Ohio EPA announces TMDL effort for Lake Erie
Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will develop a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Western Lake Erie Basin over the next two to three years.
A Total Maximum Daily Load is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant allowed to enter a body of water so that the body of water will meet water quality standards. According to the Clean Water Act, each state must develop a TMDL for impaired waters.
Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center and one of the attorneys for Plaintiffs in the Lake Erie clean water litigation in federal court, says Ohio EPA’s draft plan is a step in the right direction. He says TMDLs will be necessary to alleviate algal bloom issues in the western Lake Erie Basin.
Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp says although OFBF doesn’t believe that a TMDL process is the right path for timely and effective solutions for cleaner water, they appreciate Governor Mike DeWine’s leadership on water quality and his recognition that a state-driven process will be more effective than regulations from the federal level.
The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and the Ohio Soybean Association released a joint statement saying that although the groups don’t believe the TMDL is the best way to advance the goals that have been set for Lake Erie, they appreciate that it will be an Ohio-led effort with state-wide stakeholder input.
The groups add that Ohio corn, soybean, and small grain farmers have been working for over a decade to do their part in addressing water quality issues in Lake Erie by investing millions of their own dollars, implementing new conservation practices, and working closely with other organizations, universities, and environmental groups.