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Environment & Energy

Farmers Wary of DeWine's Plans to Protect Lake Erie

A photo of Lake Erie
Governor Mike DeWine proposed a new H2O Fund to ensure clean water for all Ohioans.

Gov. Mike DeWine says it’s time for the state to do more to protect what he calls the jewel of Ohio -- Lake Erie. But farmers are concerned that might mean more regulations without the proper funding.

In his State of the State, DeWine pointed to nutrient pollution as a factor in the dwindling health of Lake Erie, but avoided discussing farmland runoff, where a large portion of the nutrients come from.

Jack Irvin of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation says if more regulations are put in place, farmers will need more money to comply. “It feels like we get 100 percent of the blame which we don’t feel that’s true at all but if only 1 percent of the resources are going towards it it doesn’t seem like the rhetoric and the resources seem to match up.”

DeWine discussed a new fund for clean water initiatives but did not lay out specifics on keeping Lake Erie clean. Those details are expected in his budget release next week.