Environmental Affairs Programs and Services
Environmental Affairs focuses primarily on compliance with environmental regulations issued by both federal and state law. This group also provides several activities and services to assist the university community and environment from potential hazards generated by university activities.
Please visit our staff directory for department contact information.
To assist the university faculty, students, staff, and administration in identifying and addressing air quality issues and standards of significance that are relevant to their specific activities, environmental health and safety; provides training and guidance; develops compliance management systems and assessment tools to monitor compliance with the university's Title V air permit. We track emerging regulatory issues; determine air permit applicability and prepare permit applications; inventory air emissions; interface with regulatory agencies for regulatory clarifications, reportable releases, and permit negotiations; conduct project review for air quality regulatory applicability determinations; and evaluate strategic alternatives. We prepare annual, semiannual and quarterly Air Emissions Reports for the University; inventory Greenhouse Gas emissions; update the university's Title V air permit as necessary.
Environmental Affairs staff work to ensure that the university operates in compliance with applicable air regulations. Environmental Affairs maintains the university's Title V air permit, provides training and guidance, develops compliance management systems and assessment tools to monitor compliance with the university's Title V air permit. We track emerging regulatory issues; determine air permit applicability and prepare permit applications; inventory air emissions; interface with regulatory agencies for regulatory clarifications, reportable releases, and permit negotiations; conduct project review for air quality regulatory applicability determinations; and evaluate strategic alternatives. We prepare annual, semiannual and quarterly Air Emissions Reports; prepare the annual Fee Emission Report; inventory Greenhouse Gas emissions; update the university's Title V air permit as necessary; compile and submit Open Burning permit applications.
Storm Water Management Program
Three of our campuses (Columbus, Newark, and Lima) have stormwater permits through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). Ohio State also has several underground and above-ground petroleum storage tanks. EHS helps to ensure that Ohio State’s facilities are maintained and operating properly and that all campus activities are managed to minimize any negative impacts to the environment.
Federal, State & Local Government
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Stormwater Program
• Ohio EPA Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention - Storm Water
• Ohio EPA Construction Storm Water Program
• Ohio EPA Storm Water Program contacts
• Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Soil & Water Resources
• City of Columbus Storm Water Drainage Manual
• Columbus Watershed Management Program
• Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR)
County Soil & Water Conservation Districts
• Allen County - Lima Campus
• Franklin County - Columbus Campus
• Licking County - Newark Campus
• Marion County - Marion Campus
• Ottawa County - Stone Laboratory
• Richland County - Mansfield Campus
• Wayne County - OARDC / Agricultural Technical Institute
• Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW)
• Ohio Environmental Council
• Center for Watershed Protection
• Water Environment Federation: Access Water Knowledge - Storm Water
• opsInfo Environmental Database
Storm Water Compliance
The Environmental Affairs group manages the university’s storm water compliance programs, including permitting, spill prevention, petroleum storage and management programs, pesticide application, and construction run-off management.
Petroleum Storage/Tank Management
Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures
The Oil Pollution Prevention regulation promulgated under the authority of the Clean Water Act (CWA) established the requirements for the prevention of, preparedness for, and response to oil discharges at specific nontransportation-related facilities. The regulation requires facilities that use or store oil to develop and implement Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans to prevent oil from reaching navigable waters and adjoining shorelines and to contain discharges of oil.
Underground Storage Tanks
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is a federal law that requires the regulation of underground storage tanks (USTs). The purpose of the law is to prevent the contamination of soil and water from leaking storage tanks. An underground storage tank is considered a tank of combination of tanks connected piping systems that have at least 10 percent of their combined volume beneath the ground. A tank system may include the tank, underground connected piping, ancillary equipment, and any containment system. It should be noted that these regulations apply to any underground storage tanks or piping used to store petroleum or certain hazardous substances. USTs that store substances considered hazardous under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) are subject to the regulation governing petroleum and must have secondary containment and interstitial monitoring for leak detection. In Ohio, the regulatory responsibility for USTs has been delegated by the federal EPA to the Ohio Bureau of Commerce’s Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulation (BUSTR). BUSTR, however, does not regulate heating oil tanks used for heating on the premises. These tanks need to be permitted and inspected by local fire departments. OEPA regulates any release from these tanks.
Remediation and Monitoring
Environmental Remediation Oversight
Program personnel provide oversight of environmental remediation projects that take place on university property. The oversight and planning aspects of the program provide the university with the best available option to remediate potential environmental concerns.
Chemical Waste Management
EHS manages all chemical waste (hazardous and non-hazardous) generated from university operations and research to ensure disposal is done in compliance with applicable federal, state and local regulations. Individuals may submit chemical disposal requests to Environmental Health and Safety using EHS Online at EHS Online Waste Disposal Request.
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Chemical Recycling and Redistribution
Many materials that laboratories submit as chemical waste are actually surplus chemicals that are reusable. As part of Environmental Health and Safety’s commitment to waste minimization, the Chemical Redistribution Program accepts both opened and unopened containers of unwanted chemicals from laboratories and service areas throughout campus.
Infectious Waste Disposal
In general, infectious wastes are materials from humans or animals that are likely to contain infectious agents that are capable of transmitting disease. They also includes sharps used in the treatment, transfer, or inoculation of human and animal infectious agents. Other materials that may be considered infectious wastes would include:
- Cultures and stocks of infectious agents (human pathogens) and associated biological, without limitation, specimen cultures, cultures and stocks of infectious agents, wastes from production of biological and discarded live and attenuated vaccines.
