You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

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.


Welcome to

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.

breaking news

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Houston, official says

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

Light drizzle for morning commute, dry time and sun to return
Light drizzle for morning commute, dry time and sun to return

Light drizzle early this morning Drying out this afternoon through Thursday More rain Friday and Sunday Today: Light drizzle will be possible through sunrise this morning leading to some wet roadways, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar. Temperatures will start in the upper 30s and will eventually rise to the low to mid-40s this afternoon...
Ex-'Apprentice' contestant Summer Zervos files defamation lawsuit against Trump
Ex-'Apprentice' contestant Summer Zervos files defamation lawsuit against Trump

On Tuesday, former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos held a press conference with lawyer Gloria Allred to announce that she is filing a defamation lawsuit against President-elect Donald Trump. One month before Election Day, Zervos claimed that she was subjected to “unwanted sexual touches” by Trump during a business...
Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized
Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized

Former President George H.W. Bush is in stable condition at a Houston hospital, KHOU reported early Wednesday. Bush's chief of staff, Jean Becker, said Bush, 92, is "doing fine" but did not say why he was hospitalized.  Bush is expected to return home "in a couple of days," according to KHOU.
No, President Obama didn't pardon Chelsea Manning; here's what he did instead
No, President Obama didn't pardon Chelsea Manning; here's what he did instead

It was announced Tuesday that President Obama commuted the sentence of famed whistleblower Chelsea Manning. And no, this is not the same as a pardon, despite the hopes of many privacy and human rights advocates. Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution grants Obama the executive power of clemency. With this, he can choose...
Trump’s plan to neuter the White House press corps

Tyrants don’t allow open questioning, and they hate the free press. They want total control. That’s why, according to three senior officials on the transition team, the incoming Trump administration is considering evicting the White House press corps from the press room inside the White House and moving them — and news conferences...
More Stories