By on August 5, 2014

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Toledo, Ohio has just squeaked by a major environmental crisis. A toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie poisoned the city’s water supply, leaving over 400,000 residents high and dry for three days. Restaurants, schools and businesses closed, the National Guard trucked in water, and the governor declared a state of emergency. Meanwhile, Fiat-Chrysler had to resort to creative measures to keep its Toledo Jeep plant running.

Operations stayed on track at the Toledo complex, thanks to some quick thinking by management, and the dedication of line workers. According to a company spokesman, the plant used tanker trucks and bottled water to overcome the crisis and keep 5,000 employees sufficiently hydrated. Even a short closure of the plant would have been bad news for FCA. The Cherokee and the Wrangler are among the company’s fastest-selling and most profitable models, accounting for a major chunk of the partnership’s recent run into the black.

With the ban on tap water now lifted, the worst of the crisis seems to be over. Even so, the threat to the Lake Erie watershed and the millions of people who depend on it still looms. Toledo’s water was poisoned with microcystin, a byproduct of blue-green algae. The toxin causes liver failure at fairly low concentrations. It’s difficult to filter out, especially at high concentrations. And it can’t be removed via boiling- that only concentrates the poison. In other words, it’s a public health nightmare and nearly as bad for business as a power outage. Preventing the blue-green algae is the only realistic prophylactic, which itself has been a decades-long struggle in the most polluted of the Great Lakes.

Blue-green algae primarily feeds off phosphorous and other organic pollutants. In the 60s and 70s, the primary source of these pollutants were the cities and industrial establishments on the Lake Erie shore. Untreated sewage and industrial byproducts choked the lake, eventually leading to fish kills and toxic blooms. The situation turned around in the 80s, after regulation and billion-dollar cleanups helped remedy the pollution. In the 90s, though, the situation began to reverse course. New farming techniques relied on heavy application of phosphorous and other fertilizers. This produced increased yields, but increased the inflow of organic pollutants into the lake. Zebra mussels also invaded the lake after 1988, producing more phosphorous and contributing to a vicious cycle of algae production. It wasn’t long until the algae blooms reared their ugly heads yet again.

               LakeErie

                  In 2011, Lake Erie suffered one of its worst blooms ever. Nearly a sixth of the lake’s surface was covered in algae, almost 2,000 square miles. Phosphorous was again the culprit, but it alone wasn’t enough to explain the bloom’s severity. Instead, scientists point to climate change: specifically, the warming of Lake Erie’s waters. Warm water combined with torrential rains produced the catastrophic algae bloom, as more pollutants washed into Lake Erie from farmland. Scientists now fear that a combination of pollutants and changes in Lake Erie’s ecology could lead to more frequent algal bloom events. Unless something is done to rein in the green tide, more drinking water bans could be in the future for the communities that draw their supply from the lake.

What does that mean for the regional auto industry? Several major auto plants and their suppliers operate in the Lake Erie watershed area, in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and Toledo. In addition, much of Lake Erie is a major commercial route for freight shipping. Many parts of the automobile production process are highly water-intensive, such as painting and steelmaking. Obviously, the standards for drinking water and water for industrial uses are quite different. But if a city like Cleveland is forced to shut down its water treatment system entirely in response to an algal bloom, it would spell big trouble for automakers with facilities in the area. The welfare of the workers is another factor to consider. Toledo Jeep dodged a bullet this time, but in future water crises it might not be so lucky.

The economic vitality of the Lake Erie region depends on ensuring the health of the lake. That became apparent after the infamous 1969 Cuyahoga River fire, which embarrassed Ohio residents and hurt the local economy. There’s been an enormous amount of progress since then, but new technologies present new challenges. Clamping down on the algae blooms is essential to ensuring the competitiveness of the industries around Lake Erie. The environment and the industrial world are never completely divorced from one another.

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70 Comments on “Autoworkers, Agribusiness, and Algae: Toledo Back in Business, For Now...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    This is just a vast leftist conspiracy. I for one don’t find any evidence for this so called “algae bloom” and as to “microcystin” causing “liver failure?” That just more anti-business anti-farmer statist scientific mumbo jumbo.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    There is no free lunch.

