Saturday, October 16, 2021

Play

Community college students in California are encouraged to examine their options; plus a Boeing 737 Max test pilot was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of deceiving safety regulators.

Play

Environmentalists have high hopes for President Biden at an upcoming climate summit, a bipartisan panel cautions against court packing, and a Trump ally is held in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena.

Play

A rebuttal is leveled over a broad-brush rural-schools story; Black residents in Alabama's Uniontown worry a promised wastewater fix may fizzle; cattle ranchers rally for fairness; and the worms are running in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Industrial Ag Runoff Seen as Major Threat to Lake Erie

Play

Monday, May 3, 2021   

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Groups advocating for clean water say they're facing an uphill battle trying to prevent animal manure and other pollution from industrial farms from seeping into Lake Erie.

Despite what they say is the lake's poor overall condition, the groups claim Ohio continues to issue more permits for large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations.

Sandy Bihn, executive director, Lake Erie Waterkeeper, noted nearly one-third of the Great Lakes area population resides in the Lake Erie watershed, which supplies drinking water for more than 11 million people.

"You cannot put excess phosphorus and nitrogen into the lake and fuel the algae, and not have severe consequences," Bihn asserted.

Bihn cited a study, which showed between 2005 and 2018, the number of factory farms in the watershed ballooned from 545 to 775, and the amount of phosphorus draining into Lake Erie jumped 67%.

Ohio officials, including Gov. Mike DeWine, have said they're committed to reducing phosphorous in the lake by 40% by 2025.

Bihn pointed out massive amounts of untreated animal manure are applied on farmland and end up running into the Lake, especially after heavy rains. Bihn argued it is more than what is needed to grow crops, and she believes animal manure should be regulated like other chemical fertilizers.

"It's a waste at that point, and it ought to be treated as waste," Bihn contended. "It's no longer a fertilizer. It needs to be treated, or something else done with it. It cannot be put on the ground in excess."

Bihn added her group wants answers from Ohio officials.

"Why are we adding to a system that's already maxed out?" Bihn asked. "And why are we adding animals and manure that an area that we're trying to reduce it in?"

An ongoing lawsuit between the Environmental Law and Policy Center and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contends the federal agency violated the Clean Water Act by not mandating the Ohio EPA to develop stricter limits on pollutants like phosphorus.

Disclosure: Waterkeeper Alliance contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Health Issues, Social Justice, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
As of 2021, medical aid in dying is an option for terminally ill adults in 10 states and Washington, D.C. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A new survey shows most New Yorkers approve of medical aid-in-dying legislation, and advocates for end-of-life autonomy said it is …


Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohioans across religious traditions have come together as one voice this week to speak out against capital punishment. Dozens of …

Social Issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Community college students in California are being encouraged to take a closer look at their education plans, to see if …


There are an estimated 42,000 farms in Arkansas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- New efforts are underway to help small-scale farms in Arkansas expand their business. The Food Conservancy, a northwest Arkansas …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A high percentage of rejected voter registrations in three of Ohio's biggest counties is raising some red flags. According to the …

Virginia's statewide election is Tues., Nov. 2, and polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: The last day to request absentee ballots in Virginia is Fri., Oct. 22. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Oct…

Social Issues

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A special court panel is hosting public hearings this month, asking Minnesotans what new political maps should look like, and …

Social Issues

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas has some of the weakest gun laws in America, and gun-control advocates say the permissive attitude may be why a student …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021