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MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Fee Oros
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Ohio EPA to Hold March 26 Hearing on the 2014 Agenda for the Ohio Environmental Education Fund

Ohio EPA’s Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) has proposed an agenda for 2014 that sets funding priorities for the 2014 grant program. The proposal supports environmental science and engineering career initiatives and water quality monitoring by students and adults.

A public meeting will be held March 26, 2013, to discuss the annual agenda, answer questions and accept public comments. The meeting is at 10:30 a.m. at Ohio EPA conference center room A, 6th floor, Lazarus Government Center, 50 West Town Street, Columbus.

OEEF plans to provide grants for environmental education projects that target the regulated community, general public and pre-school through university students and teachers. The three highest priorities for funding include:

  • improving air quality and efforts to reduce emissions;
  • using innovative practices to limit the volume and pollution of storm water runoff in order to improve water quality in receiving streams and rivers; and
  • reducing nutrient loadings to Ohio’s streams and lakes, to improve water quality and prevent harmful algal blooms.

Additional priorities include business innovation to help regulated entities understand and comply with Ohio’s environmental laws, community outreach to educate the public about technical aspects of environmental issues and energy innovation to educate the public about energy efficiency, conservation, alternative fuels, energy sources and green building principles.

The OEEF proposes to continue annual scholarships to support environmental science and engineering students at Ohio colleges and universities through a partnership with the Ohio Academy of Science. To encourage young students to consider careers in environmental science and engineering, OEEF will continue to support State Science Day, the National Engineer’s Week Future City Competition for middle school students and the Ohio Envirothon competition for high school students.

OEEF funding also supports the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council’s “Teachers, Industry and the Environment” conference and a new Environmental Career Ambassador Network through a partnership with the Environmental Education Council of Ohio and The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources.

The law that created OEEF requires that an agenda be set with spending priorities developed for each upcoming fiscal year. It is to be submitted to the General Assembly April 1, after a public hearing is held, to allow input from appointed OEEF advisory council members.

A fact sheet on the 2014 annual agenda is available on Ohio EPA’s website. Comments can be sent to Carolyn Watkins, Ohio EPA Office of Environmental Education, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or by fax to (614) 728-1275 or e-mail to oeef@epa.ohio.gov.  Comments received by 5 p.m. on March 28 will be included in the official record.

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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. In the past 40 years, 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. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.

 


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