Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has proposed creating a fund that would offer about $900 million over 10 years to improve the state’s water quality.
DeWine rolled out the H2Ohio initiative on March 14 in Toledo, where residents were temporarily left without drinking water in 2014 after a bloom of toxic algae near the city’s Lake Erie water intake.
Farm nutrient runoff is a major cause of those blooms.
“We cannot continue to lurch from water crisis to water crisis,” DeWine said.
The proposal, part of the governor’s 2020-2021 budget package, would lead to additional staffing at conservation districts, increased action on failing septic systems, wetland creation, and research projects across the state.
“This funding is a great example of how this governor is fully committed to work with farmers throughout the state toward the common goal of clean water,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
Meanwhile, Farm Bureau is supporting a lawsuit challenging the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, a legally questionable initiative that grants rights to the lake and empowers any Toledo citizen to file suit on behalf of the water body.