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Senate Bill 1 Takes Effect for Residents of Western Lake Erie Basin

Best Management Practices Important During the Winter Season

In April, Gov. Kasich signed Senate Bill 1, a law that restricts the application of fertilizer and manure in poor weather conditions. The best management practices described in the law are designed to help reduce nutrient runoff into Lake Erie. As the weather gets colder and more adverse, residents of the Western Lake Erie Basin are reminded to be aware of the law’s restrictions and what it means for fertilizer management.

Here is a brief recap of Senate Bill 1:

The bill bans the application of fertilizer and manure:

  • On snow covered or frozen soil

  • When the top 2 inches of the soil are saturated from precipitation

  • Surface application of fertilizer when the weather forecast calls for a 50 percent or greater chance of precipitation of 1 inch or more in a 12-hour period (½ inch of rain in 24 hours for manure)

Exemptions to fertilizer application restrictions:

  • If injected into the ground

  • If incorporated within 24 hours

  • If applied on a growing crop

Enforcement of provisions:

  • The Director of Chief may apply a civil penalty of no more than $10,000

  • The person must be afforded the opportunity for adjudication

Additional Bill Details:

  • Only applies to the Western Lake Erie Basin (Click here for the map)

  • Fertilizer is defined as nitrogen and phosphorous

  • Manure applicators may apply for an emergency exemption

  • Medium and small animal feeding operations may apply for an exemption of up to two years if they are unable to meet the new expectations but are working toward compliance

  • Requires the state legislature to review the legislation after three years

  • Bans disposal of dredge material into Lake Erie in Maumee Bay after July 1, 2020

  • New monitoring requirements for water treatment facilities


The full bill can be accessed here: Senate Bill 1

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