    If ag got treated like the oil industry this wouldn’t be an issue at all. If oil companies are going to be blamed for people burning their product, why not go after fertilizer companies for people spreading their product?

    Instead, we subsidize the use of fertilizer while we blame the oil companies for the problems that produces! For decades the dirty gulf water has been blamed on oil when it’s really run off from farms all the way into Iowa causing the cloudiness.

    Next thing you know the agriculture guys will start a propaganda campaign to stop non existent oil subsidies. Oh wait.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      It’s kind of hard to go after “Big Ag” when no one is willing to do the one thing that would supposedly cripple it: Make their own damn food.

      And this is from a sub-400-acre farmer that would just as soon cultivate (With an actual cultivator mounted on a tractor! Oh, horrors!) before going out with a sprayer.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I see news reports, with 53 foot trailers,loaded with cases of water, and folks loading 2 or 3 cases into their vehicles. People using it for cooking, and drinking, and are even bathing their kids with it.

    If the tree huggers had their way, the plastic bottles would have been banned by now.

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      Huge environmental catastrophe caused by reckless overfertilization and somehow you still manage to badmouth environmentalists. Any more cognitive dissonance and you might suffer an aneurism…

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Yes! It is a huge environmental catastrophe. Do we know for certainty that the cause could be 100 percent blamed on overfertilization? Who determines how much fertilizer is too much?

        I’ve lived on the north shore of lake Ontario my entire life. Literally thousands, of farms big, and small surround the lake, on both ours, and the USA side. Do we shut them all down? What about the food they provide?

        Now that I think about it, we have two Nuclear power plants, and the Americans have three. If the loonny left had their way, we would shut them down too

        So now for the first time in modern history, we in North America, can provide a lot of our own oil, and gas. . If you listen to the tree huggers, now seems like a great time to shut down the oil sands. Oh yeah I forgot about “Fracking” Who needs Natural Gas anyway?

        Does anybody know how many conflicts are happening right now in the Middle East? As I see it, that whole part of the world is in turmoil. Were going to end up with a brand new country over their. Complete with a leadership that doesn’t like us at all.

        Strange how the price off oil hasn’t gone through the roof, as it usually does in these conflicts.

        Hmmmm? why would that be?

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Waingrow

          Mikey, I’m sure no expert in this area, but I believe that better farming practices might be of help in reducing the use of petroleum-based fertilizers. My understanding is that poor soil conditioning caused by overuse of pesticides, failure to rotate crops, failure to use nitrogen-fixing cover crops, continual employment of monocultures, etc. has led to some of the problems mentioned. Big agriculture gets the free ride for their, as Landcrusher terms it, “externalities, and we pay for it collectively. Better perhaps that we pay more for the lettuce at the market, so to speak. And better, too, that we pay more for a gallon of gas so we can fix up the roads and bridges.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Jeff, you speak with good common sense. Elimination of modern ag chemicals is not possible, but responsible use certainly is. As bad as runoff from the farms that provide food is, other bodies of water (like the Long Island Sound) get heavily damaged by the “lawn and light” people who spread toxins by the ton to keep dopey grass green.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Agreed Mikey

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Part of it also relates to how shallow the Western Lake Erie basin is: the Maumee River, which runs through Toledo, has its start in Fort Wayne, IN, so we’re talking ~100 miles of flow past farms, etc., before it gets to Lake Erie. Allowing native vegetation to take back thin strips of land immediately between a river and a farm, according to an article I read recently, does a reasonable job of suppressing the runoff.

          Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, I remember going through bits of algae while boating on the lake. 2011 was the worst bloom, with much of the lake covered, and dead spots which couldn’t support marine life. It’s been building since 1990, when there was a crackdown on Zebra mussels in the lake (although I recently read that they couldn’t filter phosphorus); they used to keep the water so clear that you could see your outdrive on your boat, and the water a couple miles away from the mouth of the Maumee River was a gorgeous blue. The mussels clogged intakes, and messed up boat engines, so IIRC, some sort of steps were taken to cut down on them, and the blooms started. (B&B, if I’m leaving anything out, or just am completely off my rocker here, please correct me!)

