Senator Brown testifies before members of the Senate Agriculture Committee on legislation to improve Ohio's waterways.

Columbus – Today, Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee on her legislation, Senate bill 16,  that addresses nutrient management problems that have led to toxic algae bloom outbreaks in Ohio’s waterways, especially in Lake Erie’s western basin. The bill focuses on implementing recommendations made during hearings in the 130th General Assembly on House Bill 490 and Senate Bill 150.
“We have known about the serious issue of nutrient runoff in the Western Lake Erie Basin since at least 2010 when the Ohio EPA released their first Phosphorus task force report,” said Senator Brown. “The water contamination in the Toledo area brought renewed focus on toxic algae blooms and my hope is that this attention will result in serious and lasting reform that will keep our water clean and safe.”
Provisions in Senate Bill 16 include:
•   Adding manure to the definition of fertilizer.

•   Prohibiting the application of fertilizer or manure on frozen ground, saturated soil and       during certain weather conditions such as heavy rain.

•   Requiring a violator of the prohibition to pay a civil penalty in an amount determined in     rules but not more than $10,000.

•   Requiring certified livestock managers to file a report with the Director of Agriculture         detailing manure application amounts, sales, and transfer information.

•   Authorizing the Director of Environmental Protection to study, examine, and calculate       nutrient loading to Ohio watersheds from point and nonpoint sources.
This legislation is a result of algae blooms in Lake Erie contaminating the drinking water of approximately 500,000 Ohioans in the Toledo area in the summer of 2014.

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