Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ohio Passes Bill to Protect Lake Erie: Should Michigan Follow?

Paul F. Bohn, Esq.

You may remember the news last year when Lake Erie experienced a massive wave of “harmful algae blooms,” or HABs, in its waters. Lake Erie communities were unable to use tap water, restaurants and coffee shops closed due to a low supply of usable drinking water, and even politicians in the heat of election season paused their campaigns to help distribute water.

The spike in algae blooms, and its severe effects on surrounding communities, recently led Ohio to pass Senate Bill 1, which Ohio Gov. Kasich signed last week. The bill aims to protect Lake Erie’s and Ohio’s water quality.

SB 1 restricts the spreading of manure and other fertilizers that contribute to the toxic algae blooms, curbs open-lake dumping of dredged material, and increases monitoring at water-treatment plants. The bill passed the State House and Senate unanimously, which is a rarity in today’s politics, no matter where you live.

You can learn more about the bill’s details in an article from the Toledo Blade:

Great Lakes Environmental Groups hailed the legislation as a positive first step, but noted that more needs to be done. They have called on Governor Snyder of Michigan, Governor Kasich of Ohio, and Premier Wynne of Ontario, Canada to lead a joint effort to cut phosphorous pollution into Lake Erie by 40%.

These groups believe a good first step for Michigan would be to pass similar legislation to Ohio's. 

Paul Bohn is a partner at the law firm of Fausone Bohn, LLP, and was named one of the Top Attorneys in Michigan in 2014 by Crain’s Detroit Business, and specializes in the areas of environmental, real estate, and construction law. If you need help on an environmental issue, contact Fausone Bohn, LLP at 248-468-4536, or visit us online at www.fb-firm.com

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