AirFocus Summer 2020 Newsletter
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Director's Corner

This is certainly not the summer we all anticipated with COVID-19, and I hope you are staying safe and healthy. As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, OAQDA remains committed to being a reliable community partner for local businesses. Even while teleworking to protect the public, our team continues to provide our high standard of customer service and is focused on providing financial assistance to businesses pursuing air quality projects. The programs we offer are valuable resources for businesses hit hard by the economic hardships brought on by COVID-19.

As you will read in our newsletter, we recently updated the eligibility requirements for small pollution control projects through the Clean Air Resource Center (CARC), which allows more Ohio small businesses to qualify. The eligibility details are outlined below.

In addition, we are pleased to introduce the Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP). Our team has spent the last several months updating our guidelines for larger, more complex clean air projects seeking financial support. The newly formalized guidelines, approved by the board at the August meeting, allow for more transparency and accountability to better gauge the impact on Ohio’s air quality. The program is currently in the pilot stage with a comment period, so I look forward to hearing your feedback as you learn more about this new tool.

Ohio is ripe with opportunity – especially as we reopen businesses and operate in our new normal during this pandemic. It is more important than ever that we remain focused on enhancing our sustainability as a state. It is good for the environment, good for business and good for people. Let us know how we can help.

Be well and stay safe,



Christina O’Keeffe
Executive Director

 

 

Clean Air Improvement Program

OAQDA approved guidelines for its new Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP) at the Aug. 11, 2020 Authority meeting. The program supports air quality facility improvements statewide by providing financial support through its bond financing and related tax exemptions, including sales and use, real property, and bond interest income.

Qualified projects include, but are not limited to, the following:

·         Whole building projects

·         New construction component isolation

·         Retrofit component isolation

·         Renewable energy generation

·         Criteria pollutant or greenhouse gas reduction

A reboot of the former Project Development and Financing Program, CAIP is now available for qualified projects that contribute to better air quality, are determined as air quality facilities by OAQDA under Chapter 3706 of the Ohio Revised Code, and meet the program guidelines. All approved projects must report their performance during the term of the bond financing.

Developers, businesses of all sizes, utilities, governments and institutions that qualify are welcome to submit an application by visiting OAQDA’s website at ohioairquality.ohio.gov. The program is in a pilot period, which is open to public comment and stakeholder input. Feedback is encouraged through March 2021. Please email info@aqda.state.oh.us.

Coming soon: Join OAQDA for an educational webinar that further explains the details on the new program. More details will be provided in the coming weeks.

 

 

Updates to Clean Air Resource Center


For small business owners, it can be challenging and time consuming to navigate environmental regulations and prioritize the costs associated with environmentally friendly upgrades to buildings and equipment. Through the Clean Air Resource Center (CARC), OAQDA makes clean air compliance easily accessible and affordable – advocating and providing financial assistance to help businesses comply with the Clean Air Act.
 
Recently, OAQDA made important updates to the CARC Small Business Assistance Fund, making it more accessible to Ohio small businesses.
 
Grants are now available for small businesses of up to 20 percent (a maximum of $20,000) of the total cost of their Clean Air Act compliance strategy. These funds can be used to reimburse legal fees, closing costs, authority fees and more. After reimbursement, the remainder of the grant may go toward paying the principal payment of the loan that provides the necessary capital to fund the air quality facility.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Small businesses that are independently owned and operated, employing 100 employees or less
  • Principal place of business (offices or operating facilities) in Ohio
  • Emit less than 75 tons per year of all regulated pollutants or 50 tons or less per year of any one regulated pollutant under the Clean Air Act
  • Financial difficulty to meet compliance requirements
  • A lending institution willing to participate in the transaction    

Interested small businesses may contact info@aqda.state.oh.us for more information.

 

New Project Announcements

The following new projects have recently been approved by the Authority --
 
Kroner Dry Cleaners - Established in 1939, Kroner is Cincinnati’s oldest family-owned dry cleaner. This project involves the purchase and installation of two new halogen-free solvent machines that will replace a 40 lb. perchloroethylene (PERC) machine. The new equipment will eliminate the use of PERC, a known carcinogenic, and allow for the use of new solvent technology and compliance with the Clean Air Act.
 
Riverside 10 LLC - OAQDA recently closed on $2 million in bond resolution financing for energy improvements to the property at 1600 Dublin Road in Columbus. The business will be using the revenue bond to increase overall energy efficiency of the building through the purchase and installation new HVAC components, including three condensing ultra-high efficiency hot boiler units.

Easton Office, LLC - The funding will allow the business to purchase and install energy-efficient equipment. Easton Office is a commercial property management firm and part of Alterra Real Estate Advisors. The Authority has granted $2 million in financing for a renovation project, located at 3 Easton Oval in Columbus. The project will include renovating portions of the building envelope, HVAC, lighting, building automation system, elevator and adding a solar electric system.
 

Did you Know?


The Authority has helped create more than 800 jobs in the past five years alone for Ohio, boosting local economies while supporting advanced sustainable practices around air quality and energy efficiency.

Learn more by reading our 2019 Annual Report.

Also, be sure to stay up to date with OAQDA happenings by following us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.