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EPA fast tracking permits for Ohio business

Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally, challenged by Governor John Kasich to outcompete neighboring states for jobs and capital, points to a plan his agency used with GE Aviation to fast track permits. What normally could take up to 18 months to approve took just five months. Because it was so successful, the system of using six people instead of two to process the permit may be modeled around the state and nation.

GE Aviation's urgency

With billions of dollars at stake, GE Aviation couldn't take the chance that testing for the new GE9X engine would be held up because it couldn't get a permit. Kevin Kanter is manager of design and system integration engineering. "If anything would have gone wrong where we couldn't get the permit, where we couldn't build it here in Ohio, then we would have had to look at other locations, other states to build our facility, or even globally to build our facility."

The facility needed to be ready by January 2015 to test the GE9X engine, which will power Boeing's 777X. 


GE approached the Ohio EPA and the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency with an urgency in obtaining a permit for the new test cells at the Evendale facility. The agency's Brad Miller said it was complex because it triggered several federal and state regulations. "We usually get one of these every four or five years of this complexity; we decided to do a team approach in processing the permit." 

Moving at the speed of business

Director Nally, on a visit to GE Aviation, said he's not aware of any other state that can offer what Ohio is right now. "Governor Kasich has challenged myself and my team to outcompete some of our sister states so we can keep jobs and keep capital in the state." This is part of Kasich's Common Sense Initiative to reform and improve Ohio's regulatory environment.

Other Examples:

  • Kensington oil and gas production plant- The EPA issued first-of-its-kind air permits in nine months.
  • Rumpke's recycling plant-Although not nearly as complex, the EPA worked to approve permits Rumpke needed.