          The major cause of the trouble over the weekend was that the toxin level itself was particularly high right at the water intake crib serving Toledo and several suburbs, and the toxin managed to get through eight filtration steps present in the existing treatment plant. They may be adding more activated carbon to the filtration procedure to remedy things; B&B, again, correct if wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            Charliej

            sgeffe, you are correct bout the barrier strip along the river bank help to stop the runoff. For 65 years, I lived in Mobile, Alabama. Right on the bay. A huge watershed is drained by the Mobile River. When I was a child, the bottom of the bay was white sand. Now, 60 years later, the bay bottom resembles grease. It is an extremely fine sediment that has been washed down river from all the farms in central and south Alabama. The state can not convince the farmers to leave a barrier strip along the rivers and streams. As a result, huge amounts of sediment come down the river system, right into the bay. How do you convince people to do something for the benefit of people far away. Are we all so selfish that we refuse to see the results of our actions?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Lets burn some environmentalists at the steak! That’ll fix it.

  • avatar
    ant

    I saw this story over on a liberal website a few days ago.

    It was pointed out in the comment section that although industrial waste run off is a serious concern to great lake water quality, that issue is unrelated to this algae bloom. Phosphorous is the limited nutrient that causes the blooms, and the primary sources are agricultural run off, and municipal water treatment plant discharges.

    It occurs to me that farmers would rather have the nutrients in their soils instead of washed down the river, and that sewage treatment upgrades are expensive propisitions that some folks would rather not spend tax dollars on.

    Another thing I recall pointed out was that Global Warming can not be blamed for this years bloom, as the region has had a relativly cool summer this year, and great lake surface temperatures are not higher than normal. We’ve had a lot of thunder storms that may have caused high soil run off, but that isn’t unusual, nor can a direct relationship to Global Warming be proven with any degree of certainty.

    Interesting topic, so thanks for writing this up.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “Another thing I recall pointed out was that Global Warming can not be blamed for this years bloom, as the region has had a relativly cool summer this year, and great lake surface temperatures are not higher than normal”

      That really depends. Global warming can and does cause localized cooling in some places; even if it’s not seasonal, the variances and severity are become an issue. More extreme and more serious events are actually posited by most climate change theories.

      Erie froze over for the first time in decades.

      “It occurs to me that farmers would rather have the nutrients in their soils instead of washed down the river,”

      They would, but farming practices can sometimes exacerbate soil erosion, especially if we see heavy rains in spring and fall.

      “and that sewage treatment upgrades are expensive propisitions that some folks would rather not spend tax dollars on.”

      That’s true. Treatment plants and sewer/storm-drain separation/upgrades, especially in cities, are monstrously expensive. And cities and states/provinces are starved for capital as their tax base shrinks and transfer payments from upper levels of government are cut back.

      This would actually be a good candidate for stimulus spending: these kinds of infrastructure upgrades provide a lot of well-paying, long-term middle-class jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Why is it that when government fails the solution is more money, but the cure for non government failure is always to take away money? Just curious?

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Ironically, the City of Toledo is considering raising water and sewer rates for each of the next six years to try to make improvements to the infrastructure. (Again, working from memory — too lazy and too tired to fact-check the Toledo Blade, “one of America’s Worst [not Best, as they state] Newspapers!”)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I thought we were going to genetically engineer our way to higher yields.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      We already do; that’s what things like Roundup-Ready are: genetically modifying plants, either by selective breeding or direct splicing, to resist broad-spectrum pesticides and/or inherent pest resistance and/or climate hardiness.

      It’s not a bad thing, generally. A lot of people get kind of psychotic about GMO foods and I don’t really know why; it (as well as anti-vaccination) are like the left-wing’s version of climate-change-denialism: ideology over science.

