Ohio Environmental Council, April 2, 2015
Today is an important day for Lake Erie and the millions of people who rely upon it for drinking water, jobs, and recreation.
For today marks more solid progress in the continuing effort to safeguard our Great Lake from the annual menace of toxic algae.
For the first time in Ohio — and to the best of our knowledge, for the first time in any Great Lake state:
This is significant action. In Ohio, the bar has been raised on combating toxic algae. Bad practices are now illegal. Unscrupulous operators are on notice. And the public will be watching.
Yes, much more work remains to further reduce phosphorus and nitrogen loading to Lake Erie — from agricultural operations and municipal wastewater treatment systems, to construction sites and household sewage septic systems — and even our own yards and sidewalks.
We are all part of the problem. And we all must be part of the solution.
But the bottom line for today is this: Thanks to the leadership of Governor Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly, Lake Erie is better protected from toxic algae.
I want to say a special thank you to Governor Kasich and the General Assembly members here today. This law was not a foregone conclusion. There was a vigorous debate over whether there should even be a penalty for inappropriate applications of livestock manure and fertilizer. But, they got the job done.
And knowing Governor Kasich, this is hardly Ohio’s final effort to stop nutrient pollution. He’s got this challenge in his sights. And he’s not going to let go until the problem is solved.
Thank you Governor Kasich and Members of the General Assembly for your continuing leadership. We look forward to further effort to protect our Great Lake for the benefit of all of the people and communities and wildlife that benefit from it.