Panel Sidelines Kasich Order On Lake Erie Algae For Study

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A panel largely appointed by Republican Gov. John Kasich has delayed immediate action on his executive order intensifying Ohio’s efforts to fight toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.

The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission on Thursday agreed to further study the issue after farmers and some legislative Republicans raised concerns.

Kasich wanted the commission to allow his agriculture director to declare eight watersheds in distress, potentially forcing affected farmers to change how they manage fertilizer and manure runoff.

Republican House Speaker Ryan Smith and House Agriculture Chairman Brian Hill, a Zanesville Republican, had said they were disappointed that such a major policy directive side-stepped lawmakers. The order could affect about 7,000 Ohio farmers.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation commended the commission for taking more time with the issue.