News and Analysis
As reported last week, the OMA recently submitted comments in response to Ohio EPA’s Early Stakeholder Outreach on the agency’s five-year rule review of air pollution regulations. The OMA also teamed up with some business allies to ensure the agency was aware of the broad-based support for specific suggestions to the current regulations. The OMA will continue to work with Ohio EPA as changes to the rules are developed. 8/1/2019
The State of Ohio’s new main operating budget (House Bill 166) — passed and signed last week — created a $172 million “H2Ohio fund,” aimed at protecting Lake Erie, other state waterways, and community water projects. The fund is a priority of Gov. Mike DeWine, whose administration has begun to form a strategy on how best to administer the dollars, while promising “more public discussions in the next few weeks.”
Approximately $46 million of the fund will be dedicated to wetland restoration to help to prevent nutrient run-off that contributes to algal blooms. The budget requires the Lake Erie Commission to coordinate with state agencies and boards to submit an annual report to the governor and legislature on H2Ohio spending during the prior fiscal year.
Learn more at the administration’s H2Ohio website. 7/24/2019
Late last week, the OMA submitted comments in response to the Ohio EPA’s air pollution rules. The comments were made as part of the agency’s Early Stakeholder Outreach program.
The OMA used the opportunity to share its concern over ambiguity in the current air pollution rules, and suggested the need for more clarity — specifically regarding the attainment and maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Because of the significant impact that air pollution regulations can have on manufacturers, the OMA requested that the association “be included in any work groups or future discussions on amendments to these rules.” 7/23/2019
On March 12, 2018, the State of New York filed a petition under Section 126 of the federal Clean Air Act naming approximately 350 sources of nitrogen oxides emissions in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia as contributing to violations of the ozone air quality standards in New York. On May 20, 2019, U.S. EPA proposed to deny the petition. The OMA filed comments at U.S. EPA supporting the denial of the petition. 7/17/2019
On July 10, 2019, Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water hosted a webinar introducing the enhanced two-pronged approach to surveying and monitoring aquatic life in Ohio’s streams and rivers. A recording of the webinar and the presentation are now available on the agency’s website. Comments and questions regarding this approach are being accepted by the Ohio EPA through Aug. 12, 2019. For more details, contact the OMA’s Rob Brundrett. 7/18/2019
OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has published its analysis regarding the uncertainty surrounding “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the federal Clean Water Act. The issue became a key topic of concern for manufacturers when the Obama administration issued its overreaching WOTUS rule in 2015. In 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order instructing EPA to rescind the Obama-era rule, which was also contested legally.
Dinsmore says the EPA’s current administrator, Andrew Wheeler — an Ohio native — has said the new WOTUS definition proposed last February is “focused on providing regulatory certainty and clarity that every American can understand.” But the EPA’s new definition, which is scheduled to be published as a final rule in December 2019, is widely expected to face significant legal challenges. 7/10/2019
There have been recent additions to the Ohio Materials Marketplace — a free online platform that allows businesses to connect and find reuse and recycling solutions for waste and by-product materials. According to a notice from the Ohio EPA, several new materials have been added to the marketplace, including: cardboard gaylords, used garnet, diatomaceous earth, uncured polymer, collapsible wire containers, salt brine, and more. 7/1/2019
State legislation that would pre-empt local governments from banning or taxing the sale, use, or consumption of auxiliary containers (such as single-use plastic or paper bags) was advanced to the full House this week. The House State and Local Government Committee voted 8-6 to approve House Bill 242, although passage by the full House before fall is unlikely due to the upcoming summer recess.
The bill comes after Cuyahoga County banned most large retailers from distributing single-use plastic bags. Bexley near Columbus and Orange Village near Cleveland have passed their own plastic-bag bans, while cities like Cincinnati have explored taxing them to discourage their use.
The OMA supports HB 242. When local jurisdictions enact restrictions or outright bans on certain products or product content — or impose mandates to label certain products, or place a tax on certain products — it makes it difficult for Ohio manufacturers to comply. Nationwide, 13 states have already passed pre-emption laws similar to HB 242 to avoid a patchwork of local restrictions. 6/27/2019
Next month, Ohio EPA will introduce its new, two-pronged approach for water quality monitoring. They will be soliciting feedback on which project areas to prioritize for sampling, as well as other matters. Meetings will be held across the state on Wednesday, July 10, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Locations for these meetings include:
Northwest – Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments
300 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 300
Toledo, OH 43604
Southwest – Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission
10 North Ludlow Street, Suite 700
Dayton, OH 45402
Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments
720 East Pete Rose Way, Suite 420
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Central – Ohio Department of Transportation Office of Aviation
2829 West Dublin-Granville Road
Columbus, OH 43235
Northeast – Ohio EPA Northeast District Office
2110 East Aurora Road
Twinsburg, OH 44087
Southeast – Ohio EPA Southeast District Office
2195 Front Street
Logan, OH 43138
Please RSVP to Kathryn Hamilton by July 3, 2019 with your name, organization, and the location where you will attend. Bring a valid photo I.D. on the day of the event. Click here to e-mail your comments or questions to Ohio EPA staff. 6/20/2019
Ohio EPA is offering stakeholders the chance to provide the agency with input on the following:
- Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), Construction and Demolition Debris (C&DD) Rules. Comments due June 24.
- Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC), OAC Chapter 3745-23, “Nitrogen Oxide Standards.” Comments due June 25.
- Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC), Accidental Release Prevention Rules, OAC 3745-104-01 through 3745-104-53. Comments due June 26.
- Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), “Rule 13,” OAC Rule 3745-27-13. Comments due July 3.
- Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC), Ohio’s Emergency Episode Rules and Ambient Air Quality Standards Rules, OAC Chapter 3745-25. Comments due July 12.
- Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC), Revisions to Rules in OAC Chapter 3745-14 (Phase 2)Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Budget Program Rules. Comments due and public hearing July 16.
- Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Rules, OAC 3745-27 6/20/2019. Comments due July 22.
Please contact the OMA’s Rob Brundrett with questions. 6/20/2019