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The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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        Public meetings to discuss the state’s draft plan to reduce phosphorus from entering Lake Erie have been scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13.

        The Ohio Lake Erie Commission released the draft, which includes a goal of reducing phosphorus loading into the lake by 40 percent by 2025.

        The Sept. 12 meeting will be held at the Lake Erie Center, 6200 Bay Shore Rd., Oregon, and the Sept. 13 meeting will be at the Painesville Township Hall, 55 Nye Rd., Painesville.

        Both meetings will be from 7-9 p.m.

        New items the draft focuses on include:

- Creating nutrient reduction targets for sub-watersheds in the Maumee and Sandusky basins.

- Creating an annual discharge limit of 1 milligram per liter of total phosphorus for each permitted facility.

- Incorporating the Nutrient Mass Balance Study

- Funding and completing engineering and design work for potential in-water coastal wetland restoration projects in the lake’s western basin that can use dredged material and help to assimilate in-lake nutrients in the mouth of the Maumee River and for the Sandusky Bay.

        Agencies have completed the nutrient balance study for seven major watersheds in Ohio covering almost two-thirds of the state’s land area. The objective is to determine nutrient – nitrogen and phosphorus – loads and the proportions from the point and non-point sources.

        The study highlights the differences between the watersheds and focuses on how data collection can be refined in future analyses.

        Point source pollution is defined as coming from a single place, such as a factory or sewage treatment plant. Runoff from urban and suburban areas is a major origin of non-point source pollution.

        The Maumee River drains about 6,568 square miles. While agricultural production dominates the watershed, land use shifts dramatically as the river enters the Toledo metropolitan area and agricultural production drops from about 80 percent to less than 50 percent.

        According to the study, the total phosphorus load from the Maumee River in 2013 (October – September) reached 2,295 metric tons. That dropped to 2,062 metric tons the following year.

       

            

 

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