A Tilted Balance: Emerging Regulation of Nutrient Pollution in Ohio

    View Author April 2018

    Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly
    Spring 2018

    For many Ohioans, the term “nutrient pollution” was unfamiliar until the summer of 2014. That summer, harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie generated microcystin, a toxin that made its way into the city of Toledo’s drinking water. In a special “Environmental Law” issue of the Columbus Bar Association’s Lawyers Quarterly, Rees Alexander takes a look at current efforts to address Ohio’s nutrient pollution program – and more broadly, the legal framework regulating water pollution. Mr. Alexander concludes that while Ohio’s efforts with respect to point sources have helped reduce nutrient pollution, a growing body of data suggests that nonpoint sources, such as agriculture, are the primary cause of nutrient pollution. Moving forward, he continues, it appears unlikely that Ohio will be able to achieve the state’s ambitious nutrient reduction goals by pursuing an unbalanced regulatory strategy that focuses largely on point sources.

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