Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Biennial Budget Priorities 

1. Strong protections for Ohio communities from oil and gas operations

2. Adequate funding to eradicate toxic algae in Lake Erie

3. Zero tolerance against lead and toxins in Ohioans' drinking water

4. Ohioans' right to clean, efficient, and affordable energy choices

 

1. Stronger protections for Ohio Communities from oil and gas operations

Ending the chemical reporting loophole for oil and gas companies.

The chemical reporting loophole is unfair and a direct threat to first responders and residents in oil and gas country.

A number of oil and gas-related accidents have occurred in Ohio, including the Monroe County Well Pad Fire of 2014. The fire burned for 5 days, poisoned a nearby stream, and forced the evacuation of 25 families living nearby.

Current Ohio law does not require oil and gas companies to release information about the chemicals they use in the event of an emergency or disaster.

This leaves those entrusted to protect us without the information needed to ensure we’re not drinking water or breathing air that could lead to long term irreversible health consequences.

The Ohio EPA and ODNR Division of OIl and Gas must be permitted to share chemical information, including content considered to be trade secret with local first responders and public water systems during an emergency.


2. Adequate funding to eradicate toxic algae in lake erie

Lake Erie’s health affects the wellbeing of millions of Ohioans. We must invest in solutions to eradicate toxic algae.

The Governor, in his algae-reduction plan, has an entire fact sheet on the issues he wants to tackle on Lake Erie and water quality protection.

However, the funding proposal does not back up that promise. Adequate and dedicated funding for Lake Erie protection is needed.


3. Zero tolerance against lead and toxins in ohioans' drinking water

Recent events have demonstrated that we still have a long way to go to ensure safe drinking water for everyone.

In Sebring, OH residents discovered they were potentially drinking lead-contaminated water for months without notification from the village.

In 2016, we also learned there are specific, documented cases of drinking water contamination from fracking and that this growing industry in Ohio threatens drinking water supplies at every stage of the fracking process.

We need increased monitoring of contaminants, especially in areas close to a recent environmental disaster.

We must also improve access to public water system monitoring data to ensure transparency and accountability to Ohio communities.

This takes changes to the law and increased financial resources to allow local communities to protect their residents. 


4. Ohioans' right to clean, efficient, and affordable energy choices

Clean energy choices are important to Ohioans. By powering our homes with clean, efficient energy, families can save money and live healthier.

Instead of rolling back clean energy, the General Assembly should fund the modernization of Ohio's electricity grid. Modernizing Ohio's electricity grid will provide energy savings, cost savings, CO2 and other pollutant reductions, and give Ohioans greater control over how they use energy.

The Governor’s proposed budget includes implementing new, modern-day technologies such as smart meters, automated circuits and sensors to provide consumers more control over their electric usage.

The OEC Action Fund supports these measures.