Gov. Mike DeWine has released details of his plan to improve water quality in Ohio, starting with preventing toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie. DeWine says the program will start in the Maumee River watershed near Toledo but he wants to eventually broaden it to the rest of the state.
DeWine says agricultural runoff is the biggest contributor to algae blooms. He says the state will cover start-up costs for farmers on science-based practices for applying fertilizer, building ditches and planting trees and shrubs to keep phosphorus out of water. And those practices won’t be mandated, for now.
“We don’t believe we’ll have to because we believe our strategy will lead to significant changes within the confines of our current law today,” said DeWine. “We do, though, need all farmers to participate at some level because they really are key to our progress.”
$172 million in the current budget for H2Ohio will also go to create new wetlands, fix failing home sewage treatment systems in disadvantaged communities, and prevent lead contamination in drinking water at day care centers and schools.