Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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After years of pushback, Ohio will limit phosphorus into Lake Erie to reduce harmful algal blooms

After years of rebuffing pressure to limit fertilizer and manure flowing into Lake Erie, Ohio will develop a Total Maximum Daily Load for phosphorus, which causes harmful algal blooms in the western basin.
The Ohio EPA’s draft 2020 water quality report -- which every two years outlines the general condition of Ohio’s rivers and lakes -- says the state will spend two to three years to develop an enforceable limit on the amount of phosphorus that can be dumped into the water.
“I’ve been asking for a TMDL for the western Lake Erie watershed for over 10 years,” said Lake Erie Waterkeeper Sandy Bihn. “I consider it a victory, a good step for the lake… Maybe if they had done the TMDL 15 years ago, we wouldn’t be in this place where we are today.”
The bloom last year was extensive, despite the fact that a rainy spring kept many farmers from planting fields and spreading fertilizer. It grew in August to 620 square miles, more than seven times the size of Cleveland.
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