© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WOSP-FM in Portsmouth is operating at reduced power. In the meantime, listen online or with the WOSU mobile app.

Ohio Farmers Say They're Working To Reduce Runoff, Despite Rule Delays

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 weekto 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.

Ohio Farm Bureau president Frank Burkett says farmers are already taking major steps to manage their nutrients, so fertilizer doesn’t run off their land and contribute to toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.

“And they will do that voluntarily or they’ll do them in some of the legislation that’s already been passed in a regulatory environment, but it needs to be a transparent process,” Burkett says.

But Kasich has said the algae problem in Lake Erie needs to be addressed now and that current regulations aren’t enough.

The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission split over its vote to delay Kasich’s executive order on watersheds in western Ohio, which would have created tougher standards for farmland runoff.

That was the second time the commission decided to delay a vote on the executive order. The next time the commission is set to meet is in February 2019, when Kasich will no longer be in office.

Former Ohio Department of Agriculture director David Daniels, who Kasich recently fired, also had concerns about the order. Farmers say there are not enough resources to comply with the new regulations.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.