      If it has a problem, it’s that a) it promotes a monoculture, which means that a blight that might have affected only one species can cause much more widespread damage. We’re fighting this issue with bananas right now, and b) it encourages recklessness with pesticides, which is crashing bee populations (and that will cause real problems with food supplies as crops fail to be pollinated)

      • 0 avatar
        PandaBear

        Not all GMO are bad. Those with extended root system and higher yield are fine. The one with problem is the BT strain that put bio toxin inside the plant / grain that does not requires spraying. I don’t think they are tested for long term effect in human consumption enough.

        • 0 avatar
          mikehgl

          Genetically modified crops are banned in most of Europe. Many of the potentially dangerous problems with gmo’s are ignored here because of the tremendous amount of money that has corrupted our political system by the producers of this schlock, e.g. Monsanto.
          Something is very wrong with the concept of spraying massive quantities of herbicides on crop land and then introducing a genetically modified seed that grows right through the toxins.Yes, it has improved yields but at what cost to health and environment? There is much that has yet to come to light about gmo’s. The legacy it leaves behind may be yet another environmental disaster in the making.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Not to say that you’re entirely wrong (in practice, we try to line Monsanto’s pocket as little as possible), but there’ll probably be 10 billion people on the Earth by 2050. What do you propose they be fed if not high-yielding GMO’s?

            EDIT: I’m sorry if I sound overly defensive or accusatory; I don’t really mean to be. I just want to know what your proposal would be. It’s entirely out of curiousity, not patronizing rhetoric.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “The situation turned around in the 80s, after regulation and billion-dollar cleanups helped remedy the pollution”

    But the free market always works to our benefit! After all, we didn’t need all this regulation to deal with the ozone layer or acid rain! Those problems just “went away”

    /sarc

    In all seriousness, Lake Erie is highly vulnerable. It’s very shallow and can be “shocked” by temperature and chemical changes very easily. Compare to, say, Lake Ontario, which is something like five times as deep and thusly mostly self-regulating.

    Pollution, and not just algal blooms, almost killed it in the 1970s. We only stopped when it became apparent that murdering a lake that several million people depend on might be a really bad idea. But we let it get really, really bad first.

    I don’t think people realize how close we came to a serious environmental and social tragedy a couple of decades ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      If you want to blame free markets, first you will have to find one. Don’t go looking at agriculture.

      Second pollution always has, and always will be an externality that must be regulated. I know of no serious free market proponent that calls for the end of pollution regulation. I can tell you that the current situation with regulation is pitiful. Lots of problem pollution gets little attention while made up nonsense is being used to steal private property. Furthermore, when the regulations are both onerous and randomly enforced the result is that irresponsible gamblers are the only people willing to play.

      Pin this on a specific bit of deregulation and you MIGHT have a point. More than likely though, this outcome needs to be blamed on government who has taken responsibility away from producers and replaced it with regulation.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I’m not disputing that agriculture is in an awfully incestuous relationship with government.

        My comment was intended as tongue-in-cheek criticism of the current anti-regulation drive around carbon and AGCC, while completely ignoring successful instances of regulation, like CFCs, acid rain and the resuscitation of Lake Erie.

        ” I know of no serious free market proponent that calls for the end of pollution regulation”

        That’s the issue. There are a large number of unserious, or plain disingenuous, free-market proponents who call for that very thing.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          There is a lot of non serious discussion, but I’m not sure who you mean? Man on the street types?

          I read a recent editorial bemoaning the current game played on political shows where they invite King and Sanders on because they are entertaining idiots. Our local idiot, Mrs Lee, is so ridiculous she isn’t invited, but I can’t figure out how these folks stay in office. If my rep were that big an idiot I would work daily to unseat him even if he were supposedly on my “side”.

          I wish a compromise could be struck where any problem demanding new legislation first get reviewed to find where government could be adding to the problem. Of course, they would likely warp that as well, but it would be a good rule.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            Serious question. I’m confused are you insulting sanders? I can’t determine your point in this post.

            I presume your talking about the senator Sanders.

            Vermont is quite weird and Sanders is in line with the thoughts of most Vermonters. I imagine that is how he stays elected. Plus they got nothing to lose 600,000 people and all.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Well, I did insult Sanders, and really went too far. Though I vote Republican, I have to say he actually is sincere as far as I can see, and I do visit Vermont and there are a lot of really far left folks. Still his views are pretty far out there. He is not mainstream. He is brought on shows because it suits a formula for the shows that only purport to be informative.

