News and Analysis
With a new federal administration committed to expansive environmental policy change, a wave of state attorney general environmental action is likely also on the horizon. OMA Connections Partner Jones Day, in this new analysis, writes that state attorneys general have broad power to influence and enforce environmental policy, and that companies should be attentive to environmental compliance. 3/4/2021
On Jan. 19, 2021, the Sierra Club, the Ohio Environmental Council, and two individuals filed a petition for review with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking review of U.S. EPA’s final rule removing the air pollution nuisance rule from Ohio’s State Implementation Plan (SIP).
The removal of the air pollution nuisance rule from Ohio’s SIP allows Ohio EPA to discontinue its practice of including a nuisance provision as a standard term and condition within each air permit it issues. In practice, the inclusion of the nuisance provision within Ohio EPA’s air permits allows for the filing of a citizen suit alleging that a facility is in violation of the nuisance provision, even if Ohio EPA determines the facility does not operate as a nuisance.
On Feb. 18, the OMA moved to intervene in the Sixth Circuit appeal in support of the EPA’s removal of the nuisance rule from Ohio’s SIP. The State of Ohio has also moved to intervene in support of the agency’s action. 2/24/2021
The U.S. EPA has announced it is moving forward with two regulations relating to “forever chemicals” that were signed by the Trump administration in its final days. The regulations — a final determination that the chemicals PFOA and PFOS should be regulated in drinking water and a proposal to require national drinking water monitoring for 29 chemicals in the class — had been paused as part of the Biden administration’s regulatory freeze in late January. The National Law Review provides a closer look at the new rules. 2/23/2021
The White House Council on Environmental Quality has published a Federal Register Notice rescinding the Trump administration’s June 2019 “Draft National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” As explained by the National Association of Manufacturers, this action reinstates the Obama-era guidance directing federal agencies on how to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act.
“As a result, substantial changes in how federal agencies weigh the impacts of GHG emissions and effects of climate change when issuing project approvals and making other major decisions are on the horizon,” wrote one law firm. 2/24/202
OMA-member Airstream made news recently by announcing what it calls it an “industry-first initiative to neutralize estimated carbon emissions created by the driving of the company’s products.” The Jackson Center, Ohio-based manufacturer of travel trailers and touring coaches is buying trees in a carbon-neutrality bid. Read the Dayton Daily News’ article on Airstream’s initiative. 2/15/2021
This week, the OMA Environment Committee met virtually for its first meeting of 2021. Chaired by Julianne Kurdila of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., the meeting featured guest speaker Laura Berkey-Ames, the director of energy and resources for the National Association of Manufacturers, who addressed some of the key federal environmental regulatory actions and legislation expected under the Biden administration and a Democratic-controlled Congress.
Ohio EPA’s Ernie Stall provided members an update and information on Ohio’s solid waste management districts and how manufacturers can best work with them. Tim Ling, corporate environmental director for Plaskolite LLC, presented an update on storm water regulations.
OMA members also heard updates on key state legislative proposals, as well as a report from OMA Environmental Counsel Christy Schirra of Bricker & Eckler. The committee will meet again May 19. 2/10/2021
Your business can reduce hazardous waste requirements by managing fluorescent lamps, batteries, aerosol cans, antifreeze, paint, and paint-related waste as Universal Waste. Ohio EPA will host a free webinar on Feb. 23 to provide an overview of Ohio’s Universal Waste rules, a subset of the hazardous waste rules that provide more flexibility and less stringent management options for commonly generated wastes.
Also, Ohio EPA will offer four online environmental sessions during the 2021 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo. Sessions will cover major environmental regulations, hazardous waste rules, air pollution permit requirements, and virtual inspections. 2/10/2021
H2Ohio, which is Gov. Mike DeWine’s water quality initiative, would be allocated $240 million over the next two years under the administration’s new budget. That is a sizeable increase from the $180 million transferred to the H2Ohio program in fiscal years 20-21. The Ohio EPA would receive the bulk of the new H2Ohio funding. 2/1/2021
Does your business need to develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) to comply with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System industrial storm water permit? On Feb. 11, Ohio EPA will host a free webinar so you can learn the elements of a SWPPP along with the mistakes to avoid. Continuing Education Units will be available. 2/1/2021
Politico.com reported earlier this week that Democrats on Capitol Hill “are pushing to include a $100 billion national green bank as part of an upcoming COVID-19 recovery and infrastructure bill.” According to the publication, the money would be used to spur $500 billion in private investments and create 4 million jobs over four years related to clean energy and GHG emission reduction. 2/3/2021