State Reps want to declare Maumee River 'distressed' to monitor - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

State Reps want to declare Maumee River 'distressed' to monitor nutrients

The Maumee River flows into Lake Erie The Maumee River flows into Lake Erie
(Toledo News Now) -

Ohio state representatives say the researchers who predicted the algal bloom in Lake Erie last weekend are predicting another in September. They say they have to act quickly to prevent another crisis.

"The time is now to act," said State Rep. Teresa Fedor, D – Toledo. "There is no waste of time to study it and gather the information. We just need to read the reports and implement them."

One signature from the governor could declare the Maumee River a "distressed river."

"We would be able to take immediate action to reduce the nutrients that come into the Maumee River, and the Maumee is the largest tributary in all the Great Lakes," Fedor said. "And it is also the largest land mass of agriculture, so we have got to do something."

Declaring the Maumee distressed would allow the Ohio EPA to immediately monitor chemicals in the waterways and come up with a nutrient management plan for all farmers.

Steve Sprague is a farmer whose livelihood depends on selling his crops in Oregon. He says farmers are not the only ones to blame and, therefore, they're not the only ones who can offer a solution to the problem.

"I know we do spray, but it's so minimal," Sprague said. "And so heavily regulated on what we can spray, when and how and how much, that I maybe see a piece of the puzzle, but a small piece."

State Rep. Michael Sheehy, D – Oregon, agrees.

"The sole cost should not be born just on the farmers," Sheehy said. "Let's be realistic about this. We all share in the cause, we all need to share in the solution."

Fedor says she will effort the plan of declaring the Maumee distressed and work to get Ohio Governor John Kasich to sign off on it.

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