farm runoff

tractor in farm field
Jean Beaufort / Public Domain Pictures

A high school student in Springfield has won this year’s Governor’s Award For Excellence in Environmental Protection Research.

Algae blooms on the coast of Toledo.
NASA Glenn Research Center

Reducing harmful algal blooms remains the top priority for protecting and restoring Lake Erie, according to a draft plan released by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

A satellite photo of the Maumee Bay taken on July 30, 2019 shows what NASA Earth Observatory called a "severe bloom of blue-green algae" spreading across the western basin of Lake Erie.
Joshua Stevens / NASA Earth Observatory

Ohio farmers say they’re on board with the state’s plans to slow down agricultural runoff into Lake Erie, which Gov. Mike DeWine has said is the biggest contributor to toxic algae blooms. 

Gov. Mike DeWine has released details of his plan to improve water quality in Ohio, starting with preventing toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.  The H2Ohio program will start in the Maumee River watershed near Toledo but he wants to eventually broaden it to rest of the state.

Advocates of stricter fertilizer rules for Ohio’s farms are hopeful an upcoming court decision will better protect Lake Erie from future algae blooms.

After a lengthy and detailed denial from a federal judge in Toledo on a request to dismiss a case regarding pollution discharges into Lake Erie, the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) is cautiously optimistic it will get a ruling forcing the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to institute a total maximum daily load (TMLD) for industrial farms.

A majority of people in Northwest Ohio — where algal blooms in Lake Erie are causing public health problems — think there should be new regulations to prevent farm fertilizer and manure from flowing into Lake Erie, according to a poll released Sept. 10.

One of the conundrums in the effort to halt toxic algal blooms in western Lake Erie, near Toledo, is why phosphorus levels continue to rise, even though farmers in the Maumee River watershed have been using less fertilizer. Two environmental groups think manure is playing a larger role than researchers have previously thought. 

A new investigation by two environmental groups cites unpermitted livestock farms as contributors to the algae problem in Lake Erie. The Environmental Working Group and Environmental Law & Policy Center collected and studied aerial photos of the Maumee River watershed.

Gov. Mike DeWine says it’s time for the state to do more to protect what he calls the jewel of Ohio -- Lake Erie. Those efforts will likely include working with farmers to deal with runoff.

A docked boat is reflected in the algae-covered water of Lake Erie's Maumee Bay in Oregon, Ohio in this Sept. 15, 2017, file photo.
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

The Kasich administration says it’s disappointed in a commission’s vote last week to delay action on the governor’s executive order creating tougher rules on farm runoff to clean Lake Erie. But farmers say they’re already implementing water quality practices, so the state still has time to work on the issue.

Board Again Sidelines Kasich's Order On Lake Erie Algae

Nov 2, 2018
Algae floats in the water at the Maumee Bay State Park marina in Lake Erie in Oregon, Ohio, on Sept. 15, 2017.
Paul Sancya / AP

A state panel again Thursday delayed implementation of Ohio Gov. John Kasich's plan to create new regulations on thousands of farms in a bid to reduce fertilizer and manure feeding Lake Erie's sometimes toxic algae blooms.

Ohio Department of Agriculture

With a little over two months left till he leaves office, Gov. John Kasich suddenly fired a cabinet member who’s been with him for six years, the state agriculture director.

Aerial Associates Photography, Inc. by Zachary Haslic / NOAA

Gov. John Kasich is fighting for his clean Lake Erie initiative, which includes tougher regulations on Ohio’s number one industry. As Kasich argues, his proposed rules on fertilizer is in everyone’s best interest.

Ohio Commission Delays Vote To Tighten Fertilizer Rules

Jul 20, 2018
Wikipedia Commons

A panel largely appointed by Republican Gov. John Kasich has delayed immediate action on his executive order intensifying Ohio's efforts to fight toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.

tractor in farm field
Jean Beaufort / Public Domain Pictures

Farmers are firing back at Gov. John Kasich’s executive order to implement tougher regulations on fertilizer and other farm runoff. The administration says these new requirements will help keep nutrients from polluting Lake Erie. But farmers argue this creates mandates for a problem they’re already trying to fix.