News and Analysis
The Ohio Senate has passed House Bill 242, legislation that is supported by the OMA and packaging manufacturers to prohibit local governments from placing fees or taxes on auxiliary containers or packaging, including bags. Last week, the Senate committee that heard the bill added an amendment that sunsets HB 242’s provisions after 12 months. The bill will go to the House for a potential concurrence vote. 5/28/2020
Last week, the OMA led a coalition of business groups by filing comments to the U.S. EPA’s correction of the inclusion of Ohio’s air pollution nuisance rule. The comments support the U.S. EPA’s proposal to remove the nuisance rule from Ohio’s state implementation plan (SIP). Ohio’s public nuisance provision is a general rule prohibiting public nuisances and has no connection with the purposes for which SIPs are developed and approved. Manufacturers often find themselves in the crosshairs of lawsuits based on the SIP provision, even while in compliance with the permit limits. 5/28/2020
OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine will host a free webinar at 1 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, June 9, to address environmental compliance in a COVID-19 world. The webinar will focus specifically on best practices and risk mitigation strategies. Register here. 5/28/2020
This week a Senate committee passed House Bill 242 along party lines. The bill prohibits local governments from placing fees or taxes on auxiliary containers or packaging including plastic bags and cardboard containers. The bill was amended to sunset after 12 months. The OMA provided proponent testimony and has actively worked to pass the bill in both the House and Senate. 5/21/2020
All members are invited to the OMA Environment Committee meeting on Thursday, May 28, 10 a.m. – noon. This is a virtual meeting.
Our agenda includes:
- Our annual presentation from special guest Bob Hodanbosi, Chief of the Division of Air Pollution Control, Ohio EPA.
- Coverage of current legislative and regulatory updates including changes as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Register here! 5/21/2020
The Ohio Lake Erie Commission recently approved its 2020 Lake Erie Protection and Restoration Plan (LEPR). The LEPR, last published in 2016, reflects actions that the commission and its member agencies will take over the next several years to protect and restore the lake, while promoting economic development for the region. The state’s actions complement federal and local initiatives. The plan is available at the Ohio Lake Erie Commission website. 5/14/2020
This week, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency submitted the final 2020 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report to U.S. EPA for approval. The final report is available here. 5/14/2020
Ohio EPA has issued a public notice for a new general permit, titled “Ohio General Permit for Filling Category 1 and Category 2 Isolated Wetlands and Ephemeral Streams.” This covers the filling of, and the discharge of, dredged material into ephemeral streams determined to not be waters of the U.S. and not subject to Section 404 or 401 of the Clean Water Act. Ohio EPA’s stated intent with the general permit is to fill gaps in the regulatory landscape after the issuance of U.S. EPA’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
Ohio EPA has asked that comments on the general permit be submitted by June 1. All comments should be submitted by email or by U.S. Mail, sent to: Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water – Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049. Please let Rob Brundrett know if your company is interested in submitting comments.
Meanwhile, on May 21, OMA environmental counsel Bricker & Eckler LLP will be hosting an informative webinar on this issue, as well as the impacts of the District of Montana decision on Nationwide Permit 12 and Ohio EPA’s 401 water quality certifications. 5/14/2020