Rep. Brent votes against bill that will harm Ohio's water quality
COLUMBUS– State Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) today voted against House Bill (HB) 175, which would deregulate ephemeral water features. Environmental organizations argue the legislation would harm Ohio’s water quality and undo the progress made by H2Ohio. HB 175 passed the Ohio House by a vote of 61-33.
“One of the most important assets Ohio has is our water. This bill puts businesses over protecting water quality,” said Rep. Brent. “By reversing this standard, Ohio is moving backwards to a time when water entities in Ohio used to catch on fire. This dirty water bill will cause flash flooding and increase water temperatures downstream, which helps grow harmful algal blooms and decrease water quality.”
Ephemeral streams are pools or streams of water, which appear after rain or snow. Currently, ephemeral streams are protected by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). HB 175 would no longer require the EPA to issue permits for impacts on ephemeral streams, meaning discharging sewage and pollutants into them would not be prohibited.
HB 175 now goes to the Senate for further consideration.