Most people are adverse to regions that are deemed “high pollution” areas, but for Butler County the introduction of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) business credits may be the incentive needed to bring new investment in the area. Under normal practice, OEPA uses a scheduled response to these polluted areas to drive up entrance costs for new business-the underlying idea being that if an area wants new investment, it will have to literally clean up its act and decrease local pollution. The editorial board of The Miami Student believes that the existence of an online emissions trading forum, driven by market factors, is a positive step to bring new business to Butler County in a time of economic uncertainty.

Basically, there exists a set number of “emission credits” in each zone designated by the OEPA. The new system, which simplifies the process for businesses to locate and purchase these credits (sold by other already established businesses in the county that pollute below a standard measure) is the best, most logical step that OEPA could have taken in the current situation. This system, which is modeled heavily on the existence of similar credit-based emissions systems in other states, draws on tested and successful principles that will allow the OEPA to remove itself from the direct management and trade of credits and allow market forces to balance the interests of county businesses.

Seeing as we are in a wave of “green” economic thinking, this system is the best way to keep businesses conscious of the efforts to reduce pollution while still spurring local investment. With the state of the economy, any marginal price reduction to the start-up costs of a business should be examined. The result may be that Butler County may gain a more competitive edge as market trends change and businesses re-locate to cheaper, more affordable areas.

Finally, this board believes that it is a strong move on OEPA’s part to continue to find better ways to enforce federal guidelines while taking into account the specific conditions of the state and regions the agency operates in. There should be an emphatic “thank you” from the business community that an agency, which is normally seen as increasing the cost of doing business, is actively seeking ways to minimize their impact and allow traditional supply and demand forces to ease the demands of meeting government regulations.

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