Governor Ted Strickland signed an executive order (Dec. 30) authorizing emergency rules that require only very large emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) to obtain clean air permits for their Ohio operations. These rules will enable Ohio businesses to operate without additional federal red tape and regulations.

Governor Ted Strickland signed an executive order (Dec. 30) authorizing emergency rules that require only very large emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) to obtain clean air permits for their Ohio operations. These rules will enable Ohio businesses to operate without additional federal red tape and regulations.

"Although I believe that Congress, and not U.S. EPA, should be developing a strategy to control greenhouse gases, Congress has not yet successfully addressed this issue," Strickland said. "Ohio businesses have expressed their concern about this issue and how it could impact the speed at which they can complete projects and create jobs. As U.S. EPA continues to aggressively move down a regulatory pathway, Ohio must act quickly to make sure that, come January 2, Ohio EPA's regulations pertaining to emissions of greenhouse gases do not negatively affect Ohio's employers. As Ohio recovers from this national recession, our businesses must not be subjected to overly burdensome regulatory requirements."

Beginning January 2, 2011, states are required by U.S. EPA to begin permitting greenhouse gas emissions from "major sources" of greenhouse gases. Ohio's emergency rules will provide certainty to the business community by restricting Ohio's greenhouse gas regulatory requirements to only those large sources covered by U.S. EPA's regulations. There has been significant support from Ohio businesses for the immediate implementation of these emergency rules before January 2 when the federal regulations take effect.

Strickland and Governor-Elect John Kasich received letters of support for this rule package from major Ohio employers, such as: Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, Procter & Gamble, BASF Chemical Company, Lubrizol, AEP, INEOS ABS Corp., GFS Chemicals, Capital Resin Corporation, Americas Styrenics, Dover Chemical Corp., and ISP.

These rules will assure that permitting requirements in Ohio apply only to those GHG sources which must have permits under the U.S. EPA's greenhouse gas "tailoring" rule and do not apply to hundreds or thousands of small greenhouse gas sources in Ohio. U.S. EPA has adopted "tailoring" rules that raise the major source threshold for greenhouse gases. Raising the threshold to the higher levels means that only the largest sources of greenhouse gases will be subject to permitting requirements. The emergency rules that were adopted today raise the emission levels that would trigger permitting to the same levels as those adopted by the federal government. Without these emergency rules, it would not be sufficiently clear which emission thresholds triggered the need for greenhouse gas permitting.

Without these types of rules, millions of greenhouse gas sources across the country would fall within the "major source" category and be required to apply for and obtain major source permits under the Clean Air Act whenever they would want to build, expand and operate. That would include small apartment buildings, retail complexes, fast food restaurants and other small businesses.

"Ohio is moving forward with emergency rules to give Ohio businesses certainty that the State will not have more stringent requirements than the federal government regarding greenhouse gas emission permitting," said Ohio EPA Director Chris Korleski. "Many in the business community support this action and have requested these rules so that their business development plans will not be hindered."

Emergency rules must be adopted before the end of the year to ensure that state regulations are no more stringent than federal rules. Emergency rules are valid for 90 days.

Go here to read the Executive Order: http://www.governor.ohio.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=vs1garSpx58%3d&tabid=1819

Go here to read the Emergency Rules: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=2982

Go here to read support letters from industry: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/47/media/SupportLetters.pdf


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