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State Says Voluntary Farm Runoff Efforts Not Clearly Working

Apr 24, 2018

A new Ohio EPA report finds the phosphorous and nitrogen feeding Lake Erie's toxic algae blooms have not clearly decreased over the past five years, despite recent voluntary efforts to reduce agriculture runoff and other sources.

The findings show nearly all of the chemicals flowing into the lake's western basin comes from farm runoff. Most of it is coming from the Maumee River watershed. The study backs up calls from environmental groups to require farmers to control the runoff.  The agency is asking state lawmakers for more authority over farm practices. Ohio Farm Bureau Federation spokesman Joe Cornely says more study of problems would be better.

Agency Director Craig Butler says the legislation is being crafted to incorporate new information and ideas.

Action on the legislation is expected to begin in May.