Emily Bacha, Vice President of Public Affairs, January 6, 2021
Columbus, OH — Today, Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 7 (HB 7) into law among other pieces of legislation. While worthwhile provisions for long-term H2Ohio funding and oversight were removed, the final version of the bill includes the following meaningful provisions:
• HB 7 formalizes a statewide strategy to deal with water quality problems in smaller geographic areas with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. With numerous efforts to improve water quality in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, coordination will be key to ensure funding and efforts are working as efficiently as possible.
• HB 7 enables agricultural conservation data to be collected to inform decision making while maintaining data security and protections.
• HB 7 memorializes the state’s commitment to collaborate with stakeholders representing agriculture, the environment, conservation, and higher education to increase agricultural conservation and improve water quality.
The following quote can be attributed to Heather Taylor-Miesle, Executive Director of the Ohio Environmental Council:
“We thank Governor DeWine for his leadership on improving Ohio’s water quality. Solutions to reducing toxic algae in Ohio’s waterways are complex and multi-faceted. They require creative thinking, the best science, real dollars, and a long-term commitment. We hope this legislation builds upon programs like H2Ohio as we work towards a larger, more collaborative process to permanently fix Lake Erie in a way that works for all Ohioans.”