Sheehy wants more action from the state on water quality issues

“Last year, Governor Kasich failed to mention the ongoing water quality challenges faced by communities in Northwest Ohio,” said Sheehy. “The work accomplished with Senate Bill 1 to address these issues was a step in the right direction, but the state must take additional and immediate action to protect the drinking water of millions of Ohioans. I urge the governor to lay out his plan to protect Lake Erie and the Ohioans who depend upon it. We cannot afford to risk another water crisis.”

Kasich again failed to mention ongoing water quality issues in Toledo and the Lake Erie basin in his address, much to Sheehy’s dismay, though the governor did note that the state has already spent “more than three and a half billion dollars to improve water quality from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.”

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Research shows phosphorus accumulation in river basins

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 12:00 am

An international group of scientists, including a researcher from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, has estimated the long-term environmental impact of phosphorus, a chemical element of fertilizer, in three world river basins.

Fertilizers used in agricultural production can leak into waterways and until now, scientists have not had a good handle on how the phosphorous in the runoff accumulates and to what extent.

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Reacting to Flint crisis, EPA launches U.S. drinking water study

WASHINGTON — The public health crisis caused by high lead levels in Flint’s water and the toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie in recent years are among the threats being cited by federal environmental officials who called Tuesday for a comprehensive look at how to better protect the nation’s drinking water.

In a blog post, Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, announced the effort, saying: “As a country, we can and must do more to make sure that every American has access to safe drinking water.”

Beauvais said that beginning in May, the EPA will start meeting with state officials, utility managers and others to develop what he called “a national action plan on drinking water,” to be released by year’s end. In a conversation with the Free Press, Beauvais said the plan is likely to include program changes that the EPA, states and utilities can implement on their own, as well as helping to “inform the priorities of an incoming administration.”

He said the effort is expected to include plans for strengthening the Safe Drinking Water Act; ensuring the federal Lead and Copper Rule is followed; prioritizing work on water infrastructure in low-income communities, and addressing threats posed by new and unregulated contaminants.

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Western Ohio farms chosen to showcase new conservation practices, reducing algae-feeding runoff

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Three farms in Western Ohio will provide demonstrations for other farmers to reduce their phosphorus runoff, which contributed to Lake Erie’s largest algal bloom on record last summer. (AP file photo)

James F. McCarty, The Plain DealerBy James F. McCarty, The Plain Dealer
on April 26, 2016 at 7:30 AM, updated April 26, 2016 at 5:34 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Farm Bureau has chosen three farms south of Toledo to serve as demonstration farms to showcase new and innovative conservation practices designed to reduce algae-feeding nutrient runoff.

All three of the farms are in the Blanchard River watershed in Hancock and Hardin counties. The Blanchard is a 103-mile tributary of the Auglaize River, which eventually empties into the Maumee River – the primary source of phosphorus runoff into Lake Erie.

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Water from the Blanchard River basin, where the three test farms are located, eventually empties into the Maumee River and Lake Erie.

Last summer’s algal bloom was the largest on record. Bacteria from the previous year’s bloom polluted the drinking water in Toledo, forcing a three-day shut-down of the city’s water-treatment system.

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Regional sewer district investing $2M in ‘green’ projects to protect Lake Erie (photos)

Steven Litt, The Plain DealerBy Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer

on April 22, 2016 at 7:35 AM, updated April 22, 2016 at 12:58 PM

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District plans to spend $2 million on 12 new green infrastructure projects in 2016 as part of its Project Clean Lake to reduce sewage overflows into Lake Erie.

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How toxic algae are threatening humans and wildlife across the world

Published: Apr 22, 2016 1:41 p.m. ET

Tourism, fisheries — and the water supply — are at risk

Around the world, regions have recorded some of the largest algal blooms ever in the past year.

By TONYA GARCIA, REPORTER

If you’ve taken a trip to one of the many coastlines in the U.S. or Caribbean over the past year, there’s a good chance you’ve seen evidence of algal bloom. Murky shores, water with a red tint and beaches blanketed in stinking seaweed are some of the forms that harmful algal bloom can take.

Algal blooms are more than just unsightly and putrid. Harmful algal blooms can kill sea life, hurt businesses and threaten humans.

“They do pose human health risk,” said Dr. Christopher Winslow, interim director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program and the Ohio State University Stone Laboratory.

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Lorain questions disposal of Black River dredge material in Lake Erie

Kayakers paddle along the Black River during the LoCo ‘Yaks’ third annual “Takin’ Back The Black — Black River Clean-up” event May 2, 2015.
Kayakers paddle along the Black River during the LoCo ‘Yaks’ third annual “Takin’ Back The Black — Black River Clean-up” event May 2, 2015. Morning Journal file

Mud dredged from the bottom of the Black River should not be dumped in Lake Erie, Lorain officials said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on April 6 published its notice about dredging 225,000 cubic yards of sediment out of the Black River. In Lorain and other cities, crews periodically dig out the accumulated material to maintain the shipping channels into ports around the Great Lakes.

The silt, clay, sand and gravel taken out from July 1 to April 15, 2017, is to be dumped into Lake Erie in a 1.5-square-mile open lake area about 3.5 miles north of Lorain.

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