The state of Michigan is working on a plan to reduce pollution in Lake Erie, but the Michigan Environmental Council says the plan doesn’t do enough.
The Michigan Environmental Council and eight other water protection groups submitted comments to the Department of Environmental Quality last week about the state’s draft plan to improve the health of Lake Erie.
The MEC’s agriculture policy director Tom Zimnicki says the DEQ’s plan maintains the status quo when it comes to agriculture, by relying on voluntary engagement and adoption of conservation practices, which isn’t enough.
"While they may not be able to force agriculture to engage in certain practices, we’d like to see a little bit more attention to how do we start curbing the nutrient runoff issues that are stemming from agriculture," he says.
Zimnicki says the MEC offered some pragmatic suggestions to improve the plan, like comprehensive soil testing throughout the Lake Erie watershed and requiring minimum conservation standards that all agricultural producers would need to adhere to.
The DEQ is in the process of reviewing public comments on the plan and expects to finalize it in early 2018.