Sustainability Conference

Learn how to leverage sustainable practices and resources to strengthen Ohio communities and businesses.

Ohio EPA recognizes that many businesses, communities, and other organizations are moving beyond compliance and incorporating sustainable environmental practices into their daily operations. Our conference will show attendees how to implement sustainable practices and utilize available resources to strengthen Ohio’s communities and businesses. From September 21 to September 23, 2021, Ohio EPA will host its second Sustainability Conference.

A large part of the conference is targeted to businesses and communities that are moving beyond basic environmental requirements into cost-effective sustainable strategies to improve environmental performance and save valuable resources. This event will be particularly helpful to small and medium-sized communities and businesses.

This will be an opportunity to learn ways to become a part of the sustainability movement and how it can improve businesses and communities, how our water resources can benefit from sustainable approaches, and the resources and incentives that can help your sustainability efforts. During the event, you will hear from business and community leaders eager to share their insight as to how they've gone above and beyond to implement sustainable practices. In addition, attendees will learn about technical assistance available from Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance programs. You will be able to interact directly with these representatives and ask questions specific to your needs.

The general agenda for the day-long conference covers a variety of sustainability-related topics below - the full agenda will be posted soon.

  • How to Start a Sustainable Business in Your Community
  • Building Sustainable Communities – Addressing Recycling Contamination
  • Efficiency Smart and EcoSmart Programs for Ohio Communities
  • Sustainable Community Partnerships
  • How Solar Works in Ohio
  • Sustainable Food Management
  • Save Money and Energy through the Industrial Assessment Center Program
  • Ohio EPA Sustainability Resources – Environmental Assistance, Recycling and Litter Prevention Grants . . . and more!

For full details, print the agenda.

The April 17 conference will begin with registration, coffee and pastries at 8 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. after the last break-out session. 

Jennifer Fening
Director of Marketing and Communications Smart Columbus

Keynote Speaker

Jennifer Fening is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Smart Columbus initiative. In her role, Jennifer is responsible for driving resident engagement and adoption of projects designed to enhance mobility, sustainability and safety in America’s 14th-largest city. She also oversees initiatives to grow Columbus’ perception as “America’s Smart City.”

Prior to joining Smart Columbus, Jennifer directed marketing for Worthington Industries’ Consumer Products business unit, where she led the re-branding and marketing of the Bernzomatic brand, which was recognized with multiple national marketing awards. Previously, Jennifer directed government, B2B and non-profit client engagements as an Associate Vice President at Fahlgren Mortine. Jennifer began her career at Weber Shandwick Worldwide public relations in Chicago. Jennifer is a graduate of Northwestern University, a wife and mother of two young girls.



Where is the event being held? 

Hyatt Regency Columbus
350 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
(855) 680-3239 

What is the registration fee? 

The conference registration is $150.00 for the one-day event. 

Are there refunds if I can’t make it to the event? 

No. Ohio EPA will not issue refunds; however, you can send someone else in your place as a substitute if you are unable to attend. Contact us to transfer your registration spot. 

Can I update my registration information (e.g., pay when I register and select my breakout sessions later? 

Yes. Your confirmation will include a link to your account where you can go in and select or change your breakout session preferences. 

What payment options are available when I register? 

Ohio EPA is using Eventbrite for payment and registration. You will also sign up for your breakout sessions when you register, although you can update your registration information to specify your breakout sessions later. 

When you register, you will have the option to pay by credit card (AMEX, Visa, MasterCard, Discover). You can also pay by check, following the instructions in Eventbrite. If you are paying by check, Ohio EPA will confirm your registration upon receipt of payment. 

Payment must be made three weeks prior to arriving at the event, or your registration will be canceled. If you are from another state agency and want to pay by ISTV, contact us directly for further instructions. 

Is there free parking at the Hyatt Regency Columbus? 

No. For your convenience, valet parking is available at the hotel, with off-site self-parking just one block south at the Chestnut Street Garage, accessible via enclosed walkway. Additional parking provided by Convention Center Underground Garage. 

Are there discounted hotel prices for the conference? 

No. Please contact the Hyatt Regency Columbus located at 350 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215, (855) 680-3239 directly to make your reservation.

The conference registration fee is $150 per attendee. If you are paying by credit card, use the following link to complete your conference registration —

If you are paying by check, make check payable to: Treasurer, State of Ohio. [Please include names of conference attendees in a note attached to the check.] Send check to:
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
Attention: Marie Barnett

Ohio EPA will confirm your registration upon receipt of payment. Payment must be made three weeks prior to arriving at the event, or your registration will be canceled. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Marie Barnett by email or by phone at (614) 644-2782.

