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Statement on Executive Order to Protect Lake Erie and its Watersheds

7/20/2018


Media Contact:
Miranda Pomiecko: (216) 698-2546; mpomiecko@cuyahogacounty.us


Cuyahoga County, OH – Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability Mike Foley issued the following statement after Governor Kasich’s issuance of a July 11 executive order that requires state agencies to protect Lake Erie and its watersheds from the threat of algae blooms caused by run off by agricultural fertilizer and manure. The order designates eight watersheds as distressed, empowering state agencies to set rules for applying fertilizer and manure.

“Our lake is our most important physical asset and it must be protected. I appreciate Governor Kasich’s response to the threat of algae blooms in our lake,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.

“Three million people get their drinking water from Lake Erie’s Central Basin. Protecting Lake Erie is a nonpartisan issue. It’s very important to the economy and even more important to public health. 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuyahoga River catching fire which led to the passage of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the EPA. It is very important that nothing undermine the progress we’ve made.”

As to the argument that Governor Kasich acted too quickly, Executive Budish said: “The General Assembly has been too slow and indecisive in working out solutions. I appreciate the Governor stepping in and taking action.”

Director Foley cited scientific data suggesting that algae blooms are beginning earlier this year. He stated: “Climate change has resulted in more intense storms which carry greater amounts of algae producing chemicals like phosphorous into our lakes and rivers. Both the U.S. and Canada agreed in 2016 to reduce phosphorous run off by 40 percent and I thank the Governor for this timely action. The fact that the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission on Thursday agreed to further study the issue before putting any of Governor Kasich’s order into practice is unacceptable. Delaying action only further exacerbates our lake’s problems.”