News and Analysis
The Ohio Lake Erie Commission has released its draft Lake Erie Protection and Restoration Plan 2020 (LEPR) for public comment. According to Ohio EPA, the LEPR, last published in 2016, “reflects actions that the Ohio Lake Erie Commission and its member agencies will take over the next several years to protect, preserve, and restore our Great Lake.”
The Ohio Stormwater Association, in collaboration with Ohio EPA, is offering a free webinar to manufacturers who want to learn more about the permitting process for the agency’s stormwater program. Set for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, this one-hour event will feature best practices and tips on how to comply. 2/4/2020
Ohio EPA’s winter newsletter reports that registration is open for the agency’s annual Compliance Assistance Conference, set for March 31 – April 1, 2020 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The conference provides information and contacts to help your company comply with state and federal environmental standards. Among the event’s presenters will be recently appointed U.S. EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. 1/27/2020
State officials have announced the release of an update to the Ohio Domestic Action Plan aimed at reducing phosphorus in Lake Erie under the bi-national Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. It’s the first such iteration of the plan since Gov. DeWine’s H2Ohio program was enacted. The plan focuses on four aspects:
- Establishing science-based priorities for agricultural management practices and state programs to support H2Ohio efforts to encourage farmers to implement science-based best practices;
- The importance of wetland restoration and outlining ODNR efforts to create, restore, and enhance wetlands for nutrient reduction as part of H2Ohio;
- Updated actions for communities, including H2Ohio support for home sewage treatment system remediation;
- Integrating the role of watershed planning at the local level for siting projects to reduce nutrients efficiently, including a distribution of the load reduction throughout the Maumee River watershed based on the Ohio EPA Nutrient Mass Balance method.
Previous versions of the plan required Ohio EPA to pursue legislation that would require all treatment works discharging wastewater containing phosphorus to achieve at least a monthly average effluent concentration of 1 mg/L phosphorus. The OMA and its nutrient water working group has worked tirelessly with Ohio EPA and others to ensure manufacturing is not disproportionately harmed by any new regulations on nutrients. Public comments can be emailed by March 2, 2020. 1/30/2020
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