“With a single Columbus Democrat joining Republicans in support, the House voted 60-37 to approve a bill allowing heavy manufacturers, mining operations, power plants, and other businesses to draw up to 5 million gallons of water a day directly from Lake Erie before facing regulation.
“We can do both,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R., Napoleon), owner of a water-bottling company that draws from the watershed.
“We can protect the environment, and we can also make sure that jobs are protected, that economic growth is protected, and that’s what [this bill] does,” he said.
Pushed by Ohio’s business community and opposed by environmental groups, House Bill 231 goes to the Senate, where it is expected to receive rapid consideration next week.
In addition to the threshold on water withdrawals from the lake, the bill would allow a business to withdraw up to 2 million gallons a day if the water is taken from inland sources within the watershed and up to 300,000 if taken from streams that have been designated as high quality.”
Read more: Toledo Blade