COLUMBUS – State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) wants to reduce the red tape surrounding the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency with House Bill 464.
Wiggam gave sponsor testimony in the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee recently on the legislation that would eliminate the Ohio EPA’s asset management reporting requirements for businesses.
The asset management reporting were mandates that were developed through bureaucratic rulemaking authority given to the Ohio EPA as a small part of Senate Bill 2 of the 132nd General Assembly and signed into law in 2017. It requires all private businesses that supply water to the public to file documentation of inventory and evaluation of all assets, an operation and maintenance program, emergency preparedness and contingency plan, criteria and timelines for infrastructure replacement, capacity projections and capital improvement planning and a long-term funding strategy to implement the asset management program.
Wiggam states that small businesses already know they must comply with Ohio EPA’s water quality standards and if they don’t comply they will be shut down in order to protect the public. The added bureaucracy of the reporting requirements do not increase safety and only add costs to small businesses.
“This program is not needed and it places an unnecessary burden and an overregulation of small, privately owned businesses,” said Wiggam. “Privately owned businesses should not have to submit financial and budgeting information to the Ohio EPA.
House Bill 464 would rescind any rules implementing the asset management program within 30 days of being signed into law.
Under the current draconian and overly bureaucratic law, a private business that has a public water source, can be fined up to $25,000 each day of non-compliance and private owners can be imprisoned for up to four years for non-compliance.
“These rules do not make Ohioans safer, they only make Ohio less attractive for new small businesses,” said Wiggam. “This burden on small businesses needs to end and this legislation does exactly that.”
House Bill 464 now awaits another hearing in committee.