Interview with Tom Hodson, WOUB Public Media Jun 12, 2013
(Geoff Dabelko participant)
Wilson Center Dialogue May 29, 2013
by CE3 Executive in Residence Mike Zimmer
Courtesy of the Washington Legal Foundation May 21, 2013
Ohio University Athens Campus & Waterloo Aquatic Education Center
Tue, Jul 9 9:00 AM
The Voinovich School recently completed a southeastern Ohio energy business inventory as part of a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The online inventory used a Web-based survey to identify, build a database of, and build a map of energy‐related businesses in the region. Additional funding received from the U.S. Economic Development Administration complements this project to expand the inventory statewide. The evolving project Web site is: http://www.ohio.edu/ce3/resources/energylocations.cfm.
The Voinovich School is completing phase six of a Wind Supply Chain Mapping Project for the Great Lakes Wind Network (GLWN). This is a database and map of more than 300 companies that are building and supplying parts for the wind energy industry. The School built and maintains this site for GLWN. The map can be found at http://maps.glwn.org/wind/. The School is currently working to develop a similar database and website for Ohio’s solar supply chain.
The Voinovich School and project partner, The Ohio State University, received a grant from the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) to develop a framework for appropriate and useful decision support tools for state policymakers relating to energy and climate policies. The project, entitled “Assuring Ohio’s Competitiveness in a Carbon-Constrained World,” 1) identified the state’s major contributors of GHGs in an emissions database; 2) conducted an analysis of federal climate legislative proposals and the opportunities and challenges the legislation may present to the state’s economy, 3) presented policy considerations for Ohio policymakers, and 4) modeled the economic consequences of climate change legislation and energy regulations on the state’s economy. The project findings can be found at www.ohioenergyresources.com.
The PORTS Habitat Project, part of our PORTS Future contract with the U.S. Department of Energy, demonstrates the breadth of skills of the CE3 Land Team. The team is conducting detailed field assessments of 150 sample plots on the 3,700-acre DOE facility and some neighboring private lands. The result of this process will be a georeferenced database and land use map that can be utilized as a land planning tool and for wildlife management.
The Nonpoint Source (NPS) annual monitoring initiative and on-line reporting system for water quality was created for ODNR’s Division of Mineral Resources Management in 2005. Voinovich School staff, faculty and students continue to evaluate the success of the acid mine drainage reclamation projects throughout the coal-bearing region of Ohio in term of stream mile recovery, acid load reductions, and project costs annually. All reports, maps, water quality data, and stream health maps can be accessed at www.watersheddata.com.
The GIS team worked with the Athens County Regional Planning Commission to provide the detailed mapping needed for a comprehensive land use plan update. Land use issues were identified with a corresponding mapping component. Key land use features that were mapped included: transportation infrastructure (rail, highway, bicycle, barge); natural hazards (landslip, flood, mine subsidence); utilities infrastructure (water, wastewater, major electric, major natural gas); demographics by township, village, and city; historic and cultural sites; critical facilities; watersheds; and government-owned property.
The Center was recently awarded a highly-competitive U.S. EPA mercury monitoring project through the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. The Center’s researchers, two full-time research staff and graduate students, are currently engaged in studying the fate of mercury emissions from local power plants, as well as worldwide sources, to understand the economic and environmental value of implementing control systems on local power plants. Click here to view a recent presentation.
The Center received funding from the EPA to support a carbon footprint analysis for the city of Cleveland and has worked in northeast Ohio (with Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency), central Ohio (with Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission), and southwestern Ohio (with Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission) on a broad range of air quality issues.
The CE3 team is working with The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association to help them develop a roadmap for energy policies and practices beneficial to Ohio’s manufacturing sector. Based upon the feedback received during member interviews and in combination with research conducted by CE3, OMA is leading the charge in Ohio to make energy a top issue for industry.
The CE3 Land Team provides hazard mitigation planning services. Hazard mitigation is a process that assists a community to reduce its risk of being negatively impacted by an unplanned event. The hazard may be natural such as a flood or tornado, a spill of hazardous materials, or a terrorist incident. Degree of risk is assessed and a series of options is provided that can help reduce that risk to varying degrees.
The Ohio Coal Research Center and the Biofuels Lab, partnering with the Center for Air Quality's Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE), has engaged in more than a decade of research on the reuse of CO2 using microalgae. With more than $2 million in funding from the Department of Energy, researchers have created bioreactor technologies to enhance the growth of microalgae from coal flue gas. Researchers are also developing technologies to convert the energy within the algae into biofuels, such as biodiesel and syngas.
Since 1999, the Voinovich School has coordinated the efforts to restore the Raccoon Creek Watershed from acid mine drainage. The Raccoon Creek Partnership works toward conservation, stewardship, and restoration of the watershed for a healthier stream and community. Over the past 10 years, nearly $20 million has been spent on reclamation projects, resulting in improved stream health (in more than 42 miles of streams) in areas previously impacted by acid mine drainage. For more information visit www.raccooncreek.org. A short video titled a “Raccoon Creek a Wonder to Wander,” created by OU student, Nora Rye, and the Raccoon Creek Partnership, can be found on YouTube.
