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PEW Charitable Trusts Identifies Ohio EPA Among Agencies with Innovative Approach to Helping Businesses Navigate Regulations
Ohio’s EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP) earned the attention of the Pew Charitable Trusts this month for the Agency’s innovative approach to providing free, customized and confidential support to help businesses achieve and maintain compliance with environmental laws and regulations. The PEW Report was part of the policy-focused, nonprofit organization’s research into state-based programs which provide an essential public service (e.g. protecting human health and the environment), while also encouraging business growth and job creation.
PEW interviewed Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler for the report. “I’m pleased Ohio EPA continues to be recognized as an innovative national leader among state environmental agencies,” Director Butler said. “Providing technical assistance to help businesses achieve compliance is what ultimately protects the environment, encourages job growth and serves the public interest. While we do take enforcement action when warranted, it’s not necessarily the first arrow that you take out of the quiver when you’re trying to solve a particular issue or a problem.”
Among Ohio EPA’s services highlighted by the report is OCAPP’s one-stop-shop, which assists small businesses with potentially complicated emissions calculations to determine if they need an air permit, and assistance in completing permit application forms. PEW notes that OCAPP provides consultation that might “otherwise be out of reach for small businesses with limited resources and helps the agency prevent future noncompliance through education.”
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.