Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP)

“As we were looking at sites for our new spent catalyst recycling and reclamation facility, we explored a number of domestic and global locations, but we kept coming back to southeastern Ohio. The support we received from the Muskingum and Guernsey County communities and the State of Ohio, including OAQDA who so generously issued tax-exempt bond financing for the environmentally beneficial project, enabled the Zanesville Plant to become a reality. We are profoundly grateful to these, and all other public and private sector partners, for their support and endorsement.”
– Tom Centa, AMG Vanadium President

Clean Air Improvement Program: Supporting Air Quality in Ohio

The Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP) is OAQDA’s resource for businesses looking to improve air quality. We help businesses of all sizes every day by providing financial tools through our bond financing, allowing them to make investments in cleaner, more efficient technologies such as pollution control, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Through these projects, we support cleaner air for employees, customers, and communities, along with bottom-line savings that help Ohio businesses sustain their operations and meet their sustainability goals.

A reboot of the former Project Development and Financing Program (PDAF), CAIP is now available for qualified projects that contribute to better air quality in Ohio, are determined as air quality facilities by the OAQDA Board, and meet the program guidelines. All approved projects must report their ongoing performance in serving as an air quality facility during the term of their financing.

Financial Benefits

OAQDA is a non-partisan, non-regulatory state agency whose role is to be a partner for businesses that want to contribute to enhanced environmental practices and sustainability. Our primary mechanism for CAIP is the issuance of air quality revenue bonds, which includes tax benefits to the borrower based on the approved project description. Participants may work with lenders of their choice or may seek the open market for the purchase of the bonds for eligible projects. Financial terms and credit worthiness are determined by the lender or underwriter. Through the financial benefits of OAQDA-issued bonds, projects see enhanced viability and increased cash flow.

OAQDA bond financing provides a 100 percent exemption from the following taxes:

  • Sales and use tax – All tangible personal property comprising an air quality project purchased or acquired specifically for that project is exempt from the state and local sales and use tax levied on the transfer or sale of that tangible personal property. The state sales tax rate is set at 5.0%, and the total sales tax rate will vary by county as counties are authorized to levy additional, permissive sales taxes.
  • Real property tax – Any real property comprising an air quality project is exempt from real estate property taxes and assessments, as long as the bond or note issued by OAQDA is outstanding. The final determination on the valuation and application of this exemption is determined by the local county auditor.
  • Interest income on bonds and notes issued by OAQDA – Any income generated from the ownership of bonds and notes issued by the OAQDA, the transfer of bonds and notes, and any profit derived from the sale of those bonds or notes is exempt from Ohio’s state income tax and in some cases, federal income tax.
Who qualifies?

OAQDA can work with businesses of any size looking to improve air quality through reducing emissions, regulated pollutants, lower energy usage, and/or cleaner energy generation. Through Ohio Revised Code Section 3706.01 (G), we can finance an “air quality facility” including, but not limited to, the following:

Whole-building projects include significant renovation or new construction projects that deliver air quality benefits to Ohio through the design, construction, commissioning and operation of a high performing building that encompasses highly energy-efficient equipment and measures, onsite clean energy generation and/or improvement to occupant’s health through reduction of harmful air contaminants. These projects should achieve a combined 50% energy savings above the current energy efficiency standards adopted by the Ohio Board of Building Standards in rules 4101:1-13-01 and 4101:1-35-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code.

Component isolation projects are new construction projects which must achieve a 15% energy savings above the current energy efficiency standards adopted by the Ohio Board of Building Standards in rules 4101:1-13-01 and 4101:1-35-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code for all air quality improvement measures installed.

Component isolation projects involve retrofit of existing air quality improvement measures and must achieve a 15% energy savings above the current energy efficiency standards adopted by the Ohio Board of Building Standards in rules 4101:1-13-01 and 4101:1-35-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code.

Renewable energy projects must demonstrate energy generation from natural, replenishable resources and include information about the specific energy systems.

Criterial pollutant or greenhouse gas reduction projects will significantly reduce one or more of the USEPA Criteria Pollutants and/or Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), and/or provide environmental benefits.

If you’re not sure if your project qualifies, contact OAQDA at (614) 466-6825 or info@aqda.state.oh.us.

OAQDA Financing Process

To begin the process, contact OAQDA’s knowledgeable and helpful staff. We are available to answer any questions you may have, walk you through the process, and serve as a resource for your business.

To promote the smoothest process, OAQDA can facilitate conversations early in the project development process to determine any specific questions or other items relating to your project. Following these conversations, project owners may submit a CAIP application.

All project requests are reviewed thoroughly by OAQDA to verify the expected performance of the project to improve air quality. This process involves financial, technical, and project impact review. For more information, read our program guidelines here.

 

The Executive Director makes the final determination to recommend a project application to the Authority members and place it on the agenda for an Authority board meeting. Projects may be placed on the agenda for inducement or bond approval, depending on project status and complexity.

The Authority members make the final determination of whether a project qualifies as an air quality facility according to the definition in Chapter 3706 of the Ohio Revised Code. Project applications recommended to be received at least four weeks prior to an Authority meeting, but preliminary discussions are strongly encouraged as early as possible in the project’s development.

To provide transparency and increase data available, OAQDA has implemented accountability guidelines. OAQDA requires at least annual reporting of specific metrics. These are determined in the review process to best measure project success.