News and Analysis
In his presentation, Hodanbosi briefed members on progress made to improve Ohio’s air quality and ensure compliance. In the categories of 24-hour particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead, the entire state is designated as “in attainment” with federal clean air standards. However, portions of Ohio are designated as in non-attainment for annual particulate matter, sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone.
Other highlights from the meeting included an update on federal and state issues, as well as a report from OMA Environmental Counsel Frank Merrill of Bricker & Eckler LLP.
The OMA Environment Committee, chaired by Julianne Kurdila of ArcelorMittal, will meet again October 23. 6/12/2019
The Ohio EPA’s Bob Hodanbosi briefs OMA members on the state’s air quality efforts.
In early April, the U.S. EPA published its proposed “Modernizing Ignitable Liquids Determinations” rule in the Federal Register. The rule has been described as an effort to update certain aspects of the regulations to determine whether a waste is hazardous based on the characteristic of ignitability as defined at the federal level. For more on what this may mean for manufacturers, see new analysis by Dinsmore, an OMA Connections Partner. 6/12/2019
The OMA this week provided proponent testimony on House Bill 242, legislation that would prohibit local governments from imposing a tax, fee, assessment, or other charge on auxiliary containers (e.g., a plastic or paper bag) — as well as the sale, use, or consumption of auxiliary containers, or on the basis of receipts received from the sale of auxiliary containers.
There are currently more than 300 laws pending in state legislatures that would regulate or ban certain types a packaging.
As the OMA stated in its testimony, “Ohio manufacturers make a wide variety of world-class products. So when local jurisdictions in our state 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 very difficult for Ohio manufacturers to comply here at home, much less in the global economy.” 6/6/2019
On Wednesday, June 12, the OMA Environment Committee will meet at the OMA offices. Special guest will be Ohio EPA Air Chief Bob Hodanbosi, who will speak with members about all things air in Ohio. Bob’s presentations are always heavily anticipated, so please make sure you register today.
The committee will also be reviewing changes in the state budget that could impacting Ohio manufacturers, as well as updates on water and packaging issues. 6/6/2019
On the heels of Cuyahoga County’s action to prohibit the use of plastic shopping bags — as well as the Columbus suburb of Bexley outlawing plastic bags, straws, and cutlery — the Ohio House this week heard sponsor testimony on House Bill 242.
The OMA and other business groups have been supporters of this legislation in the past. 5/30/2019
In the latest issue of its “Climate Report,” global law firm Jones Day analyzes the Green New Deal proposed by some federal lawmakers. According to the firm, the resolution — which calls for “high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages” and “wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition” — signifies a “new phase in the national debate over climate change policy in America.”
Specifically, the Green New Deal poses the question “whether Congress should curtail fossil fuel use … through a broad array of social and economic reforms and public works projects.” Jones Day adds: “The potential impact of the ensuing debate will vary from company to company but, in almost all cases, warrants serious attention in business, political, and legal planning efforts.”
The full report can be seen here. 5/15/2019
The House this week introduced House Bill 7 as part of a priority bill package with bipartisan support. HB 7 creates the H2Ohio Trust Fund to provide for the protection, preservation, and restoration of the water quality of Ohio’s lakes and rivers. Gov. Mike DeWine included in his budget the creation of H2Ohio, and the program is one of his top priorities.
The House reduced the funding provisions suggested by the administration and instead is creating a bond package to ensure long-term, stable funding of the program. The bill had its first hearing this week in the House. You can see the testimony here. 5/16/2019
This week, OMA’s Sustainability Peer Network toured the White Castle frozen food manufacturing facility in Vandalia to observe waste reduction innovations and processes.
Angel Arroyo-Rodriguez, Program Leader, Materials and Waste Management at Ohio EPA, joined the group and shared information about food waste disposal options.
The OMA thanks White Castle’s Rob Camp, vice president of retail operations, as well as Shannon Tolliver, social responsibility and environmental sustainability manager, for hosting this event.
OMA’s Sustainability Peer Network was created to help OMA members network, learn and share about sustainability goals, practices and projects. Manufacturing members can sign up here to receive invitations to future tours and events. 5/15/2019
OMA’s Sustainability Peer Network toured White Castle’s frozen food plant in Vandalia on Wednesday, May 15.
Ohio EPA Director Laurie Stevenson on Wednesday provided budget testimony to the Ohio Senate. The same evening, the House Finance Committee put its finishing touches on the state budget bill (HB 166).
Among the House’s budget changes affecting Ohio EPA were the removal of the Best Available Technology language; an amendment addressing the Lake Erie Bill of Rights by explicitly denying an eco-system standing in courts; and an appropriation to the George Barley Water Prize, which is a contest to help solve water issues. 5/8/2019
This week, the OMA submitted comments on Ohio EPA’s draft rules on Human Health Water Quality OAC 3745-1. These standards — designed to protect surface water from pollution — are being amended as part of the agency’s Triennial Water Quality Standards Review. The changes being considered by Ohio EPA include implementing maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) statewide (as opposed to only the Ohio River Basin), as well as an updated water quality table.
Water quality standards are used in the implementation of Clean Water Act programs, including the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, Section 401 Water Quality Certifications, and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports. Potentially impacted entities may include facilities that discharge or plan to discharge wastewater containing any of the specific chemicals listed in these rules.
Contact Rob Brundrett at the OMA if you have any questions or thoughts. 5/2/2019