State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) announced today the passage of legislation to protect the state's water supply and ensure that all Ohioans have access to clean drinking water.

Substitute Senate Bill 1, co-sponsored by Senator Peterson and Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) helps the state to more effectively monitor and respond to water quality issues.

"I'm proud to be part of an industry that is stepping up to address the challenge of algal blooms," said Peterson. "Agriculture is a large part of the solution."

The Senate and House approved changes to the bill today with input from agriculture industry representatives, soil and water conservation experts, local governments and other interested parties.

"Farmers have both an economic incentive as well as an environmental incentive to make sure that nutrients stay attached to the soil," added Peterson. 

The bill establishes a Coordinator of Harmful Algae Management and Response within the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate local and state resources to prevent and respond to toxic algae issues.

Other bill provisions include:

  • Banning spreading manure and commercial fertilizer on frozen, snow-covered or saturated ground in Western Lake Erie Basin
  • Requiring training and certification for certain fertilizer applicators
  • Equipping ODNR with capabilities to monitor and enforce water runoff through civil penalties
  • Mandating that all dredging material be diverted from Lake Erie by 2020

Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate with a unanimous vote and now goes to the governor for his signature. For a timeline of Senate activities on the Clean Water, Clean Lake Erie initiative, click here

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