News and Analysis
One of the OMA’s top policy goals is to ensure science-based, technologically achievable, and economically reasonable environmental regulations.
To keep members updated in this area, the OMA Environment Committee will hold its first meeting of 2020 at 10 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Columbus. Special guest presenter will be Anne Vogel, the DeWine administration’s assistant policy director for energy and environmental issues. Register to participate in person or by phone. 1/20/2020
This week, the OMA submitted comments supporting Ohio EPA’s proposed amendments to merge the Industrial Waste Program and Residual Waste Programs, whereby non-hazardous, non-municipal waste streams will be called “industrial or manufacturing waste” or IMW. This change will result in the establishment of just two landfill classifications instead of the current four.
The OMA commented that it believes the approach to these updated classifications will allow for a more streamlined approach. We will continue to monitor the rule package for noteworthy changes. 1/23/2020
In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts year-over-year decreases in energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through 2021. After declining by 2.1% in 2019, energy-related CO2 emissions are expected to decrease by 2.0% in 2020, and again by 1.5% in 2021. 1/21/2020
The St. Louis Fed has published nearly 5,000 new data series examining the sources of energy-related CO2 emissions in the U.S. The data series from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show emissions by fuel type, sector, and state. Here’s a look at Ohio’s industrial CO2 emissions, which have dropped dramatically since 1980. 1/14/2020
This week, Ohio EPA Director Laurie Stevenson recognized Honda R&D Americas, Inc. with the agency’s platinum level environmental stewardship award. The company was bestowed with the honor due to its emphasis on waste reduction, community service and outreach.
Honda R&D Americas is Honda’s second-largest R&D center in the world, located just outside Columbus in Raymond. 1/14/2020
This week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the appointment of Kurt Thiede of Wisconsin to become Region 5 administrator, overseeing environmental protection efforts in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
Thiede will succeed Cathy Stepp, who is stepping down from her post in the Great Lakes region after several years of service to the agency. The OMA established a strong working relationship with Thiede during his time as chief of staff to Administrator Stepp. We’re looking forward to continuing that relationship as he begins his new role. 1/9/2019
The movie “Dark Waters” continues to be exposed for the piece of sensationalism it is. This week, one of the six scientists who wrote a report on the 1999 cattle deaths featured in the movie took issue with the film.
In a letter to the editor, Robert H. Poppenga says the movie perpetuates falsehoods about science to sell movie tickets — noting that his team “concluded there was no evidence that chemical contamination was associated with the cattle’s health problems, which instead resulted from poor nutrition and sub-par veterinary care.” The movie, he says, “ignores scientific studies that are inconvenient to the filmmakers’ narrative.” 1/7/2020
In late 2019, a movie called “Dark Waters” was released by Hollywood activists, and promoted by trial lawyers and anti-manufacturing interests. While the movie has been a box office bust, it has succeeded in its mission of misrepresenting manufacturing in the Ohio River Valley.
The OMA’s Rob Brundrett, director of public policy services, recently reviewed the film at the request of the Ohio State Bar Association. The association’s magazine, Ohio Lawyer, has published his critique.
If you haven’t already seen the OMA’s “Truth About Dark Waters” website — which sets the record straight with fact sheets, videos, and a blog — be sure to do so. 1/2/2020
Andrew O. Smith, CEO of Yenkin-Majestic Paint Corp. in Columbus, has also penned his thoughts on the movie “Dark Waters” and what he calls “a system of ‘Jackpot Justice’ where trial lawyers and special-interest groups extort huge payouts and regulate manufacturing through litigation.”
In a Jan. 2 guest editorial published in The Columbus Dispatch, Smith wrote: “Lawsuits impose a cost on our country equal to roughly 9.4% of GDP or about $2 trillion annually in dead-weight losses, showing up in higher costs for goods and services to the tune of $6,000 for every man, woman and child in this country, every single year.” 1/2/2020