State Representative Jeffery Rezabek (R-Clayton) yesterday voted in favor of Substitute Senate Bill 1, legislation that addresses some of the most important issues pertaining to water quality in Ohio.

Among other provisions, Substitute Senate Bill 1 encourages establishing best nutrient management practices, such as regulating the application of fertilizer in the western basin of Lake Erie when the ground is frozen or saturated.

“Substitute Senate Bill 1 goes a long way in promoting best management practices for farmers in the state of Ohio,” Representative Rezabek said. “I want to thank the agriculture industry for being proactive in this process. After listening to testimony in the Agriculture and Rural Development committee and after calling the farmers [crops and livestock] of my community as well as others, we believe this is a good start for water quality in Ohio.”

In addition, beginning in 2020, the bill prohibits the depositing of dredged materials into the Maumee basin. It also requires certain publicly owned water treatment facilities to monitor the amount of phosphorous in the water and to require some treatment facilities to submit an evaluation of how it might reduce the level of phosphorous.

SB 1 incorporates provisions that give farmers an opportunity to come into compliance without being penalized. For small and medium operators who may be in violation of the law, the legislation enables them to apply for a limited exemption and request assistance from their local Soil and Water Conservation District to resolve deficiencies in order to avoid being penalized.

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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