Shared from the 6/26/2018 Sandusky Register eEdition


Clean up the lake


Register photo/JILLY BURNS

State Rep. Steve Arndt and State Sen. Randy Gardner appear on “Between the Lines” on June 14.


The Clean Lake 2020 bill to help revive Lake Erie is moving forward thanks in large part to two local Republican lawmakers — State Rep. Steve Arndt and State Sen. Randy Gardner.

“We expect it to be on the governor’s desk by the end of the month,” said Gardner, R-Bowling Green, who co-sponsored the bill with Arndt, R-Port Clinton.

There’s been plenty of talk about Lake Erie’s algal bloom problem but very little action to date. This bill could be the start of something positive, however, for the entire lake.

The Clean Lake 2020 bill would spend about $36 million to clean up Lake Erie and fight the harmful algal blooms by continuing to target the source the phosphorus runoffs into the Western Basin of the lake.

In fact, $20 million would go toward runoff issues and another $10 million would fund programs to help end the practice of dumping dirt back into the lake that is dredged from the lake bottom.

Both Arndt and Gardner admit that this is just a first step toward cleaning up Lake Erie and more will need to be done.

“This isn’t the last word on the lake,” Gardner said. “This is what we can achieve now.”

That statement is perhaps the best news we’ve heard on Lake Erie. This is a massive problem that can’t be solved on the backs on Ohio farmers alone. Sure, more can be done to make sure those farmers are not harming the lake with excessive phosphorus runoffs from their land into lake tributaries. But there are other sources that need to be addressed as well, including sewage dumping from outdated sewer systems in communities that line the lake shores in Ohio, Michigan and Canada.

In the end, this a man-made problem that is going to take cooperation on several levels — local, state, federal and international — to solve.

We’re glad we have lawmakers such as Arndt and Gardner to do what they can to make sure Ohio is doing its part to clean up Lake Erie once and for all.

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