COLUMBUS, OH- Today, members of the Board of Lucas County Commissioners attended a meeting of the Water Quality Task Force of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO). The Water Quality Task Force is co-chaired by Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken and Auglaize County Commissioner Douglas Spencer. Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada, as well as other county commissioners and elected officials from throughout Ohio attended the meeting to develop a plan to reduce phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 40% no later than 2025.
“This is an opportunity for us to ask the EPA to help declare the Western Lake Erie Basin as an impaired watershed which could bring federal funding to our state”, Commissioner Gerken said. In addition, Commissioner Gerken discussed an exciting program at the University of Toledo that is geared towards building wetlands at the Maumee Bay State Park which could result in substantial and immediate reduction of phosphorus.
“Today was an important step in an ongoing discussion as county commissioners from all corners of the state continue to bring unique and diverse perspectives to the critical issue of restoring the health of Lake Erie,” Commissioner Contrada stated.
“All levels of government and every environmental partner are engaged in this issue to protect our water source,” shared Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak. “Lake Erie is undeniably our region's greatest resource; we are committed to keeping this issue on the forefront.”
Ohio EPA’s Deputy Director for Water Resources, Karl Gebhardt, led a collaborative discussion in which input was received from county commissioners. The Task Force discussed Greater Ohio’s Water Needs Report: An Assessment of Ohio Cities’ Water and Sewer Infrastructure and Brownfield Sites Redevelopment: Needs and Gaps. Updates were given on legislative action regarding water quality issues at all government levels to address the environmental and infrastructure challenges of water quality.