Ohio, Ky. and Ind. sign landmark water agreement aimed at innovation
Greater Cincinnati is making a play for the water technology market.
State regulators with Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana signed a landmark cooperative agreement aimed at making Greater Cincinnati a more attractive location for companies working to snag a piece of the lucrative water technology market.
The multi-state memorandum of understanding has been brokered over the past two years by Confluence, a nonprofit working to make the broader Dayton-Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky region an international hub for water technology research and commercialization.
It was signed Jan. 16 during a celebration marking two years since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Small Business Administration formed Confluence as a way to leverage the region’s abundant supply of clean, high-quality water and rich concentration of water research scientists and facilities. Confluence board Chairman Alan Vicory said the agreement is the first of its kind in the nation.
“It’s going to allow companies to not have to go state by state by state,” said Barbara Bennett, chief financial officer for the EPA. “This will attract companies for investment and hopefully create a nice market.”
Prior to the agreement, a company that wanted to test some new water technology had to apply for permits one state at a time, jumping through the same regulatory hoops over and over. This agreement allows Confluence to work with companies to complete testing that can be approved by all three states at once – dramatically speeding time to market. It also should help state agencies, which struggle with the manpower to process such approvals, said Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally, a big supporter of the MOU.
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