News and Analysis
On July 10, 2019, Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water hosted a webinar introducing the enhanced two-pronged approach to surveying and monitoring aquatic life in Ohio’s streams and rivers. A recording of the webinar and the presentation are now available on the agency’s website. Comments and questions regarding this approach are being accepted by the Ohio EPA through Aug. 12, 2019. For more details, contact the OMA’s Rob Brundrett. 7/18/2019
OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has published its analysis regarding the uncertainty surrounding “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the federal Clean Water Act. The issue became a key topic of concern for manufacturers when the Obama administration issued its overreaching WOTUS rule in 2015. In 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order instructing EPA to rescind the Obama-era rule, which was also contested legally.
Dinsmore says the EPA’s current administrator, Andrew Wheeler — an Ohio native — has said the new WOTUS definition proposed last February is “focused on providing regulatory certainty and clarity that every American can understand.” But the EPA’s new definition, which is scheduled to be published as a final rule in December 2019, is widely expected to face significant legal challenges. 7/10/2019
There have been recent additions to the Ohio Materials Marketplace — a free online platform that allows businesses to connect and find reuse and recycling solutions for waste and by-product materials. According to a notice from the Ohio EPA, several new materials have been added to the marketplace, including: cardboard gaylords, used garnet, diatomaceous earth, uncured polymer, collapsible wire containers, salt brine, and more. 7/1/2019
State legislation that would pre-empt local governments from banning or taxing the sale, use, or consumption of auxiliary containers (such as single-use plastic or paper bags) was advanced to the full House this week. The House State and Local Government Committee voted 8-6 to approve House Bill 242, although passage by the full House before fall is unlikely due to the upcoming summer recess.
The bill comes 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 HB 242. 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 difficult for Ohio manufacturers to comply. Nationwide, 13 states have already passed pre-emption laws similar to HB 242 to avoid a patchwork of local restrictions. 6/27/2019
Next month, Ohio EPA will introduce its new, two-pronged approach for water quality monitoring. They will be soliciting feedback on which project areas to prioritize for sampling, as well as other matters. Meetings will be held across the state on Wednesday, July 10, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Locations for these meetings include:
Northwest – Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments
300 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 300
Toledo, OH 43604
Southwest – Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission
10 North Ludlow Street, Suite 700
Dayton, OH 45402
Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments
720 East Pete Rose Way, Suite 420
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Central – Ohio Department of Transportation Office of Aviation
2829 West Dublin-Granville Road
Columbus, OH 43235
Northeast – Ohio EPA Northeast District Office
2110 East Aurora Road
Twinsburg, OH 44087
Southeast – Ohio EPA Southeast District Office
2195 Front Street
Logan, OH 43138
Please RSVP to Kathryn Hamilton by July 3, 2019 with your name, organization, and the location where you will attend. Bring a valid photo I.D. on the day of the event. Click here to e-mail your comments or questions to Ohio EPA staff. 6/20/2019
Ohio EPA is offering stakeholders the chance to provide the agency with input on the following:
- Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), Construction and Demolition Debris (C&DD) Rules. Comments due June 24.
- Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC), OAC Chapter 3745-23, “Nitrogen Oxide Standards.” Comments due June 25.
- Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC), Accidental Release Prevention Rules, OAC 3745-104-01 through 3745-104-53. Comments due June 26.
- Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), “Rule 13,” OAC Rule 3745-27-13. Comments due July 3.
- Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC), Ohio’s Emergency Episode Rules and Ambient Air Quality Standards Rules, OAC Chapter 3745-25. Comments due July 12.
- Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC), Revisions to Rules in OAC Chapter 3745-14 (Phase 2)Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Budget Program Rules. Comments due and public hearing July 16.
- Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Rules, OAC 3745-27 6/20/2019. Comments due July 22.
Please contact the OMA’s Rob Brundrett with questions. 6/20/2019
In his presentation, Hodanbosi briefed members on progress made to improve Ohio’s air quality and ensure compliance. In the categories of 24-hour particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead, the entire state is designated as “in attainment” with federal clean air standards. However, portions of Ohio are designated as in non-attainment for annual particulate matter, sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone.
Other highlights from the meeting included an update on federal and state issues, as well as a report from OMA Environmental Counsel Frank Merrill of Bricker & Eckler LLP.
The OMA Environment Committee, chaired by Julianne Kurdila of ArcelorMittal, will meet again October 23. 6/12/2019
The Ohio EPA’s Bob Hodanbosi briefs OMA members on the state’s air quality efforts.
In early April, the U.S. EPA published its proposed “Modernizing Ignitable Liquids Determinations” rule in the Federal Register. The rule has been described as an effort to update certain aspects of the regulations to determine whether a waste is hazardous based on the characteristic of ignitability as defined at the federal level. For more on what this may mean for manufacturers, see new analysis by Dinsmore, an OMA Connections Partner. 6/12/2019
The OMA this week provided proponent testimony on House Bill 242, legislation that would prohibit local governments from imposing a tax, fee, assessment, or other charge on auxiliary containers (e.g., a plastic or paper bag) — as well as the sale, use, or consumption of auxiliary containers, or on the basis of receipts received from the sale of auxiliary containers.
There are currently more than 300 laws pending in state legislatures that would regulate or ban certain types a packaging.
As the OMA stated in its testimony, “Ohio manufacturers make a wide variety of world-class products. So when local jurisdictions in our state 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 very difficult for Ohio manufacturers to comply here at home, much less in the global economy.” 6/6/2019
On Wednesday, June 12, the OMA Environment Committee will meet at the OMA offices. Special guest will be Ohio EPA Air Chief Bob Hodanbosi, who will speak with members about all things air in Ohio. Bob’s presentations are always heavily anticipated, so please make sure you register today.
The committee will also be reviewing changes in the state budget that could impacting Ohio manufacturers, as well as updates on water and packaging issues. 6/6/2019