You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Grants and loans offered to protect Lake Erie and drinking water


In the wake of the Toledo water crisis, state officials rolled out a plan Thursday to help cities test and treat drinking water and prevent sewage overflows into the Lake Erie watershed.

The plan also offers grants to farmers who want to do their part in cutting fertilizer run off flowing to the lake.

“Lake Erie is one of Ohio’s most precious resources and each day millions turn to it for drinking as well as their livelihoods. Ohio has been increasingly aggressive in protecting it and we’re building on those efforts with new resources for those on the front lines of this battle. There’s more work to be one and we’re going to keep pushing forward,” said Gov. John Kasich in a prepared statement.

Two weeks ago when a blue-green algal bloom drifted into Toledo’s water intake, chemists at the city’s treatment plant detected unsafe levels of toxic microcystin in finished drinking water. That triggered a do-not-drink order for 500,000 people in Ohio and Michigan, raised alarm about pollution in Lake Erie and shook the confidence in the public drinking water system. Water was delivered to Toledo from as far away as Piqua to help with the crisis.

Here is a breakdown of the money announced Thursday:

* $100 million in loans for local wastewater systems for equipment and facilities that will reduce the levels of phosphorus and other pollutants;

* $50 million in loans for local water treatment plants for upgrades and back-up water source systems;

* $1 million grant money for local public water systems to buy lab equipment, supplies and training needed to test for toxins produced by algal blooms;

* $1.25 million grant money for farmers to plant cover crops this winter on up to 25,000 acres and install up to 300 drainage devices to cut back on nutrient run off into the Lake Erie watershed; and

* $2 million grant money for Ohio institutions to conduct research into algal blooms.

“These are going to take some time. Again, this is a long problem that has been building up over the years and we are going make sure that we do everything we can that we can to start reducing nutrients that are getting into our rivers and streams,” said Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer.

The grant money will flow to only a small fraction of the tens of thousands of farmers working the 4.5 million acres of agriculture land that drains into the Maumee River and then into Lake Erie’s western basin. Scientists say agriculture fertilizer and manure runoff is the leading contributor to phosphorus, which leads to harmful algal blooms. The blooms have plagued the lake every summer since 1998.

A new state law will require farmers in the next three years to be certified in fertilizer application. But the law doesn’t cover manure spreading practices and there is no requirement that farmers actually follow the best practices.

State Sen. Edna Brown, D-Toledo, introduced a bill Thursday that would add manure to the fertilizers covered in the certification program.

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dave Daniels sidestepped a question about whether Ohio should expand the law. “We certainly look at all those options. We don’t have the authority to do anything like that now,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Ohio

Rape case lawyer says women are 'especially good' at lying
Rape case lawyer says women are 'especially good' at lying

A lawyer for a wealthy Tennessee businessman who was later found not guilty in a Memphis rape trial made a comment during closing arguments Thursday that raised some eyebrows. According to WHBQ, Steve Farese, attorney for Mark Giannini, said women are "especially good" at lying. "People can be very good at lying," Farese said...
Donald Trump reveals where he'll be instead of the White House Correspondents' Dinner
Donald Trump reveals where he'll be instead of the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Every year, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is one of the social events of the spring. For almost 100 years, journalists, government officials and celebrities have gotten together to crack jokes and eat expensive meals. The event has been attended by Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington. In 2011, then-President Barack Obama roasted Donald...
14-year-old recovers, smiles 2 months after being shot in head
14-year-old recovers, smiles 2 months after being shot in head

A 14-year-old girl is going home following a long hospital stay. Police say two teenage boys shot her in the head and left her for dead in a canal near their school. Deserae Turner of Smithfield, Utah, was found in extremely critical condition Feb. 17, KSL reports. Two 16-year-old boys are accused of luring Deserae to join them after school...
Sunshine and warmer temperatures this week
Sunshine and warmer temperatures this week

More sunshine today - Tuesday A warming trend kicks in this week Showers/Storms Today: We’ll see more sunshine today, with a few more clouds possible mainly south of 70 and east of 75. Highs today will be in the middle to upper 60s. Tonight: Mostly clear skies are expected overnight tonight with lows in the middle 40s. Monday: ...
Police officer helps boy tie necktie in heartwarming viral photo
Police officer helps boy tie necktie in heartwarming viral photo

A police officer is going viral after teaching a boy how to tie a tie when he was “too embarrassed” to ask for help. X’zavier was at the Indiana Statehouse recently to receive the “Youth of the Year” award from his local Boys and Girls Club, according to Inside Edition. X’zavier was escorted to the ceremony...
More Stories