Statement From the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on the JCARR Vote to Revise and Refile the Watershed in Distress Rules

Columbus, Ohio -- Today, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) voted to direct the Ohio Department of Agriculture to revise and refile newly proposed rules that would help curb the pollution responsible for toxic algae in Lake Erie. The proposed rules are backed by Governor Kasich and would require most agricultural producers that operate in a watershed designated as distressed to create a plan to reduce runoff pollution. The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Peter Bucher, Water Resources Director at the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Today’s action represents a missed opportunity to establish clear rules that would help prevent excess nutrients from entering Ohio waterways in order to reduce toxic algae. The proposed rules were aimed at balancing agricultural concerns with the need to protect Lake Erie and the communities that depend on it for drinking water, job opportunities, and recreation. Every delay in implementing needed changes to reduce toxic algae makes the problem more expensive to fix in Lake Erie and across Ohio.”