Aging hazardous waste incineration plants in Ohio that have been barred from expansion for three decades could start growing again under a new policy Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law. Ohio has four such incinerators – large industrial facilities that burn hazardous and toxic chemicals and have been linked to public health risks – but the legislation was written to allow at least one specific facility in Lorain County to apply to the state to expand its operations.
This could effectively overturn a 1993 law that imposed a moratorium on new hazardous waste incineration in Ohio, following public outcry after the last facility was built in Columbiana County. As the clock neared midnight on the second-to-last day of the two-year legislative session, state Sen. Rob McColley, a Republican from Napoleon, added the incinerator expansion proposal as an amendment to a bill originally focused on water and sewer infrastructure.
He said the amendment only applied to one facility and that the bill doesn’t guarantee its request will be granted by the director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.