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Rep. Dell'Aquila Announces Funding for Crucial Environmental Safety Projects

January 31, 2024
Richard Dell'Aquila News

COLUMBUS - State Rep. Richard Dell'Aquila (D-Seven Hills) today announced that the Controlling Board has approved several funding opportunities that address environmental issues across Ohio.

One of these items is the allocation of $4M received through a 2022 settlement  between the State of Ohio and Monsanto after the company was ordered to pay for the long-standing environmental damage it knowingly caused in Ohio with its toxic products. These new funds are being distributed between four state agencies, $1M to each: 

  • Ohio Department of Agriculture: Improvements to the State Pesticide and Fertilizer Regulatory Program
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Additional Stream Quality Monitoring (SQM) to collect scientific data that will benefit efforts to protect Ohio's Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers, by raising awareness and appreciation for these systems.
  • Ohio Department of Health: Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection for improvements to the Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory (FCA) Program.
  • Ohio Attorney General's Office: Environmental enforcement efforts to assist local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in combating open dumping in their neighborhoods.

The Controlling Board also approved $3M to fund the collection and destruction of firefighting foam containing PFAS. PFAS can lead to health problems such as liver damage, thyroid disease, obesity, fertility issues and cancer. In 2022, Governor Mike Dewine signed a bipartisan bill prohibiting the use of PFAS in firefighting training. House Democrats also introduced The Safe Drinking Water Act in 2022, which would require state-level standards for drinking water to limit known toxics and protect residents from PFAS. 

This new allocation of funds will allow for the implementation of a PFAS-containing fire-fighting foam collection and destruction program for Ohio Fire Departments. The PFAS-containing Material Takeback Program will be open to Ohio Fire Departments as well as local governments, government-owned airports, etc. located in Ohio.

“Our modern technological advancements afford many opportunities for the development of our nation's culture and of the world as a whole. The well-being of our civilization is improved because of the ever-evolving sum total of human knowledge. However, on those occasions when issues may arise, the responsible approach is to seek redress and find environmentally responsive alternatives. This settlement and the other measures approved by the Controlling Board are positive examples of such outcomes which deserve to be acknowledged,” said Rep. Dell'Aquila.

Additionally, other environmental improvement items approved by the Controlling Board include:

  • $5M in federal funding to assist Hazardous Waste Management, Federal Site Remediation and Brownfield programs.
  • $2.8M for phosphorus removal efforts in agricultural spaces. The program also includes working with institutions of higher education to conduct research for new phosphorus removal designs.
  • $90k to meet increased demands from small businesses for financial assistance with complying with the federal Clean Air Act.