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Weekly New 2.6.12

Posted By Joh Dorka, Tuesday, February 7, 2012
 

Weekly News 2.6.12


  • Truck Weight Reform – Congressional Action. This past week the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee began mark-up on the Federal Highway Reauthorization Bill. Of particular interest to OFA and the forest products industry was whether HR 763 (The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act) which deals with commercial truck weight reform would get included in the bill. It was offered as an amendment and the committee had to vote to include it. In spite of furious efforts in the days leading up to the committee hearing by CTP and AgHaul to contact Congressional reps on the committee to support the amendment, the amendment was voted down. Congressman Bob Gibbs (OH-18) and Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (OH-2) are Ohio members on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and both voted in favor of the amendment. This truck weight issue has been highly charged since it first was brought forward and there are many interests on both sides who worked either for or against it. As an indication of the various concerns with the issue, here is an article from the Dayton Daily News.
  • Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) of Walnut. Last week, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) hosted a conference call with OFA and DOF on pending quarantine actions to address TCD in Ohio. Staff from Ohio Valley Veneer and Hartzell Hardwoods participated on the call. TCD has been confirmed in Tennessee, Virginia and Pennsylvania, and ODA is now considering implementing an exterior quarantine on walnut products. The discussion focused on how a quarantine could be implemented without causing an undue burden on the industry and movement of walnut wood products. ODA advised that a quarantine is not imminent, but wanted to prepare in case TCD in Ohio is confirmed following survey work this summer. Based on current practices at walnut facilities in Ohio, both manufacturers felt that a quarantine could be satisfactorily managed without
  • OFA Timber Theft Task Force. With the recent newspaper articles about timber theft activities, OFA convened the task force that had reviewed the issue a couple years ago. The task force discussed the current activities and recommended an OFA position, particularly if legislative interest peaks. The position is by and large the same as that developed a couple years ago in which promoting "due diligence” should be the guiding principles for any policy, administrative, or legislative effort.

  • Economic Cost of Boiler MACT Rules. Here is a summary of the Economic Impact of the 2011 Proposed EPA rules on Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) on a state by state basis. It was prepared by the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners. It lists by state the number of industrial boilers, the estimated cost of implementing the rules, and an estimate of the number of jobs lost due to the rules. Of the 50 states, Ohio was rated number two based on costs and job losses. According to the estimates, the Ohio’s forest products industry has approximately 10% of the industrial boilers and will feel a significant part of the impact.

  • Canada Implements Phytosanitation Requirements on Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB)-affected Wood Products from Ohio. There had been no announcement from APHIS or ODA to Ohio manufacturers shipping wood products to Canada, but effective February 1, 2012 specific wood products of species susceptible to Asian Longhorned Beetle will have to have phytosanitary certificates before Canada will allow them to be shipped across the border. At least one Ohio manufacturer learned this the hard way over the weekend when a truck load of maple was stopped at the Canadian border and refused entry because there was no certificate on the wood. Here is a copy of the Canadian Phytosanitary Requirements for wood products from tree species susceptible to ALB.
  • Ohio EPA Pulls Proposed Rules for Streams. During a public hearing last week on proposed water quality rules that have been pending since 2006, Director Nally said he had decided to reroute the regulations from consideration by Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review to undergo analysis for potential impact to businesses, per the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) implemented by the Kasich administration a year ago. Some business groups including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Ohio Manufacturers Association had urged a CSI review before the updated rules, which have been reviewed since 2006, went into effect. Here is a Columbus Dispatch article discussing the action by EPA. In
  • DOF Invitation to Bid for State Forest Timber Marking. The Division of Forestry has put out another Invitation to Bid for timber marking services at Shawnee State Forest. This contract will involve timber marking on 114 acres with an estimated 790,000 BF of standing timber. The marking is for deferment and clearcut harvests. Bid opening will take place on February 16, 2012 at 12 PM. The contract runs through 8/30/2012. See this document for more information. DOF advises this is probably the last timber marking offer for a number of months.
  • Potential Ohio Fumigation Services. I received an inquiry last week from an interested person in Cincinnati who is considering offering fumigation services for wood manufacturers and exporters. He currently has a fumigation service in the area but is considering expanding it for the wood industry. OFA provided him a couple names of individuals to talk to about needs for services, but he welcomes the opportunity to talk to more manufacturers who have fumigation requirements. If you are interested, you can contact Dave Schooler at 513-260-4111 and davidschooler1@yahoo.com.
  • SFI in Brief. Here is a link to the January-February 2012 SFI Newsletter on things that are going on with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Included are summaries on conservation grants available through SFI, SFI support for Aboriginal interests, the new UL Environment 880 standard which recognizes SFI and forest certification, an increase in the number of major companies requesting the SFI brand, and how SFI is helping architects and builders learn more about certification.
  • 2012 OFA Annual Meeting. Meeting plans are coming together. This should be a great time to learn a little about what shale drilling means to forestry in Ohio. A couple notes on the plans:
    1. OWIN Tour of OSU Thompson Library. This should be a wonderful tour of the library and the major renovation that took place in the last several years, one that involves the use of high quality oak from Ohio supplied by Ohio manufacturers. Access to the library is very limited, and attendees not with the bus tour may have difficulty participating. Make sure to register early for the tour!
    2. Columbus Blue Jackets (CBJ) Hockey Game. The CBJ is offering a great price on a block of tickets to a hockey game with the Carolina Hurricanes. The ticket price ($34) includes food, drinks, and a souvenir hat. The number of tickets is limited so register early!
    3. Tree Farm Auction. The Ohio Tree Farm Committee will host its traditional silent auction at the annual meeting. The committee will graciously accept donations for auction items. You can simply bring items to the meeting for contribution to the auction. If necessary you can contact Walt and Donna Lange (419-825-5792) for special needs or arrangements.

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