By: Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program
We can’t say that Lake Erie is back in the news, because lately it hasn’t left the news. However, there is a new lawsuit in federal court that seeks further action from either the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Ohio EPA regarding Lake Erie water quality. Filed on February 7, 2019 by the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) and the Toledo-based Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie, this new lawsuit alleges that the U.S. EPA improperly signed off on action taken by the Ohio EPA to designate Lake Erie as an impaired water body without implementing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) to restrict discharges such as agricultural runoff. The plaintiffs weren’t necessarily unhappy about the designation, but they were not happy about the lack of a TMDL. Continue reading
By: Ohio Ag Net staff
Some farm fields in northwest Ohio’s Maumee River watershed have more phosphorus than their crops can use. Called “elevated phosphorus fields,” such fields may be at higher risk of contributing to Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.
That’s the premise of a new five-year, $5 million study that hopes to learn about those fields and lower that risk by creating new public-private partnerships.
Led by Jay Martin, an ecological engineering professor with The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), the study plans to monitor and manage more than a dozen elevated phosphorus fields, all in the Maumee River watershed. Continue reading
The next round of funding is now available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), as part of a five year, $17.5 million program funded by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The goal of the program is to reduce nutrients entering Ohio waterways to lessen harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. Funding is available to assist farmers in installing conservation practices that benefit water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Continue reading
By Glen Arnold, CCA, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management and Kevin Elder, Livestock Environmental Permitting, Ohio Department of Agriculture
With warmer than normal weather forecast for the next couple of weeks, corn and soybean harvest in Ohio is expected to get back on track. Livestock producers and commercial manure applicators soon will be applying both liquid and solid manure as fields become available.
For poultry manure, handlers are reminded to stockpile poultry litter close to the fields actually receiving the manure. Stockpiles need to be 500 feet from a residence, 300 feet from a water source and 1,500 feet from a public water intake. Poultry litter cannot be stockpiled in a floodplain and cannot have offsite water running across the litter stockpile area. The site also cannot have a slope greater than six percent. Continue reading
Ohio farmers are making positive impacts to water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB), according to a new report from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This new report shows applied conservation practices reduce sediment losses from fields by an estimated 80% and reduce the amount of sediment being delivered to Lake Erie by an estimated 40%. Continue reading