            OTOH, I will stick with King being an idiot in spite of his political success. I feel more latitude going after one of my own. :)

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          Nah — that’s just a downrated version of the “if you’re against [insert proposed regulation here], you want to live in Somalia” argument. There’s nothing magical about regulation that exempts it from cost/benefit analysis, and recognizing successful regulation is not the same as “ignoring” it.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          >while completely ignoring successful instances of regulation, like CFCs, acid rain and the resuscitation of Lake Erie.

          It’s common for the Clean Water Act to get the credit for the improvements in Lake Erie water quality over the last 40-50 years, but the reality is that places like Cleveland were busy cleaning up the Cuyahoga well before the 1972 federal regulation came into place. The low point for water quality in that area was the 1930’s to the 1950’s when fires were common, but no one cared at the time.

          The general de-industrialization of the area due to economic circumstances deserves most of the credit for the water quality improvements. Lawmakers steal the thunder for making new federal laws (when xisting federal laws protecting that waterway weren’t even being enforced prior) when it became fashionable after all the attention the 1969 fire received.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    As a SimCity mayor, my advice is to only build high-dollar -R- (residential) low or medium density properties around all bodies of water. This prevents water pollution while simultaneously increasing your tax base.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Sarcasm_on/

    This is a liberal conspiracy. I think we should de-fund the EPA to prevent it from spreading false rumors which interfere with normal business development.
    While we are it, let’s also stamp out CAFE regulations.

    Sarcasm_off/

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Excellent piece, Mr. Emerson.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    And the inti – truth/science deniers roll on….

    -Nate

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I advocate converting northwest Ohio back into a swamp, and rebuilding the canals to divert polluted river waters into it, to sink the runoff before it reaches the lake.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      This isn’t far off the mark. Restoring some of the natural wetlands that were part of the watershed before it was drained for farming would help, but the analyses I’ve heard say that ag is no more the source of the problem than golf courses and home lawns, and the people who need to sacrifice and change behaviors aren’t the one’s directly affected by the algae. The Maumee watershed drains an enormous part of MI, IN and OH, and giving up productive land for wetlands, plus the costs, is not going to go over well.

      How about setting up some algae to bio-diesel facilities in Toledo? While the fuel produced is not cost competitive with petroleum sourced fuel, the cost differential could be made up by the savings in water treatment/replacement.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Well, this thread has turned into a lot of nonsense.

    I can speak to the danger of microcystin, having forked over large sums of cash to my local veterinarian last year when my two retrievers went for a swim in a lake two days after strong spring storms, followed by two days of hot and humid weather.

    Both dogs fell seriously ill within days of each other we had the water tested and sure enough, microcystin was present in very high concentrations along with plenty of phosphorus that flowed downstream from a local golf course.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Couldn’t agree more. Everytime environmental problems are discussed here, formerly unknown experts appear from basements everywhere to propogate their knowledge gained from their day jobs as IT pros, ex factory workers, and car salesmen. Who knew of this hitherto unknown precious untapped resource of pure competence in environmental studies?

      More like they want things to go on the same way for ever, like the father in Randy Newman’s “My Life is Good!” or Peter Sellers’ character in “I’m all right, Jack”.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        “IT pros, ex factory workers, and car salesmen”

        AKA… people that live in the real world.

        • 0 avatar
          Vega

          When did ignorance turn into something to be proud of? Why do you mistrust people who are experts in their field? Those IT pros and factory workers might live in the real world, but still know nothing about the reason for the algae bloom. But no, everything has to be a big gubmint conspiracy, right?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I doubt the phosphorus came from a local golf course. Fertilizer is expensive and golf courses have no cash crop to pay for it. The same goes for herbicides and pesticides. Golf courses use very little, and time its application so it doesn’t wash away. I’ve seen courses being sprayed, and it’s always blue-green vegetable dye to make the grass green. If it was phosphorus that caused the bloom, and not some other pollutant, it likely came from a farm farther upstream.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        The pond where my dogs (used to) swim is in a valley that accumulates runoff and several tributaries before heading into the Chagrin River and off and up to Lake Erie. It’s an erie with lots of (older) septic systems and people who spend lots of cash on maintaining their yards.

