produced a study to examine the possible impacts of such a policy. The Foundation notes that the economic impact of a carbon tax would vary significantly based on how the generated tax revenues were used. Overall, the think tank estimates that a $50 carbon tax implemented in 2020 — growing at 5% each year — would raise $1.87 trillion in additional federal revenue, while reducing GDP by 0.4% and full-time equivalent employment by 447,000 jobs. 11/6/2019
Over the past few months, the Ohio EPA has recorded several helpful webinars, including the following: “Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule,” “How to Activate and Enter a Report in Ohio EPA’s Electronic Discharge Monitoring Reporting eDMR System,” and “Overview of Air Services Webinar.”
Also, some key comment periods will end soon, including:
- Nov. 19, 2019, comments due and public hearing, Division of Air Pollution Control, Ohio’s Emergency Episode Rules and Ambient Air Quality Standards Rules; and
- Nov. 27, 2019, comments due, Division of Surface Water, General NPDES Permit Rules (OAC Chapter 3745-38).
If you have any questions on any of these issues, contact the OMA’s Rob Brundrett. 11/7/2019
This week, State Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) provided sponsor testimony on Senate Bill 222 — a companion to House Bill 242. The legislation would “authorize a person to use an auxiliary container for any purpose and prohibit a municipal corporation, charter counties, or limited homerule townships from imposing a tax or fee on auxiliary containers.” At the same time, it would clarify that the existing anti-littering law applies to auxiliary containers.
The legislation defines an auxiliary container as any of the following: paper or plastic bag, can, cup, food service item, container, keg, bottle, or other packaging item designed for consuming, transporting, or protecting merchandise, food, or beverages.
Both SB 222 and HB 242 come after Cuyahoga County banned most large retailers from distributing single-use plastic bags. Bexley near Columbus and Orange Village near Cleveland have passed their own plastic-bag bans, while cities like Cincinnati have explored taxing them to discourage their use. The OMA supports both bills. When local jurisdictions enact restrictions or outright bans on certain products or product content — or impose mandates to label certain products, or place a tax on certain products — it makes it extremely costly and difficult for Ohio manufacturers to comply. 11/7/2019
Each year, Ohio EPA recognizes exceptional achievements in environmental stewardship through the agency’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Program. All Ohio manufacturers are eligible to be recognized for their commitment to environmental excellence. In preparation for the next awards cycle, Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) is offering a free webinar on Nov. 20 to explain the E3 award application process.
Ohio EPA has put together this handy resource to walk you through the decision making process to determine whether your business needs an air permit. 10/31/2019
This week, the OMA’s Environment Committee held its third meeting of the year at the OMA in Columbus. Guest speakers included three key officials from Ohio EPA – Chief Legal Counsel Todd Anderson, Deputy Director of Government Affairs Michael Guastella, and Deputy Director of Business and Regulatory Affairs Mark Johnson – who provided members with an update on agency actions.
Other meeting highlights included a discussion regarding Gov. Mike DeWine’s recent order to analyze the prevalence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Ohio drinking water. Frank Merrill of OMA’s legal counsel Bricker & Eckler LLP, along with the OMA’s Rob Brundrett provided updates on state legislative, regulatory and legal activity. 10/23/2019