Gov. Kasich signs Clean Lake Erie Act into law

Gov. Kasich signs Clean Lake Erie Act into law

(Toledo News Now) - Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law Senate Bill 1, the Clean Lake Erie Act, at Maumee Bay State Park on Thursday.

The bill puts measures in place to prevent pollution in Lake Erie, which has contributed to the algae problem.

"I'm not telling you all the problems are fixed or there's not going to be another algae crisis. It's just what we're working on," said Gov. Kasich. "But there is a deep commitment to this lake."

"This is a step forward," said Paul Pacholski, president of the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association. "Nobody can respond to a change in law just like snapping your fingers.”

The new law makes it illegal to dump dredging materials into the lake. It also sets limitations on farmers. With a few exemptions, farmers can no longer spread manure or fertilizer on frozen ground, preventing it from melting and running off into the river and lake. Farmers now also need a permit to spread manure.

The bill was unanimously supported by the Ohio House and Senate. State funding will be used to help make the law successful.

“We just have to not let up the pressure and not lose our focus on making sure that we clean up the river, that we work with our farming communities, that we also work with other cities, other jurisdictions to make sure the lake, the water is clear,” said Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson.

“We're not done with the budget process yet, so we don't know precisely how much, but we're going to argue both in support of agriculture and in support of Lake Erie, that we provide some additional funds to make this Senate Bill 1 the most effective it can be,” said Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green).

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