Governor Kasich signs executive order on Lake Erie, critics doubtful

Governor Kasich signs executive order on Lake Erie, critics doubtful
(Source: WTOL)

LUCAS COUNTY (WTOL) - Governor John Kasich signed what he is calling an aggressive executive order to improve Lake Erie water quality on Wednesday afternoon.

That decision though isn't viewed as a win for all. Some think it barely scratches the surface of helping the lake.

Will it be enough?

People who normally are on opposite sides together doubt Governor John Kasich's executive order will cut the amount of runoff creating Lake Erie's harmful algal blooms.

"It's not going to make Lake Erie pristine again," said Joe Cornely, senior director of corporate communications for the Ohio Farm Bureau. "The idea that one more regulation or one more set of rules is going to magically make the algae disappear that's just not the case."

"Governor Kasich is trying to pull a fast one," said Mike Ferner, coordinator for Advocates of a Clean Lake Erie. "That's pretty much what it is and until people start demanding state government do its job, we're going to just get more of the same."

State agencies will target watersheds with high levels of phosphorus, put nutrient management plans for farms into place, and build on their efforts to improve the water quality in Ohio. While it sounds great, some are not sold.

"To say that we're fighting regulations is not the case," explained Cornely. "We just want a seat at the table so that we can figure out what is the best way to get things done."

The farm bureau says they have been working to improve water quality for some time like a nutrient management plan, which is in Kasich's order.

The executive order's size, scope, and lack of clarity concerns the Bureau. Meanwhile, Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie say this isn't a step forward, but rather a distraction.

"Not only is it not enough, it's an effort to avoid doing what they are supposed to do under the clean water act. The Clean Water Act is working in the Chesapeake Bay. It provides accountability, it provides legally enforceable deadlines and this distressed watershed nonsense is not enforceable."

While different groups have differing opinions for what they want done, they both hope to find a solution that works for Lake Erie.

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