State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) today hailed recent calls to action at both the state and federal level for more comprehensive efforts to improve the health of Lake Erie, saying cooperation and unity were key to ensuring the region’s greatest natural resource is adequately protected and preserved for future generations.
On Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) made a joint plea for the U.S. EPA to step in and designate the open water of Lake Erie’s western basin as impaired under the federal Clean Water Act. The same day, Sheehy offered sponsor testimony on House Resolution (HR) 214, legislation encouraging support for the 2016 agreement between Ontario, Michigan, and Ohio that established a goal of a 40 percent phosphorus reduction in the lake by 2025.
“The combined efforts of federal and state lawmakers all calling for action at virtually the same day and time clearly underscores the will of the people to take aggressive action to save our fresh water in Maumee and Lake Erie,” said Sheehy. “Collectively, we have been pushing for reform and adequate funding to keep our constituents, wildlife and infrastructure safe from toxic runoff. Our beloved lake cannot wait any longer – we must save it now.”
Concern over the extent of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie resonates in both chambers of the state legislature. Sen. Edna Brown (D-Toledo) also recently testified in support of Senate Bill (SB) 224, legislation emphasizing the importance of monitoring the distribution, use, and location of manure, as well as closing loopholes to make enforcement of manure application limits more effective.