Summer 2021 AirFocus Newsletter

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Director's Corner


The recent summer months have been very busy at OAQDA as we continually adapt to the changes from COVID while maintaining our commitment to serve the economic and environmental needs of Ohio businesses and communities. This focus is evident in recent project activity (as highlighted in this newsletter) and most prominently in an exciting announcement involving our role to attract sustainable investing in Ohio. 

Momentum within the capital markets is ever-increasing for investments that can make a positive impact in our communities. ESG (environmental, social and governance) is a widely recognized term by investors for supporting solutions to problems faced by our communities and over a third of all global assets are in sustainable investments, as reported by NASDAQ.  

In Ohio, OAQDA has taken a very important step to raise the state’s profile as an issuer of ESG bonds for prospective investors and help position many deserving projects to attract this investment prioritized with a purpose. Our new Framework identifies the parameters for eligibility, selection and management of proceeds, and utilizes the existing methodology of our Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP)

As part of this initiative, we have integrated core values of accountability and transparency into our program.  Robust, industry-standard measurement and verification protocols are a requirement to validate the performance of projects. In addition, an accredited external reviewer is included to issue an opinion on the merits of the project in alignment with the internationally-recognized market standards. As a result, these efforts should garner greater attention and confidence of investors, who are prioritizing these aspects in their decision-making, and possibly a pricing benefit based on assurance of validated ESG impacts.

I encourage you to review this initiative, and please let us know if you’d like to discuss the opportunity for your project. We are excited to get started!

Be well, 

Christina O’Keeffe
Executive Director


OAQDA Provides Bond Financing to Support Cargill’s Soybean Waste Facility Expansion

In June, OAQDA announced a major project with Cargill Incorporated in Shelby County. The company received $75 million in revenue bonds through the Authority to finance a significant expansion of its soybean waste facility in Sidney, Ohio. The Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP) financing supports Cargill’s soybean production efforts as well as the development of a solid waste disposal facility that will turn waste byproducts into key components of cattle feed that would otherwise be sent to a landfill. 

The project is anticipated to reduce solid waste by 1.6 million tons per year and reduce air emissions. In addition, the company is making a substantial investment in the community, creating 12 jobs and retaining nearly 300 positions. The announcement received considerable attention including from Yahoo Finance (see clip below) among other news outlets.


OAQDA 50th Anniversary Celebration Continues 


OAQDA is proud of all that has been accomplished to support the environment and Ohio’s economy over the past five decades. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and their stories are truly inspirational.

Baker’s Collision in Mansfield is a notable success story from the Clean Air Resource Center as they sought financing to install a safer, paint booth that also increased the small business’ service capacity. Learn more about their story:


Help us mark this important milestone! Follow OAQDA on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. Share your thoughts, post a project picture or simply share a message of thanks. Please use the hashtags #OAQDA #Cheersto50Years and look forward to more videos and stories throughout the rest of the year.


Access to Green Bonds Now Available Statewide

There is more focus today than ever before on businesses and organizations that embrace Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives, making them more attractive to current and potential investors. To that end, OAQDA can connect qualified projects with the national and international investment community that is focused on sustainable investing opportunities. 

In order to attract additional investors for Ohio projects, OAQDA recently established a Green Bond Framework in accordance with international capital market standards and is using the existing selection criteria through the Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP). The Green Bond Framework, approved by the Authority this summer, is designed to support projects that address renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicle or alternative fuel infrastructure, recycling or waste disposal, or mitigation of harmful environmental pollution.
OAQDA is the first statewide authority to implement a dedicated program of this magnitude, requiring the use of a trusted, third-party reviewer to ensure accountability and transparency in the process, while meeting the demands of the investor community.
OAQDA has a dedicated expert team to assist applicants through the process. A key member is the selection of Kestrel Verifiers to review and issue their objective opinion on the merits of the projects in line with international green, social and sustainability bond standards. The firm has a deep understanding of public finance and are municipal green, social and sustainability bond experts with 20 years of experience in the industry.

OAQDA remains committed to continual innovation and implementing new tools, like Green Bonds, to further position Ohio as a national leader in supporting the mutual benefits of economic development and environmental protection. To learn more about the Green Bond Framework, visit:


New Project Announcements

The following new projects have recently been approved by the Authority:

130 West 2nd Street, LLC (Dayton) –
Financing Amount:           $2.85 million
Project:                              Energy efficient building upgrades
Total Savings:                   $144,997 per year (22.7% reduction)
Environmental Benefits:  Reduction of 2.9 million pounds of CO2/yr
Economic Benefits:          25 jobs created and revitalized downtown building

Situated in the heart of downtown Dayton, the 325,000-square-foot, 21-story office tower was built in 1972 and is the current home to Daywork 130 coworking office space, Coffee Chamber Café and Table 33 restaurant and includes amenities such as conference room space and a fitness and recreation center. The building improvements significantly reduce energy costs and air emissions. 

Car Pro Auto Sale, LLC (Columbus) –
Financing Amount:           $109,000
Grant Assistance:             $20,000
Project:                              Downdraft spray paint booth
Environmental Benefits:  Reduction in VOCs and air pollutants
Economic Benefits:          2 full-time jobs created

Car Pro Auto Sale is an auto body collision repair and automobile sales dealership that has been in business for more than six years. They are installing a new downdraft spray booth, which will help remove overspray with exhaust fans, creating a safer environment for the painter, while helping to create a high-quality paint finish, free of debris.

Howald’s Paint & Body Works (Springfield) 
Financing Amount:           $150,000
Grant Assistance:             $20,000
Project:                              Downdraft spray paint booth
Environmental Benefits:  Reduction in VOCs and air pollutants
Economic Benefits:          2-5 full-time jobs created

The company was approved for up to $150,000 in bond financing and a $20,000 grant. Howald’s is a family-owned auto body collision repair and custom paint shop has been serving the Springfield community for more than eight years. Howald’s currently services the city of Springfield’s utility and police vehicles, Clark County Engineer’s fleet of vehicles and Ohio State Patrol cars.

Lincoln Center Manufacturing (Fulton) –
Financing Amount:           $125,400
Grant Assistance:             $20,000
Project:                              Cross-draft spray paint booth
Environmental Benefits:  Reduction in VOCs and air pollutants
Economic Benefits:          17 jobs retained; 1 full-time job created

The Authority approved bond financing for up to $125,400 and a grant of up to $20,000. Lincoln Center Manufacturing engineers and produces custom metal products, and this project is part of the company’s growth into a new, larger facility that is expected to be one of the largest investments in Fulton this year.


Did You See the News?

Check out the latest news about OAQDA and the impact we are making to improve our environment and local communities!
OAQDA Provides $75 Million in Bond Financing to Support Cargill's Soybean Waste Facility Expansion
Energy Efficiency can Rein in Costs from Healthy Building Air Quality Projects
Energy News Network
Solar Facility coming to Vinton County