Ohio Air Quality Development Authority Builds a Strong Economy and Healthier Ohio
Christina O’Keeffe, Executive Director
The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) recently released its 2022 annual report, highlighting key results, video case studies and introducing a new tool to better measure the agency’s impact across the state.
OAQDA, which supports clean air projects to help businesses meet federal regulations and their corporate sustainability goals, issued more than $645 million in air quality revenue bonds last year – three times the amount from 2021.
Investments in clean air projects through the Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP) and Clean Air Resource Center (CARC) for small businesses, are valuable financial tools designed to reduce hazardous air emissions, spur investment and create jobs. The programs further elevate the commitment of Governor Mike DeWine and Lt Governor Jon Husted to invest in Ohio businesses, people and communities. OAQDA’s programs help to support these commitments by funding projects that improve air quality, enhance public health and achieve economic prosperity.
From mom-and-pop dry cleaners implementing safer cleaning equipment to larger, more energy-efficient real estate development projects incorporating solar generation technology, OAQDA is building a future that harmonizes a strong economy and a healthy environment.
In the coming year, the agency is exploring ways to expand its impact in rural areas like Appalachia, while also forging valuable partnerships that will enable more capital and resources to be put to work for underserved areas of the state.
Here are some of the key impact results from the agency’s 2022 annual report:
Improving Air Quality
The approved projects eliminate millions of pounds of harmful air pollutants, including 367 million pounds of carbon dioxide. Additionally, projects produced 340 million kwh of clean energy and 2 million kwh of energy savings annually.
Enhancing Public Health
Projects also reduced the health and financial burden on Ohio’s families. Public health costs are avoided because of a healthier environment, decreasing occurrences of respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma and avoiding between $3.92 million and $8.85 million annually in public health costs, saving Ohioans money otherwise spent on medical bills.
Achieving Economic Prosperity
Businesses and communities prosper through OAQDA programs and sustainability initiatives that support retention, expansion and attraction of new economic opportunities and growth. In 2022, the investment in OAQDA bond-funded projects will create or retain 320 jobs and 241 construction jobs.
Introducing a New Tool to Calculate Impact
A particularly exciting feature in this year’s annual report is the addition of a new Social Return on Investment calculator, built in partnership with Ohio University, that accounts for the greater societal value of OAQDA bond-funded projects. A significant impact is achieved for investors and Ohioans – for every $1 invested in OAQDA projects, there is $16 created in societal value for Ohioans.
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