Legislation that addresses some of the most important issues pertaining to water quality in Ohio, including the recent, harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, passed through the Ohio House today with bipartisan support.
Among other provisions, Substitute House Bill 61, sponsored by Reps. Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and Dave Hall (R-Millersburg), encourages establishing best nutrient management practices, such as regulating the application of fertilizer in the western basin of Lake Erie when the ground is frozen or saturated.
“The agricultural community, along with the municipalities and those involved with operations on the lake, have been instrumental in crafting solutions that will reduce nutrient loading in Ohio’s waterways,” Buchy said. “The provisions in this bill bring major changes to operations in northwest Ohio that are important for the continued asset Lake Erie is to our state.”
In addition, beginning in 2020, the bill prohibits the depositing of dredged materials into the Maumee basin. It also requires certain publicly owned water treatment facilities to monitor the amount of phosphorous in the water and to require some treatment facilities to submit an evaluation of how it might reduce the level of phosphorous.
“This bill is an important next step in the journey to higher water quality,” Hall said. “We have focused on agriculture to address the role it plays in this legislation.”
HB 61 will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.