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GOP AGs Seek to Block Biden’s ESG Retirement Rule

February 3, 2023

The Biden administration’s 65-page rule to allow retirement plans to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations took effect this week.

Twenty-five GOP attorneys general, including Ohio AG Dave Yost, have sued to block the rule, saying it will unleash activist retirement plan managers and threaten workers’ savings. Also, 49 U.S. senators are backing a measure to cancel the rule 1/30/2023

OMA Joins Call to Fix SEC’s Climate Disclosure Rule

January 27, 2023

The OMA has signed onto a letter organized by the National Association of Manufacturers calling on U.S. House and Senate leaders to work with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make the agency’s proposed climate disclosures rule more workable for manufacturers.

Last year, the SEC unveiled a proposal to institute sweeping climate disclosure obligations for publicly traded companies. The proposed rule would mandate reporting on complex climate-related information — including greenhouse gas emissions — regardless of whether the information has an impact on financial performance. 1/23/2023

Virtual Training: Hazardous Waste Operations

January 27, 2023

On Feb. 13, Ohio BWC will conduct a virtual training session for individuals who respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances. The course will cover decontamination requirements, including how to conduct spill control. Click here for more information or to register. 1/25/2023

Legal Challenges to New WOTUS Rule Underway

January 27, 2023

As reported earlier, the Biden administration recently published a final rule establishing a revised definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. While the rule won’t become effective until March 20, legal challenges have already begun, according to this update from Thompson Hine, an OMA Connections Partner. 1/23/2023

Legal Challenges Ahead for New WOTUS Definition

January 20, 2023

Republican-led states are preparing to go to court to challenge the Biden administration’s new definition of waterways and wetlands that are subject to federal permitting requirements, according to reports.

The administration’s definition of waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) was published Jan. 18 in the Federal Register, triggering a 60-day deadline for lawsuits before the rule takes effect in March. See analyses by OMA Connections Partners Thompson Hine and Jones Day. 1/18/2023

OMA Supports Improvements to Emissions-related Law

January 20, 2023

The OMA this week joined other Ohio trade groups in submitting joint comments to Ohio EPA in support of the agency’s scheduled maintenance and malfunction rules, which offer improvements to existing law related to the Clean Air Act.

The OMA supported the agency’s definition of “malfunction” and proposal to maintain certain existing malfunction/shutdown exceptions, while also supporting an extended timeline for submission of malfunction reports. 1/19/2023

Webinar: Ohio EPA’s Online Compliance Tool

January 13, 2023

Ohio EPA recently announced the release of a new and improved version of the agency’s Permit Wizard — an online application that helps new and existing small businesses identify necessary environmental permits, licenses, or registrations anonymously.

The agency invites OMA members to participate in a brief tutorial webinar on Thursday, Jan. 19 to provide information on how to use this resource. Register here. 1/10/2023

U.S. EPA Proposes Changing PM 2.5 Standard

January 13, 2023

On Jan. 6, the U.S. EPA announced it would reconsider National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter, also known as the PM 2.5 standard.

The National Association of Manufacturers criticized the announcement, with NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons saying U.S. air quality has improved by more than 30% during the past 20 years, while production and energy consumption have grown. Changing the standard will only further weaken an already slowing economy, Timmons said. 1/10/2023

Anne Vogel Nominated to Lead Ohio EPA

January 6, 2023

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has nominated his policy director, Anne Vogel, to be the next director of the Ohio EPA. If confirmed by the Ohio Senate, Vogel would replace Laurie Stevenson, who announced her retirement last month.

Vogel has overseen implementation of H2Ohio, the governor’s water quality initiative. Prior to working for the administration, Vogel spent a decade at AEP, conducting regulatory and policy work. 1/3/2023

Environmental Roundup: OMA Submits Comments on Hazardous Waste Rules

January 6, 2023
  • This week, the OMA submitted comments to Ohio EPA in support of the agency’s draft hazardous waste management program rules. The OMA urged the agency to keep the state rules consistent with federal regulations and remove certain provisions that go beyond what the federal regulations require.
  • OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine has published the results of its latest survey tracking private and public companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs, noting “an increasingly vocal anti-ESG sentiment.”
  • OMA Connections Partner Plante Moran has posted this insight for businesses considering starting an ESG program.
  • OMA Connections Partner Calfee has published this update on recent federal developments related to PFAS regulation.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Manufacturers has issued this statement in reaction to the U.S. EPA’s proposed new Waters of the United States rule, saying the agency is unnecessarily rewriting critical permitting standards and tossing aside U.S. Supreme Court precedent. 1/5/2023