Fertilizer application regulations aimed to stem runoff

Senate Bill 1 was signed by Governor John Kasich on April 2, 2015, designed to protect Lake Erie from toxic algal blooms and improve overall water quality around the state. The new rules will take effect on July 3.

FRANKLIN CO., Ohio (WCMH)–Senate Bill 1 was signed by Governor John Kasich on April 2, 2015, designed to protect Lake Erie from toxic algal blooms and improve overall water quality around the state.  The new rules will take effect on July 3.

New regulations will require northwestern Ohio farmers to limit spreading fertilizer and manure on flooded or sodden fields. based on specific precipitation criteria.  The new law prohibits application of nutrients following 1 inch of rain or more falling in 24 hours, or for manure, 0.5 inch of precipitation in the previous 12 hours.

Last August harmful algal blooms contaminated the water supply for more than 400,000 Ohio residents in the Toledo area, fed primarily by farm field runoff in the Maumee River Basin that contained phosphorus and nitrogen.

The new law mandates certification training for farmers before applying commercial fertilizers in Ohio, and close monitoring of sewage treatment plants. Urban stormwater runoff also carries nitrates into creeks and rivers.

The goal is for farmers to focus on applying fertilizer deeper in the ground that clings to the plant and is less likely to run off the surface into Ohio waterways.

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