Panel set to study Lake Erie’s harmful algae

Associated Press

Toledo, Ohio – A group of Ohio lawmakers who will look into Lake Erie’s health will be led by two legislators who have criticized the governor’s move to create tougher regulations on thousands of farmers.

The legislature’s Republican leaders appointed the panel in the wake of Gov. John Kasich’s executive order calling for new rules to combat the lake’s harmful algae blooms.

Kasich’s directive calls for issuing “distressed watershed” designations in northwestern Ohio that would potentially force thousands of farmers to change how they manage fertilizer and manure.

The state’s Soil and Water Conservation Commission has delayed signing off on the order while it looks deeper into the issue.

The state panel says its first meeting will be next week and that it plans more meetings this fall.