Ohio House Bill 61, aimed at reducing nutrient runoff in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB), has earned the support of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF).
As legislators looked to respond to algal blooms in Ohio’s waters, Farm Bureau worked with lawmakers to improve HB 61 and make it more practical for farmers. Because HB 61 meets these goals, OFBF has designated it a “key vote” and is asking legislators to pass the measure.
HB 61 will restrict the application of nutrients on frozen, snow-covered or saturated ground in the Western Lake Erie Basin while addressing two Farm Bureau priorities: farmers are allowed the necessary time to come into compliance and realistic standards are established for how farmers can operate under certain weather conditions.
Also crucial to the bill gaining Farm Bureau’s support was lawmakers’ assurance that resources will be provided to help farmers comply with the bill’s provisions.
Further, the bill meets Farm Bureau policy that seeks comprehensive water quality initiatives. The legislation addresses non-agricultural concerns including publicly owned water treatment facilities and dredging issues.
Farm Bureau believes lawmakers achieved an appropriate balance between protecting natural resources and creating workable rules for farmers. The organization thanked Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, the bill’s sponsors, the committee chairman, committee members and other lawmakers who contributed to this important legislation.
The House is expected to vote on the measure this week. HB 61 and similar legislation from the Senate will be considered by both chambers.