Ohio Legislative Leaders, Farmers: Cancel Kasich Algae Order

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Farmers and state lawmakers are urging Republican Gov. John Kasich to rescind last week’s executive order intensifying Ohio’s efforts to fight toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie.

WCMH-TV reports that House Speaker Ryan Smith, a fellow Republican, said Wednesday he’s disappointed such a major policy directive side-stepped the legislative process. House Agriculture Chairman Brian Hill, a Zanesville Republican, said Kasich’s directive will affect some 6,000 Ohio farmers.

Their statements came a day before the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission votes on whether to direct Kasich’s agriculture director to declare eight watersheds in distress. A positive vote Thursday could force farmers to change how they manage fertilizer and manure runoff that’s feeding the blooms.

Kasich’s spokesman said the independent commission will make its distress determinations based on “indisputable science.”