PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Lindey Amer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron
Ohio EPA to Hold Public Hearing about Revisions to SERC Rules
Requirements for companies to notify state agencies regarding oil and gas related spills or releases will be the subject of a Dec. 19, 2016, public meeting. These rules are set up under Ohio’s State Emergency Response Commission (SERC).
The public hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Lazarus Government Center, 50 W. Town Street, Suite 700, Columbus. All visitors should bring photo identification in order to register at the security desk in the lobby upon arrival.
The SERC rule change is required to incorporate a Governor’s executive order to create a one-call emergency notification system for facilities reporting oil and gas emergencies. The rules would be updated to designate the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) as the single point of contact for state agency notification of oil or gas spills or releases involving regulated facilities.
The rule would designate verbal notification to ODNR and would require ODNR to coordinate any state response activities with other state agencies as needed. The requirement for the responsible party to provide notification to their county local emergency planning committee and fire department are still required.
Comments on the rule change proposal may be presented at the hearing or submitted in writing to Ohio EPA Division of Air Pollution Control, Attention: Jeff Beattie, Lazarus Government Center, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The public comment period ends Dec. 19, 2016.
For more information on SERC and the rule changes, visit: http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dapc/serc.aspx#122453394-rules.
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.