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Lake Erie Water Quality Executive Order

As you may have seen, Gov. Kasich this week issued an Executive Order (EO) on the water quality of Lake Erie. 
 
The EO pertains to the Western Basin of Lake Erie (applying to farms in eight watersheds in the Western Basin) but the overall approach has statewide significance as it may set a precedent for future efforts in other parts of the state. The EO is in lieu of a draft "omnibus OEPA" bill that was drafted and circulated a few months ago. The bill was not met with enthusiasm by members of the General Assembly, so, it was never introduced.  Among the controversial issues in the draft bill was the addition of the word "fertilizer" to the current statutory definition of "agricultural pollutant".  The EO is silent on this issue but given the lack of willingness to introduce the bill in the legislature, Gov. Kasich felt the EO was the next best way to exact change.
 
Among the general issues of concern in the EO include the calendar based prohibition on application of fertilizer as well as the lack of resources to support the program. 
 
In terms of process, the EO directs the Soil and Water Conservation Commission (OSWCC) to consider making a recommendation on a rule package to the ODA. 
 
Assuming the OSWCC makes a favorable recommendation, the ODA will promulgate rules through the normal CSI and JCARR process. This process affords public comment, but complaints voiced by House leadership and the ag community in a press conference chorused that a major policy change like this warrants legislation rather than rulemaking. Please see this article providing additional details.

ONLA will continue to keep you informed on this issue. If you have further questions, please contact ONLA's legislative consultant Belinda Jones, at bjones@capitol-consulting.net

 

 

Invasive Plant Rules

January, 2018: Ohio Department of Agriculture has released its new rule regarding the sale and distribution of Invasive Plants, effective January 7, 2018.

More information: 

ODA Newsletter

Invasive Plant Species Rule

Background:

ONLA has been working for a number of years to bring clarity to the state governance of invasive plant species. In 2014, ONLA worked with legislators to grant authority for the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) to govern invasive plant species.

Since that time, ODA has held countless interested party meetings and conversed with their peers in other states to seek to draft specificity to this authority under the rulemaking process.

ONLA has been involved in the development of the new plant rules since July. ONLA members were encouraged to  provide comments on the draft rules throughout the rule making process.

You can read ONLA's comments submitted to ODA on July 7 here. 

If you have questions about the new rules, please call Belinda Jones at 614.679.5062.

 

 

Legislative Status Sheet

ONLA reviews every bill that is introduced in the Ohio General Assembly to check the bill's potential relevance to ONLA member businesses. Every two years, between 1,000 and 1,200 bills are introduced.  Of those 1,200, only about 250 bills actually make it through the process.

View the status of current bills ONLA is monitoring

If you have interest in any of the bills on this status sheet, or if you have heard of a bill that is not listed, please contact Belinda Jones at 614.224.3855 or bjones@capitol-consulting.net.

 

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