Continuing education units (CEUs) will not be provided at this event.

Ohio EPA’s Sustainability Conference will be held April 17, 2019. 

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Enjoy complimentary coffee and pastries as you visit our information booths and await the start of the conference proceedings at 9 a.m. A lunch will be provided. The conference concludes at 4 p.m. 

Conference Location
Hyatt Regency Columbus
350 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
(855) 680-3239

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Breakout Session One — 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

2017 Encouraging Environmental Excellence Awards (E3)

If you are handling chemicals or hazardous waste at your business, you probably need to report under these programs. Even small businesses may be required to report. Come learn more about who is required to file reports and the reporting procedures for each program.

Note: This is a two-part session.

View Presentation Slides

Hazardous Waste Requirements – The Basics (Part 1)

If you need to know the basics about Ohio’s hazardous waste regulations, then this session is for you. We’ll cover how to evaluate your waste streams to see if they are hazardous, an overview of your requirements as a hazardous waste generator, and simple steps you can take to recycle and/or reduce wastes at your business - steps that can reduce your regulatory burden and save you money! Do you generated hazardous spent light bulbs or batteries? You may be able to manage them under less burdensome standards than regular hazardous waste. We will also provide information about Universal Waste in this session.

Note: This is a two-part session.

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Introduction to Air Permitting and Reporting (Part 1)

Environmental regulations are complex and determining if your business needs an air permit can be confusing. If you are wondering whether you need an air permit, this first session is for you. We'll cover the basic steps in evaluating all your emission sources, documenting exemptions, and getting a permit for those that need one. We'll cover the types of permits available, including general permits, permit-by-rule options, and permits-to-install-and-operate (PTIO). Authorized pre-permit construction activities will be discussed. Finally, we’ll provide an overview of how to complete permit application data, calculate emissions of criteria and air toxic pollutants and work with your district office.

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Supporting Green Infrastructure through Ohio’s State Revolving Fund

Are you considering a green space for your new business, or contemplating an on-site expansion project? If so, will your project involve dredging, filling or other activities that may have an impact to waters of the state, such as wetlands, ponds, streams, rivers? If so, you need to be aware of Ohio EPA’s 401 water quality certification and isolated wetlands permitting requirements under Ohio’s laws and regulations. In this session, we’ll cover the basics of the 401 and isolated wetlands requirements, application process and how to avoid common problems that could cause delays.

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Jumpstarting Your Recycling Efforts with Ohio EPA’s Recycling and Litter Prevention Grants

This session will discuss Ohio EPA’s Recycling and Litter Prevention Grant application process and the types of activities funded. The content will focus on how the competitive grant programs provide opportunities for local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations to establish and implement recycling and litter prevention programs, market development for manufacturers, expansion of equipment and processing facilities, and infrastructure improvements leading to processing efficiencies. Examples of organizations that have received funding under these programs will be reviewed to demonstrate the types of activities Ohio EPA funds under this program, and the components of a successful grant application.

Speaker: Chet Chaney, Ohio EPA

Moderator: Joy Padgett, Ohio EPA

View Presentation Materials

Breakout Session Two — 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

EPCRA (Right-to-Know) and TRI (Toxic Release Inventory) Reporting (Part 2)

This session continues as we review the EPCRA and TRI reporting requirements.

Achieving Zero Waste – How to Get Started and Case Studies from the Field

What is Zero Waste? Is it really possible? How do I get started? This session will start with a discussion of zero waste and why the movement has grown tremendously over the last decade. We will explore how to participate in the Circular Economy from a zero waste perspective and identify common strategies for companies to strive toward achieving zero waste through reuse, recycling and composting. Case studies will also be used to identify hard-to-recycle items and strategies for addressing them.

Speakers: Maryellen Etienne, U.S. Green Building Council; Doreen Schreiber, Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District; and Angel Arroyo-Rodriquez, Ohio EPA

Moderator: Joseph Klatt, Ohio EPA

View U.S. Green Building Council Presentation Materials

View Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Presentation Materials

View Ohio EPA Presentation Materials

Getting in the Game – Promoting Sustainable Practices at Your Venues

What does sustainability mean to the Cleveland Indians? It’s all about sustaining people. Progressive Field and the Cleveland Indians have a large venue platform and multiple opportunities to educate and promote to a diverse community about recycling, zero waste, composting, energy, water, local foods, wellness and nutrition. They have Brand Vision to create memories, celebrate families and connect generations. Uniting this vision to their green and sustainability efforts is important. The Cleveland Indians do this through leveraging partnerships with community groups, local government, local partners and concessionaires while focusing on several pillars of sustainability. The key is to look for ways for fans, venue visitors and employees to become involved, participate and support their many sustainable initiatives. This helps promote these concepts beyond the walls of Progressive Field and into the community.

