The October 2013 data posted on the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) states that the microcystins toxin level has some of the highest toxicity readings ever recorded at the intake to the Celina Public Water System. The data was taken directly from the OEPA web site, indicating that the state officials know the truth, yet we are being told by both the OEPA and Ohio Division of Natural Resource directors that Grand Lake St. Marys is better.
While most of the taxpayer funded mechanical remedies have shown some degree of benefit, without whole lake application, each is rendered virtually useless, due to their respective prohibitive whole lake cost. Yet stopping the root cause should have no taxpayer liability, which begs the question; Why haven't our state and local politicians embraced such a remedy?
Manure is a farm related operational by-product and should be treated the same as any operational by-product of other manufacturing enterprises. The agriculture community manufactures food, albeit on the farm, and should be held to the same environmental standards as all under roof food manufacturers such as Dannon Yogurt. The state has spent millions of taxpayer dollars on mechanical remedies to appease the disgruntled lake related property and business owners and we should applaud the best intentions by the state to restore tourism revenues; but hasn't the public been misled regarding the toxicity level in the lake in the process?
Real people in our lake related communities are being hurt, through lost businesses and employment, decay in property values, and lost tourism revenue and yet regardless of such hardships water quality takes a back seat to agricultural priorities by the state's politicians; again demonstrating how the once largest man-made U.S. lake could reprehensively be considered as a resource to help dilute nutrient laden farmland runoff.
Kate Anderson, president, Guardians of the Grand Lake St. Marys