News and Analysis
Ohio EPA is soliciting input on draft rule revisions for its Permit to Install (PTI) program rules and one existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program rule.
This week, the State of Ohio held a public hearing to take comments on a proposal whereby the state would ask U.S. EPA to recognize that air quality in the Columbus region meets the federal air quality standard for ozone.
Data collected from 2012-2014 demonstrates that the region’s air quality meets the former 75 parts per billion (ppb) standard, the standard until U.S. EPA lowered it to 70 ppb last fall. The region includes Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking and Madison counties.
This action would erase central Ohio’s “nonattainment” designation. In nonattainment areas Ohio EPA has a duty to ensure that air quality is improving when issuing new permits. The permitting process is more stringent in nonattainment areas.
If U.S. EPA moves central Ohio into the attainment category, the region’s manufacturers will benefit in the permitting process.
Our special guests include Bob Hodanbosi, Chief, Division of Air Pollution Control, Ohio EPA and Jeff Erwin, Plant Manager – Snacks, ConAgra Foods Inc., Troy, who will brief members on sustainability initiatives for which they won Ohio EPA’s E3 award earlier this year.
Our volunteer Environment Committee chair is Julianne Kurdila, Lead Specialist, Environmental Compliance & Policy, ArcelorMittal.
Please register here for in-person or call-in attendance. Or call us at (800) 662-4463.
New revised rules pertaining to portable air contaminant source relocation in Ohio were effective May 1. The full text of the rules are located in Ohio Administrative Code rule 3745-31-03(B)(1)(p), and can be viewed on Ohio EPA’s web page.
Key changes to this rule include:
- One-time relocation approvals are effective for one relocation up to 365 days after approval.
- Relocation site pre-approvals expire three years after the date of approval.
Reduction in the required lead time for one-time relocation requests from 30 days to 21 days.
- Elimination of the requirement for advance notice when relocating to a pre-approved location.
- Permit-by-rule sources that are portable are subject to portable relocation approval requirements.
- Addition of the requirement to notify Ohio EPA within 21 days of any relocation.
- Consolidation of rule language in one location (from OAC rule 3745-31-03(A)(1)(p) and 31-05(H) to 31-03(B)(1)(p)).
If you have any questions regarding these rule changes, please contact your District Office or local air agency.
Ohio EPA is reviewing the rules regarding the implementation of water quality standards. This review addresses the technical procedures used by the agency to convert water quality standards into watershed allocations that can be used as limits in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. The review also contains dissolved oxygen modeling and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) procedures.
The following revisions are being considered at this time:
- Consideration of new rule language to provide for the use of alternate statistical techniques to determine background water quality if appropriate.
- Reviewing the intake credit provisions for relevancy.
- Clarifying dissolved oxygen modeling to take into consideration capabilities of current models.
- Update requirements for non-conservative parameters.
Comments are due June 27, 2016. Contact OMA’s Rob Brundrett for more information.
To help Ohio businesses achieve compliance, on August 30-31, 2016, Ohio EPA will host its 9th Compliance Assistance Conference in Columbus, featuring an improved and expanded agenda.
A large part of the conference is targeted to businesses that need to know the basics about environmental requirements. However, the expanded agenda includes advanced topics including major source/Title V permitting requirements and hazardous waste compliance.
There will be a multi-session course on Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) presented by a national technical expert from U.S. EPA and a hands-on session for completing minor source air permit applications.
Last week the OMA sent a letter to Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water Chief, Tiffani Kavalec, outlining manufacturers’ priority issues for the agency’s consideration as it undertakes a review of the general industrial storm water permit. The current permit expires this year.
The letter focused on regulatory expansion, background, sampling, benchmarks, and best management practices.
Regarding EPA’s regulation of “best management practices,” Rob Brundrett wrote: “(O)verly or highly prescriptive best management practices eliminate the flexibility manufacturers need to comply with rules and operate efficiently. A too prescriptive practice certainly does not work the same way for all manufacturers. Flexibility is key in responding to permits and protecting the environment.”
Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the CPP pending the resolution of legal challenges.
The bill would require legislative involvement in the design of Ohio compliance implementation.
Ohio EPA has awarded $1.35 million in recycling market development grants to eight projects. As a result of the projects, more material will be diverted from regional waste streams, and more recycled materials will be available for manufacturers.
Businesses are eligible for funding, but must be sponsored by a public entity, such as a municipality, county, township or solid waste management district. Here’s a good example: Kitchen Aid, in partnership with the Darke County Solid Waste District, used a $44,433 grant to purchase eight vertical balers that will allow the company to convert waste material into usable feedstock for their production system.
Each year, 1.5 million cubic yards of material is dredged from the federal navigation channels along Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline. Historically, most of the material dredged from Lake Erie has been placed back into the open waters of the lake. Thanks to the enactment of Senate Bill 1, open-lake disposal will no longer be an option as of July 1, 2020.
It’s time to stop wasting dredged material and start using it to help Ohio. Ohio EPA is interested in helping find ways to use dredged material in agriculture, construction and engineering, new products, environmental enhancement, and more.
Here’s a good little video about the opportunity.
Join the Ohio EPA at the Dredged Material Workshop on May 11 at Lorain County Community College. Register by May 3.