In October 2009, the Voinovich School received a $100,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to provide energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance services to businesses and communities through the Ohio Energy Resource Center. This current project will support business development, economic development, and smart energy usage in communities throughout the region. Click here to view a recent presentation.
In late 2010, Ohio University hosted its third one-day workshop entitled, “A New Energy Climate for Ohio Manufacturers.” Ohio University partnered with The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association to present this series of workshops funded by Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund. The goals of the workshops were to educate Ohio manufacturers on energy- and climate-related policies that may affect their operations, and explore the ways in which manufacturers can reduce energy costs and mitigate the effects of such policies on their operations and their bottom line. Click here to view the agendas from the three workshops.
In 2006, CE3 released Ohio: Securing America’s Energy Future, the first statewide energy policy plan in more than 10 years, which informs energy policy strategies evolving today in Ohio. Click here to read the 2006 report, and click here to read the 2008 update.
CE3 is working with the U.S. EPA to conduct outreach to Ohio companies whose facilities will be required to report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under federal law. The CE3 Policy Team is working to conduct webinars, workshops and online resources that will help to inform this effort.
To visit CE3's Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program Portal, please visit: www.ohio.edu/ce3/ghgrp.
American Electric Power (AEP) has supported watershed programs for more than a decade at the Voinovich School, through a series of programs that focus on sound science and data collection to drive water restoration efforts. Currently, AEP funds provide for the AEP professorship award, as well as AWRG collaborative project titled “Modeling the Recovery of Streams.” This is a regionally-specific model that quantifies biological recovery potential after acid mine drainage reclamation. Hewett Fork, a major tributary to Raccoon Creek, is being used as a case study for this research.
A team of university faculty and staff led by the Voinovich School received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct a public outreach project in support of the cleanup activities occurring at the site of the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant near Piketon, Ohio. This Cold-War era plant, which produced weapons-grade uranium for the military and, later, for the nuclear power industry, was closed in 2006 and is slated to be demolished. The Voinovich School is working with community partners from around the region to generate scenarios for future uses for the facility and conduct specific research projects related to the energy and environmental future of the site. The project website is: www.portsfuture.com.
The Ohio University Center for Air Quality housed at the Russ College of Engineering and Technology manages the only university-based air quality assessment “supersite” for monitoring SO2, particulates, mercury, ozone, CO2, CO, and NOX in Ohio. With more than $5 million in external research grants, the Center supports every metropolitan area in the state with modeling, monitoring and policy input data. Click here to see Ohio Real-Time Air Quality Mapping.
GeoVisualization tools provide stakeholders with the ability to make balanced environmental decisions using available information on a complex set of environmental data and examining a number of scenarios or policy options to determine a best fit. Design systems with effective visual displays, direct manipulation interfaces and dynamic queries, allow users to responsibly and confidently pursue even more ambitious projects and strategies.
Data User Interfaces Dynamic map is an interface designed to facilitate easier viewing and dynamic query sliders for the analysis of map-related water quality and biology data trends data.
Information visualizations with multiple coordinated views enable users to rapidly explore complex data and discover relationships. ViewTogether is a tool for creating these coordinated views.
The Voinovich School has partnered with Rural Action to create the Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative, a collaboration that builds local wealth and environmental health by increasing waste diversion through recycling and supporting the development of a zero waste economy. The Voinovich School is conducting quantitative and qualitative research, GIS mapping, and business modeling for the initiative. Two key deliverables underway are recycling surveys of local residents and businesses, and case studies of high performing Ohio solid waste districts. More information can be found at www.ruralaction.org/zerowaste.
In Eastern and Southern Ohio, oil and gas leases are rapidly being signed for drilling in the Utica Shale. In order to quantify impacts of shale gas exploration, baseline environmental conditions must first be measured. Start-up funding has been provided by Ohio University and the Sugarbush Foundation to meet this objective. A preliminary study will establish multimedia baseline conditions (groundwater, surface water, air and traffic) in Belmont County on the campus of Ohio University Eastern, in Athens County on the main campus of Ohio University, and on the properties of select private landowners in both counties with permission.
A life cycle assessment that examines the many and varied consequences of shale gas drilling will be useful and informative for a wide range of stakeholders. The results of this study will allow rural landowners, elected officials and regulators to learn more about the complex issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing, and have a local source of independent, unbiased information. The data collected during this project will be used to educate and inform communities about their water resources.
The Appalachian Ohio’s Open Geographic Information System Web Access project will help counties in southeastern Ohio to more effectively create and manage their parcel data. The project will create a shared web mapping service allowing counties to publish their data online and make it available to the public. This will allow citizens, as well as public and private interests, to have access to the data for real estate, investment, and economic development purposes, and more.