Jun 16, 2015

Michigan, Ohio, Ontario reach agreement to reduce phosphorous in Lake Erie by 40% by 2025

Leaders from Michigan, Ohio and Ontario agreed this weekend to work "to reduce phosphorus in the western Lake Erie basin by 40 percent by 2025," Keith Matheny reports for the Detroit Free Press. "The nutrient is a key ingredient of widespread algae blooms in that portion of the lake—including a toxic strain that disrupted water supplies to 400,000 people in southeast Michigan and the Toledo area last August." Ohio and Michigan farmers last month also agreed to work together to control contamination. (Associated Press photo by D'Arcy Egan)

The interim goal is to reduce phosphorus by 20 percent by 2020, Robert Higgs reports for Northeast Ohio Media Group. "The phosphorus can come from any of several sources—fertilizer and manure runoff from farms or overflows from some waste water treatment plants. With the agreement, each state commits to developing a plan of attack toward reaching the targets." Indiana was also invited to participate but declined, said Ohio Gov. John Kasich's administration. 

"Farmers in northwestern Ohio are under a new state ban on spreading manure on frozen or rain-soaked fields," John Seewer reports for AP. "The new law also requires training before farmers can use commercial fertilizers. The state also is increasing monitoring of wastewater plants. Michigan has a voluntary program to help farmers reduce pollution that goes into waterways. The two states and Indiana will begin sharing $17.5 million from the federal government to reduce farm-field runoff by planting strips of grass or cover crops that help soil absorb and filter phosphorus." Please continue reading from: The Rural Blog