In March, shortly before our live compliance assistance conference in Columbus (sold out with 500 participants) was to begin, COVID-19 forced us to cancel. When we realized a new normal was here and we could not offer the conference live, our staff worked to come up with an alternative option to reach our customers virtually.
Ohio EPA’s first free virtual compliance assistance conference was held over three weeks Sept. 21 through Oct. 8, 2020, with 7,630 people logging on to 20 different sessions and interacting virtually. Sessions had polling to engage the participants and opportunities to ask questions. Certificates for continuing education credits were included for each session and all sessions were recorded for customers who could not attend or who wanted to review a session more closely. Conference sessions focused on compliance with air, waste, and water regulations. Interactive keynote sessions live-streamed with Ohio EPA’s Director, Laurie Stevenson and U.S. EPA Region V’s Director Michael Harris.
Sessions offered were:
- Ohio EPA Updates with Director Laurie A. Stevenson – This opening virtual conference keynote session with Ohio EPA Director Stevenson discussed Ohio EPA’s transition to work remotely, virtual inspections and programmatic updates.
- Preparing for a Virtual Ohio EPA Inspection – This session covered Ohio EPA’s inspection process and practical tips on how you can prepare your business when an inspector does show up, virtually or in person were highlighted.
- Introduction to Air Permitting and Reporting (Part 1 and 2) – These sessions reviewed available permits (general, permit-by-rule options, and permits-to-install/operate). An overview of completing an application, calculating emissions, record keeping, and reporting requirements contained in a typical air permit were covered.
- Working Effectively with Ohio EPA – This session highlighted strategies for proactively communicating with Ohio EPA on new projects.
- Ohio EPA’s Response Program: What to Do and What to Expect When You Have a Spill – This session provided an overview of preparing for when a spill happens and real-world examples.
- Hazardous Waste Requirements: The Basics (Part 1 and 2) – These sessions covered the basic requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to help generators understand managing their hazardous waste.
- Hazardous Waste Rules: What’s coming down the line? – This session highlighted new rules that will be adopted in 2020, including the myRCRAid and e-Manifest modules of U.S. EPA’s RCRAInfo Industry Application.
- A Deeper Dive into the Universal Waste and Used Oil Rules – This session covered the criteria used in defining a universal waste, and Ohio-Specific Universal Waste.
- U.S. EPA Updates with Region V Director Harris.
- The Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Awards Ceremony. Silver, Gold and Platinum Levels were awarded for 2020 – Ohio’s E3 program recognizes businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies for going above and beyond compliance with requirements while demonstrating environmental excellence.
- Air Permitting for Major Sources (Part 1 and 2) – The basics of Major New Source Review (NSR) including applicability and attainment/non-attainment, modeling basics, modifications, where to find key guidance and what’s new, were highlighted.
- Storm Water Permitting Requirements for Industrial Activity – This session covered obtaining a permit, best management practices, and how to avoid problems.
- NPDES: Permit, New and Proposed Rules and Policies – This session covered new and proposed rules, policies and regulations that could impact your non-storm water NPDES permit.
- Division Chiefs: Program Priorities and Compliance Tactics – This session featured Ohio EPA Division Chiefs sharing information about their program priorities and compliance tactics.
- A Panel Discussion of Encouraging Environmental Excellence: Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Leaders – This panel highlighted the successes, opportunities and challenges of the successful sustainability programs of three Ohio organizations.
- Preparing a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) – This session highlighted how to develop a SWPPP to comply with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System industrial storm water permit.
- A General Overview: SPCC Plans for Oil and Oil products – This session covered SPCC requirements applying to even small businesses, oil production, bulk oil storage and end-use storage facilities. What to expect during a federal SPCC inspection and the common violations seen in the field were also highlighted.
Thank you to all who attended our first virtual compliance assistance conference and for helping to make it a success!
If you missed our first Virtual Compliance Assistance Conference, you can listen to the recorded sessions at https://www.gotostage.com/channel/ohioepa