By: Dr. Larry Antosch, Ohio Farm Bureau senior director of policy development and environmental policy
In the summer of 2011, as a result of serious algal blooms in the western basin of Lake Erie, Gov.John Kasich asked the directors from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to form a task force to address issues with nutrients and water quality.
The task force met over the course of six months to discuss options for managing phosphorous runoff. Ohio Farm Bureau staff and members — along with producer groups, agricultural retailers and environmental groups – were represented at the meetings.
A report was compiled based on the discussions at these meetings and was provided to the Kasich administration last spring. The report included recommendations for reducing excess agricultural nutrients from affecting or entering the western basin of Lake Erie.
On March 7, ODNR and ODA released a draft of proposed changes to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) dealing with nutrient management. It is important to note that this is a draft and has not been introduced to the state legislature.
Ohio Farm Bureau will be submitting comments on the draft legislation, but first we need to hear from you, our members. We are very interested in obtaining feedback on the proposed changes.
You will find links to a summary of the proposed changes and a copy of the draft legislation just below the photo on this Web page. As a reminder, line numbers on the right side are for reference. If you want to comment on a section please use the line numbers in your comments. Existing code will be normal type; wording to be removed will have a line through it; and new wording will be underlined. Because many sections of the ORC are affected in small ways, you will see a lot of unchanged sections in the document.
Please send any comments or concerns to Regina Mayhugh [email protected] by the end of the day April 2.
Sign up for the Nutrient Management/Water Quality Online Meeting April 24.