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OMA, Business Allies Work Together on Air Regulations

August 2, 2019

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

At a Glance: H2Ohio Fund

July 26, 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

OMA: Air Pollution Rules Need Clarity

July 26, 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

OMA Files Comments on NY Ozone Air Quality Case

July 19, 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

Aquatic Life Monitoring Stakeholder Recording Available

July 19, 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

Analysis: Uncertainty Surrounding WOTUS Likely to Continue

July 12, 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

Online Platform that Helps Businesses Recycle & Reuse Adds More Options

July 2, 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

Pre-Emption Bill Addressing Auxiliary Containers Advances to Full House

June 28, 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

Ohio EPA to Hold Meetings on Water Quality Monitoring

June 21, 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 Stakeholder Input Opportunities

June 21, 2019

Ohio EPA is offering stakeholders the chance to provide the agency with input on the following:

Please contact the OMA’s Rob Brundrett with questions. 6/20/2019