State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) testified Tuesday during Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the Statehouse on House Bill 29, their legislation to prevent the destruction of natural buffer zones growing around municipally owned drinking-water reservoirs throughout Ohio.
The Columbus lawmakers’ legislation will repeal a provision surreptitiously included in the state’s last biennial budget that allowed residents to significantly alter those zones.
“This provision, which was inserted into the previous State Budget at the last minute without public input or participation, is a potential threat to the health and safety of residents throughout Ohio,” said Leland. “Our reservoirs are a vital source of public water for Columbus and other cities, and the strips of land encircling these reservoirs act as a natural filter that removes contaminants that would threaten our water supply. Given the drinking water issues Ohio has faced in the last couple of years, we should be doing more to protect our drinking water, not less."
“It is of the utmost importance to protect our water supply and ensure that it remains clean and safe for our community to drink." Boggs said. "It is simply bad policy to give a few people the power, without any oversight, to alter landscape in a way that could have a negative impact on our water quality."