Kasich announces efforts to help protect Lake Erie water - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Kasich announces efforts to help protect Lake Erie water

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COLUMBUS – Today Gov. John R. Kasich and members of his Cabinet announced new multi-agency initiatives that make resources available to local communities and the agriculture community to help further strengthen protections for Lake Erie water quality and local drinking water supplies.

The initiatives were unveiled by the directors of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources at the Kris Swartz Farm in Perrysburg.

Highlights include:

· $150 million in zero-interest loans for local water plants: $150 million in no-interest loans for improvements to local drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities, reconfirming a single statewide testing protocol for microcystin approved by the Ohio EPA and US EPA, $1 million for local water systems for testing equipment and training, and testing support from Ohio EPA's lab for any system that requests it;

· Support for agriculture: $1.25 million for farmers to plant cover crops or install controlled drainage devices that protect against nutrient runoff and help support water quality, and;

· $2 million for research: $2 million to Ohio universities for further research on algal blooms.

“Lake Erie is one of Ohio's most precious resources and each day millions turn to it for drinking as well as their livelihoods. Ohio has been increasingly aggressive in protecting it and we're building on those efforts with new resources for those on the front lines of this battle. There's more work to be one and we're going to keep pushing forward,” said Kasich.

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