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Rep. Brennan Announces Funding for Crucial Environmental Safety Projects

February 20, 2024
Sean P. Brennan News

COLUMBUS - State Rep. Brennan (D-Parma) 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 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.

“As the son-in-law of a firefighter, I am very concerned about the negative health impacts of PFAS on our first responders.  I am pleased that the state is stepping up to assist our local departments create a safer work environment for those who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe,” said Rep. Brennan.

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.