Lake Improvement Assoc. speaking out against proposed regulation - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Lake Improvement Assoc. speaking out against proposed regulation change

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The ODA has proposed changes to the rules for watershed in distress, like Grand Lake St. Marys. The ODA has proposed changes to the rules for watershed in distress, like Grand Lake St. Marys.

The Lake Improvement Association (LIA) is speaking out against proposed changes by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).

The ODA has proposed changes to the rules for watershed in distress, like Grand Lake St. Marys. The rules currently do not allow farmers along the watershed to spread manure in the winter but the ODA is looking to loosen that restriction, a move the LIA is not too fond of.

"What it would do is it would replace it with a very vague and, what we deem as, a very un-enforceable rule package that would make things very difficult to police," said Nick Rentz, President of the LIA. "And quite honestly, hard on the producers, too, as far as whether or not they're doing the right thing, so we think it's a lose-lose for our community."

If passed, manure spreading would only be prohibited on snow-covered or frozen soil, when the top two inches of soil is saturated from precipitation, and when the forecast for the area has a 50% chance of getting more than a half-inch of precipitation within 24 hours.

The LIA is against this because they say the current ban has helped to improve the lake. They have started a petition and plan on making the trip to meetings on the issue in Columbus to voice their concerns on how these changes could affect Grand Lake St. Marys. 

According to Rentz, the problem with the manure is the nutrients inside. When they get in the water, they feed a type of algae that can render the lake essentially toxic.

"The reason why manure is an issue here is because it carries a lot of nutrients," said Rentz. "Nutrients, especially phosphorous, feed a particular strain of blue-green algae that can turn your lake essentially toxic."

But, he says, there is strength in numbers.

"There is so many people arm and arm against this package," said Rentz. "We're against this, Lake Erie's against this for a number of reasons. There's a lot of people against this. We have producers who are not for this package. I think if t here's hope, there is the fact that so many people, so many sectors that are sometimes on opposite sides of issues are actually in solidarity on this one."

You can find more information on the petition and trips to the Columbus meetings on their website.

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