Agenda for Lake Erie

For more than 18 months, members of TMACOG’s Water Quality Council and committees have been working on a comprehensive policy document addressing Lake Erie. That document, the Agenda for Lake Erie, is now complete and will be voted on by the Board of Trustees at their December 12 meeting held at the TMACOG offices. See the complete draft Agenda here. A printed piece will be designed after final approval.

The Agenda for Lake Erie will establish the policy background for formal comments on proposed rules and regulations, for drafting official resolutions, and for requesting action from legislators or regulatory agencies.

The Agenda is composed of seven policy briefs and an introductory letter. The seven briefs are:

Legal Tools for Addressing Harmful Algal Blooms
Moving Forward with Lake Erie’s Impairment Designation
Municipal Stormwater Management Programs
Restoration and Protection of Natural Drainage Systems
Public Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Home Sewage Treatment Systems

Tim Brown, president of TMACOG, said “TMACOG’s Agenda for Lake Erie is a positive and well-developed legislative strategy created by our members working as advocates for our region’s watersheds and Lake Erie. This articulated policy will allow staff and members to share TMACOG’s positions on initiatives and legislation that could impact the health of our region’s natural water assets.”

Water Quality Council members anticipate that the Agenda will be a living document, modified as conditions change. The Agenda will be a practical tool for TMACOG members and staff. We anticipate using language in the Agenda for letters of support, to respond to public information requests, and for background for press materials.

Excerpts from the Introduction to the Agenda for Lake Erie:

The Agenda for Lake Erie represents TMACOG members’ commitment to the restoration and preservation of the region’s greatest natural resource – Lake Erie. The lake has been endangered in the past: raw sewage, industrial by-products, and chemicals in consumer products threatened the health of Lake Erie and the entire region, resulting in Do Not Drink/Swim/Fish advisories. Through the concerted effort of dedicated citizens, governments, scientists, and policy advocates, the 1972 Clean Water Act directly addressed these critical environmental issues and point source pollution through regulation, resulting in a healthy, clean lake. However, in the past several years, Lake Erie is again threatened by pollution from other sources, primarily non-point source nutrient runoff.

This policy agenda – written and approved by TMACOG members – establishes the foundation for regional advocacy on behalf of Lake Erie and local streams. It also recognizes the important role local governments play in providing water and sewer services and managing stormwater as well as the role state government plays in regulating these services.

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