Senator Brown To Introduce Bill Protecting Lake Erie
Bill to focus on implementing Department of Agriculture and ODNR recommendations
January 30, 2015
 
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Columbus—Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) will introduce legislation to protect Lake Erie and improve water quality for Ohio residents.  The legislation will address the nutrient management problems in Ohio’s waterways that led to contaminated and undrinkable water for 500,000 Northwest Ohio residents last summer.
 
“My goal is to focus on common sense solutions that will reduce nutrient runoff, clean up our rivers and lakes, and eliminate the toxic algae bloom outbreaks that contaminate our drinking water,” said Senator Brown. “This bill builds on the work done in the last General Assembly and incorporates many of the recommendations made by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources during committee hearings on HB 490.”
 
The main contributors to toxic algae blooms are phosphorus and nitrogen runoff from fertilizers used by farms, waste from livestock pens, and inadequately treated sewage from sewer overflows and faulty household sewage septic systems.
 
Provisions of Senator Brown’s bill include:

  • Transfer enforcement of nutrient management regulations from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to the Ohio Department of Agriculture following a two-year transition period.
  • Classify manure as a fertilizer.
  • Prohibit the spread of fertilizer, including manure, on frozen or saturated ground with exceptions under certain circumstances.
  • Commission a study examining nutrient loading in Ohio’s watersheds.

“This is a priority issue for all Ohioans,” said Senator Brown. “I understand other bills will be put forward on this topic and I hope every idea will receive serious consideration and debate as we look for solutions to keep our waterways clean and our drinking water safe.”

 

 
 
 
  
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