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Environment


Congressional Democrats push Kasich to veto big draw on Lake Erie's water
Great Lakes bill passes on party lines, but two former GOP governors oppose it.
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Gov. John Kasich has not yet signed a bill to increase how much water a business can draw from Lake Erie without a permit.
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Three Northeast Ohio Congressional Democrats are asking Gov. John Kasich to veto a state law that would allow a business to draw as much as 5 million gallons of water out of Lake Erie a day without a permit.

Schultze on the debate over the water draw

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Late last month, Ohio GOP lawmakers approved a bill that allows businesses to take more  water from Lake Erie and surrounding streams, lakes and rivers than any other Great Lakes state.  Supporters, including state Sen. Tim Grendell, argue it will boost business and jobs in Ohio, and the draw will  still be a small fraction of the water that pours into – and out of – the lake.

But environmentalists and some scientists say it violates the Great Lakes compact, a multi-state deal meant to preserve the water supply of the lakes. They worry that it will increase toxic algae problems, and hurt tourism. And though the bill passed along party lines, the opponents are former Ohio governors George Voinovich and Bob Taft, both Republicans.

Now Democratic U.S. House members  Betty Sutton, Marcia Fudge and Tim Ryan are calling on Kasich to veto the bill – which has been sitting on his desk for more than two weeks. They say the bill is a job-killer because it  threatens the health of Lake Erie and the businesses that rely on it.   

 

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