Senator Brown Urges Senate To Address Phosphorus Overloading In Lake Erie
Resolution encourages support for phosphorus reduction in Lake Erie's western basin
December 08, 2016
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Columbus –Today, State Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) provided sponsor testimony on Senate Resolution 256 in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. SR 256 encourages support for the agreement reached between Ontario, Michigan, and Ohio regarding the reduction of phosphorus in the western basin of Lake Erie.
“Without implementing a plan that adequately addresses this issue, we are putting Ohio’s families at risk,” said Senator Brown. “By investing in practices that improve the state of our Great Lakes, we invest in the health and wellbeing of Ohioans.”
The Western Basin of Lake Erie Collaborative Implementation Plan expands upon the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which was signed by both the United States and Canada in 2012. The agreement was established as an effort by both regions to jointly manage phosphorus concentrations and loadings in Lake Erie.
The plan focuses on reducing phosphorus in the western basin at a rate of 40 percent by 2025 with an interim goal of a 20 percent reduction by the year 2020. Phosphorus from fertilizer runoff contributes to the growth of harmful algal blooms, which substantially damage our waterways.
The three-day drinking water ban that Toledo experienced in 2014 was a result of microcystins, deriving from toxic algal blooms. All of the Great Lakes suffer from algal toxins, but the western basin alone accounts for an overwhelming 61 percent of the entire lake annual phosphorus load. Over the past decade, toxic bloom occurrences have continued to rise.
Senator Brown also recently testified for Senate Bill 224, which focuses on reducing nutrient runoff from agricultural lands and animal feeding lots, contributing to toxic algal blooms in waterways.
Senator Brown is happy to be joined in her efforts to improve Lake Erie by Ohio House Representative Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

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