Ohio House Passes Legislation To Preserve Healthy Lake Erie
"Clean Lake 2020 Plan" invests $36 million toward supporting Ohio's Great Lake
Posted June 28, 2018 by Majority Caucus

COLUMBUS—Spearheaded by the work of State Representative Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton), the Ohio House of Representatives yesterday passed Senate Bill 299, legislation that makes critical investments to support and preserve the health of Lake Erie and its tributaries.

“I was happy to vote in support of this legislation which is the product of many hours of hard work between myself, Senator Gardner, and stakeholders from the agriculture, environmental and manufacturing communities,” said Arndt, who sponsored companion legislation in the House with State Representative John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and championed Senate Bill 299 through the committee process and on the House floor.

Senate Bill 299, also known as the “Clean Lake 2020 Plan,” provides more than $36 million in additional funding for a variety of programs aimed at supporting the lake and reducing toxic algae. Nearly two-thirds of that funding will go to the Department of Agriculture for soil and water conservation districts in the Lake Erie Basin and to the Water Phosphorous Program for activities such as soil testing, tributary monitoring, water and drainage management, and an agricultural phosphorous reduction loan program.

The remaining funding will be invested in the Department of Higher Education and the Ohio Sea Grant Program for the construction of a new lab space at the Stone Laboratory and to buy in-lake monitoring equipment.

“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,” Arndt added.

“Senate Bill 299 is a piece of legislation that reflects our intent to be good stewards of the land and water while, prudently and simultaneously, using these resources to promote economic development,” said Rep. Patterson. “As one who represents a district that is tied to the lake, with a diverse agricultural economy dependent of the lake, I am honored to support this legislation and enthusiastic passage.”

Sponsored by State Senator 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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