- Laboratory wastes that were or are likely to have been in contact with infectious agents that may present a substantial threat to public health if improperly handled.
- Pathological wastes, including without limitation human and animal tissues, organs, and body parts, and body fluids and excreta that are contaminated with or are likely to be contaminated with infectious agents, removed or obtained during surgery or autopsy or for diagnostic evaluation.
- Waste materials from the rooms of humans or the enclosures of animals that have been isolated because of diagnosed communicable diseases that are likely to transmit infectious agents. Such waste materials from the rooms of humans do not include any wastes of patients who have been placed on blood and body fluid precautions under the Universal Precaution System established by the Centers for Disease Control in the Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services, except to the extent specific wastes generated under the Universal Precaution System have been identified as infectious waste by other referenced rules.
- Human and animal blood specimens and blood products that are being disposed of, except that “blood product” does not include patient care waste such as bandages or disposable gowns that are lightly soiled to the extent that the generator of the wastes determines that they should be managed as infectious wastes. Bandages, gowns, or other waste materials generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of humans or animals that, when held vertically, drip or exude blood or body fluids are said to be saturated and will be considered infectious waste.
- Contaminated carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that were intentionally exposed to infectious agents during research, production of biological, or testing of pharmaceuticals, and carcasses and bedding of animals otherwise infected that may present a substantial threat to public health if improperly handled.
- Sharp wastes used in the treatment or inoculation of human beings or animals or that have or are likely to have come in contact with infectious agents in medical, research, or industrial laboratories, including without limitation hypodermic needles and syringes, scalpel blades, and glass articles that have been broken. Such wastes are considered as “sharp infectious waste” or “sharps."
- Any other waste material generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of humans or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biological that represent a substantial threat to public health when improperly managed.
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Universal Waste and Electronic Waste Management
Universal Wastes are managed through the Environmental Health and Safety’s Hazardous Waste Program. Generators of such waste can make a request to EHS to pick up these materials and to provide containers for their storage to facilitate transport. Following a formal pickup request, EHS Hazardous Waste staff pick up and transport the Universal Waste to a central collection point on campus for processing and consolidation. The university has a contract with a company that picks up the hazardous waste on a routine basis and transports the materials to its recycling facilities where they are further processed and the valuable components are recycled and placed back into commerce. The university’s Universal Waste Program is one that demonstrates a commitment for being resourceful, sustainable and a good steward of the environment.
Universal Waste Program - The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) allows the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate regulations governing the generation, transport, and disposal of “Universal Wastes." The regulations were developed to promote the collection and recycling of special categories of hazardous waste.
Waste Minimization Program
The Ohio State University is committed to the protection of human health and the environment. As such, the university strongly encourages faculty, staff, and students to utilize the various chemical minimization methods to reduce the quantity and toxicity of chemical wastes generated on campus. An important benefit is that waste minimization should reduce the ever-increasing disposal costs, especially with the current and anticipated changes to state and federal regulations.
• "Less is Better" (ACS)
• Research and Educational Laboratory Waste Reduction (OEPA)
• Guide to computer recycling in Ohio (OEPA)
• Automotive and Vehicle Service Guidance (OEPA)
• Fluorescent Lamps (OEPA)
• Division of Materials and Waste Management (OEPA)
EHS provides DOT-compliant manifesting, transportation and shipping preparation for the infectious waste, chemical waste and hazardous waste generated on campus. Additionally, EHS assists the regional campuses with DOT-compliant shipping of hazardous waste.
US DOT HazMat Shipping Regulations
• Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (DOT) Hazmat Regulations
• Hazmat Shipping Regulations
• DOT Training Requirements
• DOT Training Modules
IATA Dangerous Goods (DG) Shipping Regs
• IATA Dangerous Goods Hazmat Regulations
• IATA Dangerous Goods FAQ
Hazardous Building Material
Asbestos Management Program
Asbestos is a generic name for a group of naturally occurring hydrated mineral silicates of the serpentine or amphibole series that are characterized by fibers or bundles of fibers of fine single crystal fibrils. It should be noted that these minerals may occur in a non-fibrous form, in which case they are not considered as asbestos. The six major recognized species of asbestos minerals are chrysotile of the serpentine group (white asbestos) and amosite (brown asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite of the amphibole group.
Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Program
The purpose of the asbestos Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Program is to prevent the improper disturbance of asbestos containing materials (ACM) and presumed asbestos containing material (PACM), to control the release of asbestos fibers until ACM is scheduled for removal, and to provide corrective measures when asbestos hazards are encountered. Compliance with these measures will allow asbestos to be safely managed in place, nuisances corrected, and danger to human health and the environment to be reduced or eliminated.
Environmental affairs assist university to assess its building renovation projects for the presence of hazardous building materials, including asbestos and lead. This program ensures that projects are in compliance with applicable regulations and without risk to the university community.
Architectural Plan Review
Building Design Standards
Review of existing standards, develop proposed revisions and develop new standards related to safety and environmental aspects of construction and renovation projects.
CPESC Certification Program
Environmental Site Assessment
Environmental site assessments provide the university with information regarding potential environmental concerns associated with the transfer of property to the university or with the demolition/renovation of existing buildings on campus. This information allows for the assessment of any current or future liabilities that could impact the university.
EHS provides consultations for pesticide usage.
Personnel from the Environmental Affairs Program routinely accompany a myriad of federal, state, county and city regulatory personnel that visit the university each year. EHS personnel provide the regulatory personnel with information about university activities and procedures and provide access to university facilities so these regulatory personnel may conduct their frequent inspections.