On the heels of their House resolution calling for the Lake Erie’s open waters to be declared “impaired,” state Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) today issued the following statements in response to the Kasich Administration’s about-face on issuing the declaration – which could mean tighter pollution standards and more resources to protect the Great Lake:
“Today, the governor listened to the needs, fears, and wishes of this legislative body and the people of our great state on the issue of Lake Erie. I want to thank him for finally standing up and calling for Lake Erie to be declared impaired. I look forward to working closely with his office, the people of Toledo, the communities all along Lake Erie, and all Ohioans on cleaning up Lake Erie, returning it to its former glory, and ensuring that it is safe and healthy for years to come.” —state Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo)
“This decision certainly comes as welcome news following years of economic damage in Northwest Ohio. We are thankful for the Governor’s political courage, and that he is joining us in defense of Ohio’s single greatest natural resource against the big-money special interest groups fighting against a solution.” —state Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon)
Ohio House Democrats today celebrated welcome news for the state’s imperiled northern coastline, following a statement by Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman released Wednesday guaranteeing full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The initiative, a $300 million program once-targeted to lose 90 percent of it’s funding in President Trump’s proposed 2019 budget, was one of many federal environmental projects under threat this year.
Today State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) introduced a resolution urging the Director of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to add Lake Erie’s Western Basin to the list of impaired waters. The move follows a State of the State address that left the two Toledo-area representatives disappointed with the lack of urgency surrounding the continued water quality crisis in Northwest Ohio.
“To seriously address harmful algal blooms in our state requires a firm commitment to reform and to exploring all avenues for action,” said Rep. Fedor. “I was hopeful that Ohio and federal governments would treat the ongoing crisis with more resolve and that last week’s State of the State address would outline some real policy initiatives. It is past time to put Lake Erie and the lives we have built here first.”
This resolution recognizes that Lake Erie’s Western Basin is facing a water quality crisis, plagued by pollution, algal blooms, and fish kills. Both Rep. Fedor and Rep. Sheehy were serving Toledo in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2014 when an algal bloom left 500,000 Toledoans without safe drinking water. Lake Erie’s Western Basin still requires massive doses of chlorine to be considered safefor consumption, continually impacting much of the region.
“The algae problem is far too critical to continue the weak actions taken by the current state and federal administrations,” said Rep. Sheehy. “If swift and decisive action is not taken now, Ohioans along the coast will continue to lose income, wildlife, and many more resources from Lake Erie.”
Unlike Ohio, Michigan did include the open waters in its jurisdiction on its list of impaired waters that it submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which approved that list. The United States EPA already has declared Michigan’sportion of Lake Erie impair
State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) today outlined their top priorities ahead of the annual State of the State address. In addition to improving education, tackling the state’s opioid epidemic and increasing opportunity for working people to get ahead, the Toledo-area lawmakers want to see the governor discuss his plans to improve water quality and combat harmful algal blooms on Lake Erie at tonight’s event.
State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) today issued a statement in support of the Working People’s Day of Action planned for Saturday, February 24 at the Ohio Statehouse. The Ohio march comes on the heels of the introduction of six Republican-sponsored constitutional amendments to implement so-called “right to work” legislation and other workplace restrictions in the Buckeye State.
State Reps. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) recently announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 460, legislation to exempt riparian buffers from property taxes in an effort to encourage more landowners in the western basin of Lake Erie to install these agricultural barriers, known for filtering nutrients that cause harmful algal blooms.
State Rep. Michael Sheehy today announced his support for the latest Congressional effort to stop the spread of Asian Carp in the Great Lakes. The Lake Erie lawmaker’s support for his federal counterparts comes as some 26 Democratic and Republican members of Congress are demanding action from the Army Corps of Engineers to close an artificial connection between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes – a thoroughfare for the invasive carp to enter the Great Lakes basins.
“Our Great Lake is facing an environmental crisis on several fronts. While I’ve been working with colleagues to address these issues head on at the state level, we need all the help we can get,” said Sheehy. “Now that our experts have identified the sources of these threats, we must pursue fact-based policy solutions to combat them.”
State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Toledo) and Toledo Department of Public Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski will join public health officials Saturday, December 9 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Maumee Branch Library to discuss healthcare issues, open enrollment and the Affordable Care Act. Public Health staff will be ready to help people navigate the healthcare exchange and sign up for coverage before the Dec. 15 deadline.
This event is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in signing up for healthcare should bring income information documenting their annual earnings, their social security number and personal information of any dependents, including social security numbers. All information will remain private and confidential.
WHO: State Rep. Michael Sheehy
Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski
WHAT: Healthcare Town Hall, Healthcare Exchange Sign Up Drive
WHERE: Toledo Lucas County Public Library
501 River Rd
Maumee, Ohio 43537
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 9
State Reps. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) and Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) today announced the release of $440,000 in state funds to the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) to advance its Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. The funding was approved by the state Controlling Board, a panel tasked with oversight of state spending.
“In a 21st-century economy, encouraging technological development is vital to maintaining Ohio’s competitive edge in the industry,” said Ashford. “I am glad to see the state support projects that will foster innovation, create jobs and establish new opportunities for economic growth in our community.”
State Reps. Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) today applauded the opening of the Drinking Water Research Laboratory at University of Toledo’s College of Engineering to better test local public water safety.
“New cutting-edge technology at the Drinking Water Research Laboratory will make it possible to immediately know whether any harmful toxins are in our region’s water supply,” said Sheehy. “This project is an example of taxpayer money helping to solve one of Ohio’s biggest problems: the safety of drinking water for our citizens.”