As testimony continues on Ohio Senate Bill 294, the aluminum industry is working with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and key legislative offices to promote environmental protection, good governance and business.
In a recent statement before the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, state Senator Tim Schaffer (R-31) remarked that the legislation's goal was "to provide reforms that ensure a business friendly climate while continuing to protect the environment." State Senator Schaffer and his office have been actively engaged in conversation with the OEPA and various industries, including the aluminum industry on areas in the legislation that could limit business opportunities. The coalition is working with members of the governor's administration, OEPA Director, Scott Nally and members of the House Agriculture Committee to find a constructive solution supporting business growth and environmental protection.
"Constructive cooperation between businesses, legislators and regulatory agencies achieves the best goals for business, the environment and people," said Heidi Brock, president of the Aluminum Association. "It allows for state-specific issues to be addressed in a manner that meets local needs."
The industry is concerned that the current language of the bill could negatively impact current OPEA-approved disposal practices fully supported by the aluminum industry, prevent business innovation in this area and limit advances in recycling. State Senator Schaffer said in his statement that "we are still working with the aluminum industry to tweak the language in a way that prevents co-disposal without inhibiting innovation."
The aluminum industry has offered advice that would protect business innovation by clarifying solid waste management for aluminum byproducts. "The aluminum industry will remain engaged in a strong working relationship with key stakeholders in Ohio to achieve a solution that advances recycling while fostering business growth and innovation," said Brock.
"Comments on legislative language offered by the industry allow for a positive business environment while supporting good governance and environmental protection, the goals of Senator Schaffer's legislation," said Brock.
The aluminum industry is a vital part of Ohio's economy. In 2009, the industry employed over 30,000 workers; nearly 8,000 direct jobs and over 22,000 jobs in dependent upstream and downstream industries. The total economic value of the Ohio aluminum industry was $6.4 billion, $2 billion from direct output.
The Aluminum Association, based in Arlington, Virginia, works globally to aggressively promote aluminum as the most sustainable and recyclable automotive, packaging and construction material in today's market. The Association represents U.S. and foreign-based primary producers of aluminum, aluminum recyclers and producers of fabricated products, as well as industry suppliers. Member companies operate more than 200 plants in the United States, with many conducting business worldwide.