Speaker: Jerry Crabb, Cleveland Indians

Moderator: Dave Foulkes, Ohio EPA

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Do I Need an NPDES Permit? How to Get a Permit and How to Renew a Permit

Federal and State law prohibit the discharge of pollutants to a stream or river without having a discharge permit. The discharge permit’s fancy name is National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System or NPDES for short. This session will cover basics of when someone needs to be covered under the NPDES program and how to get this coverage.

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Save Money and Energy through the Industrial Assessment Center Program

Small and medium-sized manufacturers may be eligible to receive a free assessment from a regional Industrial Assessment Center (IAC). Teams located at 28 universities around the country conduct the energy audits to identify opportunities to improve productivity, reduce waste and save energy. Dr. Kelly Kissock leads the IAC program at the University of Dayton. As one of the original four centers, the Dayton IAC has helped identify savings and increase productivity for more than 900 manufacturers in multiple industrial sectors through recommendations and changes in processes and equipment. This session will describe the energy audit process and effective approaches to reduce waste, as well as how to qualify for a free assessment.

Speaker: Dr. J. Kelly Kissock, University of Dayton

Moderator: Alauddin Alauddin, Ohio EPA

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Breakout Session Three — 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Green Chemistry – Sustainability at the Molecular Level

Having trouble determining if your waste is hazardous or when a waste is a listed hazardous waste? We will provide a more in depth discussion about using your knowledge of the waste and proper sampling and analysis. Are you unsure about how to manage the other hazardous waste you send for recycling? We’ll tell you the ins and outs of determining the proper regulations for recycled hazardous waste. This session will also explain management options for solvent contaminated rags and wipes.

Note: This is a two-part session.

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Air Services and Ohio EPA’s eBusiness Center

This session includes an overview of Air Services, Ohio EPA’s online tool for completing air permit applications. We will also cover the Agency’s eBusiness Center for other updates on interacting electronically with Ohio EPA to submit your air permit applications and reports.

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New and Proposed Rules, Policies and Regulations That Could Impact Your NPDES Permit

During this session, you will learn more about new and proposed rules, policies and regulations that could impact your NPDES permit.

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RMP (Risk Management Plan) Reporting

The intent of section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act is to prevent accidental releases to the air and mitigate the consequences of releases that do occur by focusing on prevention measures on chemicals that pose the greatest risk to the public and the environment. Under these requirements, industry has an obligation to prevent accidents and operate safely. The document that summarizes these requirements is called a Risk Management Plan (RMP). Come to this session to learn more about RMP requirements and whether these apply to your operations.

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Breakout Session Four — 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Advanced Topics in Hazardous Waste (Part 2)

Having trouble determining if your waste is hazardous or when a waste is a listed hazardous waste? We will provide a more in depth discussion about using your knowledge of the waste and proper sampling and analysis. Are you unsure about how to manage the other hazardous waste you send for recycling? We’ll tell you the ins and outs of determining the proper regulations for recycled hazardous waste. This session will also explain management options for solvent contaminated rags and wipes. This is Part 2 of the 1:30-2:45 session on advanced hazardous waste topics.

How to Report When Things Go Wrong

Have you ever had a spill or release of materials and weren’t sure exactly what to do? In this session, we’ll cover the basic Ohio EPA reporting requirements for emergency situations like this.

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Preparing for an Ohio EPA Inspection

Ever wonder what happens when an Ohio EPA inspector shows up at your business? First, don't panic. Come learn more about the inspection process and get practical tips on how you can prepare your business when an inspector does show up. Part one of this session will also include a panel discussion from field staff who will share with you the common problems they've seen during inspections. Or, perhaps your business has already been inspected in the past and you want some guidance on how to improve communication with the Agency. If you want to know more about what happens before, during and after an inspection and be better prepared when the time does come, stop by this session.

NOTE: This session is also offered on day two of the conference (10:45 -12 time slot).

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How to Complete a Minor Source Air Permit Application

This session will include line-by-line instructions on how to fill out the standard application form #3150a for minor source air permits, common do’s and don’ts, and how a complete application allows for faster processing. Although the session will focus on the hard copy form, the information also applies when completing an electronic permit application through the Air Services.

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