        So, you’re probably right – not just the golf course, but an accumulation of factors into one basin. Not unlike Lake Erie….yuck.

  • avatar

    I understand that the problem with Zebra Mussels is not that they directly add phosphorus to the lake but rather that as bivalves they filter the water, clarifying it, allowing more sunlight to reach the algae, allowing it to proliferate.

    As far as environmental law is concerned, agriculture and the extractive (i.e. mining and drilling) industries have often been less regulated than some other industries. A lot of CFR 49 has all sorts of carve outs for mining and drilling companies, and the multiple source runoff from agriculture is a lot harder to control than the point source pollution that comes from a factory.

    Oh, and the Cuyahoga River has been catching fire since before the Europeans got here. It’s a slow moving river that meanders, so debris accumulates. Add a little bit of lightning and you don’t even need industrial waste (of which there were massive amounts by the ’60s as well) to have a conflagration. When the well known fire happened in 1969 it was seized upon by the nascent environmental movement but what’s not well known is that a lot of news agencies used photos from a much bigger river fire in the 1950s to accompany the 1969 fire story. That fire actually damaged stuff, burned a factory down if I recall correctly.

    Even without the alphabet soup of regulations, RCRA, SARA, the EPA etc. the U.S. was less polluted than the USSR was or than China is (and some of the worst pollution sites in the U.S. have been government installations like the Savannah River nuclear processing plant). One of my instructors when I was studying waste management made the point that property rights and the ability to sue for damages had a measurable impact on preventing pollution before the Clean Air and Clean Water acts.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      What factories did to the Cuyahoga are nothing compared to what the Hanford Site did to the Columbia River.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      @Ronnie:

      Right you are, so “filter” some of my post above!

      It just seemed better when there were more of the mussels around. It is certainly possible that more big farms with more runoff potential along the western basin or along the Maumee River have started spitting phosphorus into the watershed over the last 20 years or so.

      I blame big ag on this one, though this year, the rough winter, wet spring and dry summer have not helped things. As stated in my post above, leave a little buffer along the waterfront between the farmland itself and let native vegetation take over, and you could cut some of the runoff. (The fact that heavy rain could overwhelm the Toledo sewage-treatment plant, causing raw sewage to dump into the river, also was an obvious concern, although that’s been remedied.

      From what I also understand (again, I could be wrong, and I’m too tired to look it up), the phosphorus that makes it to the lake bottom will stay there over time — I’m not sure what the “half-life” of the substance is in the sediment at the lake bottom.

  • avatar
    kincaid

    Thank you for one of the best article I have read regarding the algal blooms in Lake Erie. An important part of this history is that the blooms came back after corn for alcohol was invented. The price for corn is so high that anything that increases yield is justifiable. Farmers plowed up stream bank buffers and roadside ditches to plant as much corn as possible. Fields were over fertilized to increase the yield per acre. The result is that the features that protect rivers and streams were destroyed and combined with greater rainfall events the fertilizer washes into Lake Erie in ever increasing quantities. The day has come where agriculture must be regulated like industry. It is not fair for ag to destroy the water and then expect the taxpayers to clean it up at their expense.

  • avatar
    brettc

    So why exactly was Ontario not affected? If we factor in lawn chemicals as being a source for the algae bloom, does that mean that the pesticide ban in Ontario is actually doing some good? I’m assuming Ohio and the neighbouring states still allow lawn chemicals but am too lazy to look it up.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Ohio does! Put whatever you like on your yard, pile it on.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      One, Ontario banned (some) phosphates and certain pesticides; at least more than Ohio. That does help a lot.

      Two, there’s not much on the Ontario side of the Erie shore; it’s mostly rural or suburban; there’s no centres like Toledo, Greater Detroit, Buffalo or Cleveland; Leamington and Port Colborne might be as big as it gets.


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