State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) today applauded the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 299, the companion bill to Patterson’s House Bill 643, the Ohio Clean lake 2020 Plan. Joint-sponsored with state Rep. Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton), the bipartisan legislation invests $36 million in efforts to tackle the issue of harmful algal blooms and create innovative programs to clean up Lake Erie.


“Our Great Lake remains a vital resource to us here in Northeast Ohio, impacting everything from growing our crops to growing our economy. We must do everything we can to ensure its long-term health,” said Patterson. “The Clean Lake 2020 Plan confronts the challenges we face by investing in new, innovative programs to reduce the devastating effects of algal blooms and clean up our lake so that the next generation of Ohioans can enjoy this precious resource.”


The Clean Lake 2020 Plan would invest the following:



  • $2.65 million to monitor phosphorous loading, harmful algal growth and toxicity levels at The Ohio State University’s Sea Grant and Stone Lab;

  • $10 million to research alternative uses for dredged sediment;

  • $20 million in grants and loans for farmers to reduce phosphorous runoff;

  • $3.5 million for soil and water conservation districts in the lake’s western basin.


“Lake Erie is one of Ohio's most precious resources and it is our responsibility to protect it, not only for ourselves, but most importantly for our children and grandchildren,” said Arndt.


This spring, Patterson, along with House and Senate Clean Lake 2020 Plan joint sponsors, met with Lake Erie-area soil and water conservation leaders, tourism officials, agriculture groups and other interested parties to develop the Clean Lake 2020 plan.


Sponsored by state Sens. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta) and Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), Senate Bill 299 passed both the House and Senate unanimously. It now awaits Governor John Kasich’s consideration.

 
 
 
  
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