State Senate to consider rolling back Ohio’s green building rules

Tomorrow, the Ohio Senate will hold its first hearing on new legislation that, if passed, could set back a program to make Ohio’s public buildings more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable.

SCR 25 is part of an effort by the chemical lobby to ban the use of the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) green building rating system for the state’s public buildings in favor of an alternative certification supported by the chemical industry.

The resolution would urge public agencies in Ohio to scrap its use of the LEED building standard for construction projects funded with public dollars. Currently, billions in state funding for school construction are tied to achieving LEED certification. This requirement has helped Ohio become the No. 1 state in the nation for green schools that are healthier and more efficient. To date, nearly 100 public K-12 schools have been certified under the program, and hundreds more are under way.

Resolution SCR 25, backed by chemical lobby groups, will undo the progress that has been made to save on energy costs for Ohio taxpayers. Additionally, if passed, SCR 25 will discredit investments made by hundreds of Ohio companies in jobs, products, safer materials and services for energy efficient buildings.

Since 2007, Ohio communities have invested in schools to create a healthy environment to learn and work. Ohio has 549 LEED registered and certified K-12 and Higher Education projects. The State’s green schools program is leading the nation, a proud achievement. Ohio lawmakers should keep it that way.

SCR 25 will have its first hearing tomorrow in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which meets at 9:15 a.m. in the South Hearing room. More information on how to contact your senator is available at leedworksoh.nationbuilder.com.