By Jenn Klein, Director, Energy & Environment
E&E Committee Meeting – Agenda and RSVP
The agenda for the February 14, 2011, Ohio Chamber Energy and Environment Committee meeting is now available. It is going to be a great meeting with a real opportunity to hear from one of our top statewide office holders, Attorney General DeWine, and new directors and staff within the administration. I know all the speakers are looking forward to the meeting and are really hoping to hear from you, so please come prepared to ask questions and to interact with them. The meeting will be at the Ohio Chamber offices (230 East Town St, Columbus, 43215) in the Ormet Conference room. Please RSVP for this committee meeting no later than noon on Friday, February 11. Finally, I will ask you to note the slight time change of the meeting which will now begin at 9:45 am to accommodate all of our speakers.
Nominees for PUCO Appointment Announced
On February 3, the PUCO’s nominating council submitted five names to Gov. Kasich to fill two vacant commissioner posts. Two of the five names are Rep. Todd Snitchler (R-Uniontown) and current PUCO Commissioner Valerie Lemmie. The other names submitted were Columbus attorney Andre Porter, former Dayton city manager Jack Michael Biddison and William Newcomb, a Columbus lawyer and former PUCO chairman. The nominees were selected from a list of ten people who interviewed on Thursday.
US EPA to Develop Regulations for Perchlorate and Other Chemicals in Drinking Water
On February 2, US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on drinking water issues. Following her testimony the agency issued a press release announcing the development of a regulation for perchlorate in drinking water and action on the Drinking Water Strategy.
Perchlorate is both a naturally-occurring and man-made chemical that is used in the manufacture of rocket fuel, fireworks, flares and explosives, and may be present in bleach and in some fertilizers. This decision reverses a 2008 preliminary determination by the previous administration. US EPA will continue to evaluate the science on perchlorate health effects and occurrence in public water systems. The agency will also begin to evaluate the feasibility and affordability of treatment technologies to remove perchlorate and will examine the costs and benefits of potential standards. In a separate action, the agency is also moving towards establishing a drinking water standard to address a group of up to 16 toxic chemicals that may pose risks to human health. This is part of the Drinking Water Strategy laid out by US EPA in 2010. This group of chemicals includes volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals such as industrial solvents, includes trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) as well as other regulated and some unregulated contaminants that are discharged from industrial operations.
Ohio EPA Proposes Change to NOx AllowanceOn January 28, Ohio EPA proposed to amend OAC 3745-14-05, "NOx allowance allocations." The proposed rule deletes a paragraph that originally provided for the retirement of 240 tons of NOx (allowances) during the 2005 ozone season. The removal of this paragraph is possible because the retirement of these allowances is no longer needed. This was further confirmed on January 12, 2011, when US EPA issued a letter to Ohio EPA confirming that the retirement provision in paragraph (C)(7) is no longer necessary.
US EPA Proposes to Retain Standard for Carbon Monoxide
On January 31, US EPA proposed keeping the current national air quality standards for carbon monoxide (CO), while taking steps to gather additional data through more focused monitoring. US EPA is proposing to revise the air monitoring requirements to develop better information about CO and its health impacts. The proposed changes would require a more focused monitoring network with CO monitors placed near highly trafficked roads in urban areas with populations of 1 million or more.
US EPA estimates that the proposal would require approximately 77 CO monitors in 53 urban areas. US EPA expects that states would not need to purchase new monitoring equipment. They could relocate some of their existing CO monitors to the near-road monitoring stations already required in connection with the revised nitrogen dioxide standards issued in January 2010. CO monitors at the new locations would be required to be operational by January 1, 2013.
Ohio EPA Proposes Changes to UIC Requirements
On February 2, proposed revisions to underground injection control (UIC) class V well requirements in rule 3745-34-1. The agency is proposing amendments to the class V well rule to allow, without a permit and in specific instances, minimal discharge of wastewater resulting from the treatment of drinking water. Currently, all such discharges are required to have a permit. However, a permit is not always necessary in these instances based on the dilution of the wastewater being discharged (and the reduction of total dissolved solids or TDS). The proposed amendments will reduce costs for some businesses no longer required to obtain a permit for these discharges.
Ohio EPA Offers Free Training to Small Public Water System Owners
On January 31, Ohio EPA announced it has once again partnered with the Ohio Rural Water Association and Ohio Rural Communities Assistance Program to provide free training to small public water system owner and operators. This training is geared for both community and noncommunity water systems serving populations of 3,300 or less. The training is approved for 6 O&M contact hours, and will be offered between March and June in locations across Ohio.
Bills Scheduled for Legislative Hearings Next Week
House Bill 10 (Tax Credit for Site Remediation) – Authorizes a refundable tax credit for persons who remediate and return contaminated property to productive use.
- All testimony and possible substitute bill scheduled for Wed., Feb. 9