Bill aimed at cleaning up Lake Erie heads to Governor's desk

Bill aimed at cleaning up Lake Erie heads to Governor's desk

COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) - A bill which legislators hope will help curb the growth of toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie is headed to Governor John Kasich's desk.

Senate Bill 1, also known as the Clean Lake Erie Act, would stop farmers in northwestern Ohio from spreading manure on frozen and rain-soaked fields. It also would bring an end to the dumping of dredged sediment in the lake within five years. Both are thought to be contributing to the growth of algae in the lake.

Plus, by December of 2016, some public water treatment plants would be required to do monthly monitoring of phosphorus. 

The measure comes less than a year after an algae-produced toxin made Toledo's water supply unsafe to drink for a weekend in August.

State Senator Randy Gardner, who sponsored the bill, says the bill is a step toward ensuring cleaner water while providing clear regulations for the agricultural industry. And he's proud that Republicans and Democrats came together to try to reduce the algae that threaten Lake Erie and our water supply.

"Our drinking water is based on the ability, the testing and treatment of the toxic algae at our water treatment plants and so this bill builds on those efforts and making sure our local governments, our local communities have the support they need for their water treatment plants to handle any future challenge," said Gardner.

The senator says Ohio's corn, wheat, and soybean farmers along with the Ohio Farmers Union all supported the bill.

Governor Kasich's office says he plans to sign the bill into law sometime next week. It will then go into effect 90 days later. 

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