Oregon City Council wants more action on Lake Erie

Oregon City Council wants more action on Lake Erie
(Source: WTOL)

OREGON, OH (WTOL) - Oregon City Council is drawing a line in the sand.

They unanimously approved a resolution Monday, demanding more oversight of the manure runoff that's impacting our water.

Sandy Bihn said the clock has run out on improving the condition of Lake Erie.

"We can't expect the lake to get bluer, not greener every year," said Bihn.

Bihn is on Oregon City Council, and Executive Director of Lake Erie Waterkeeper. She said the data shows the lake isn't getting better, it's getting worse.  And her fellow council members agree.

hey passed a resolution asking the state of Ohio to do 3 things:

  1. Provide an annual report on the dollars spent, and pounds of phosphorous reduced going into the lake.
  2. Require all new and expanding mid-sized to large livestock operations to match the lower levels of soil test requirements as commercial fertilizers.
  3. Promote private and public investment in technology to eliminate phosphorous runoff from manure.

That phosphorous is a major culprit in the toxic green algae that can harm our water source.

"My hope is that we'll find an economical way to not have to put it on the ground," said Bihn. "Treat it like we do waste water, like we do human waste. To make sure that what we're doing is safe for the water and safe for the land."

Ohio EPA,  sent WTOL 11 the data they've collected on nutrient runoff the last three years and 2016 shows a reduction, but still not on target.

Bihn said that year was an example of what a year with less rain does for the lake.

"When we don't have rains, we don't have the algae," she said. "So if we reduce the runoff, like for manure the reaction and response to the lake will be very quick. And we'll see a bluer lake quickly."

Next, Oregon's council will ask the state and other communities to consider this resolution.

\Bihn has already met with Mayor-elect Wade Kapszukiewicz and is reaching out to other city councils in greater Toledo.

View the full Council resolution here:

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2017 WTOL. All rights reserved.