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Friday, September 19, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 8/17/2014

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

State shares blame for water emergency

Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins gives an update on water testing during the water crisis on Aug.  3. Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins gives an update on water testing during the water crisis on Aug. 3.
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Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins should have acted when he received the warning from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency about the city’s water treatment plant (“Ohio EPA warned Toledo of ‘imminent vulnerability,’ ” Aug. 8). 

But the Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Agriculture are also to blame for the algae blooms in Lake Erie. The mayor was on target when he said officials need to stop talking about the algae bloom problem and do something about it. 

Citizens and local officials need to hold Gov. John Kasich and the legislature accountable for not banning frozen-ground manure applications on large farms in western Ohio. The nutrient-rich runoff pollution into our watersheds during the spring thaw from March to June is the major cause of the algae blooms.

Ohio’s officials have avoided a ban and instead recently passed a law that regulates fertilizers and asks farmers voluntarily to reduce using those that are phosphorus-rich. 

There is a precedent for restricting manure on frozen ground in Ohio. Grand Lake St. Marys has been designated a distressed watershed. Under Ohio law, farmers near the watershed are banned from applying manure from December until March.

Our politicians do not have to wait for the problem to get worse before they step up and ban the use of manure on frozen ground.

TONY SZILAGYE

Board MemberLake Erie WaterkeeperRossford



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