David Miller, November 20, 2017
The Ohio Lake Erie Commission recently released the long-awaited final Domestic Action Plan to reduce phosphorus flowing into Lake Erie by 40 percent. The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part to Kristy Meyer, Vice President of Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council:
“While the plan outlines some good actions to be taken by the state, and addresses all sources of toxic algae causing pollution, it fails to pull together all of the relevant pieces to successfully put Lake Erie on a phosphorus diet.
“Until the Ohio Department of Agriculture is willing to do more to address this issue at the source, Lake Erie communities and Ohio’s economy will continue to suffer. This summer’s third largest algal bloom on record is a clear sign that we cannot continue to do more of the same and expect different results.
“With the Maumee River covered with a thick green sludge for a good part of the summer, we cannot keep along this same unpalatable path. A few changes at the source of the problem will ensure a prosperous future for people and businesses who depend on the health of Lake Erie for their drinking water, livelihoods, and opportunities for recreation.
“In order to make substantial meaningful change, the state must put into place common sense standards to require regular soil sampling, only applying as much manure and chemical fertilizer as needed in the soil for optimum plant growth, and work with certified professionals to develop pollution prevention plans specific to every farm. The longer we wait to put these standards in place, the more complex and costly the solutions become.”