State Representative Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township) announced that House Bill 61, legislation addressing some of the most important issues pertaining to water quality in Ohio, including the recent, harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, passed the Ohio House during today’s session.

Among other provisions, Substitute House Bill 61 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.

“House Bill 61 is a great first step toward addressing Ohio’s most serious and immediate water quality issues,” LaTourette said. “As a member of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, I am proud to serve in an active role on such an important piece of legislation. I appreciate the hard work of the bill sponsors and Chairman Brian Hill, as well as the desire of the agricultural community to be part of the solution.”

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.

HB 61 will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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