The state’s water quality bill, known as Senate Bill 150, was introduced June 25 by Ohio Sens. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, and Bob Peterson, R-Sabina.
The bill has not received any formal votes, but has received testimony from interested parties within the ag community.
According to the legislative analysis, which summarizes the key provisions of the bill, it would seek to create new rules for how farm nutrients, including fertilizer, are regulated in Ohio
• Prohibits a person, beginning three years after the bill’s effective date, from applying fertilizer for the purposes of agricultural production unless that person has been certified to do so by the Ohio Department of Agriculture or is directly supervised by a person who is certified.
• Requires the director to adopt rules concerning the required certifications, including procedures for the issuance, renewal, and denial of certifications.
• Requires the director, if a commercial pesticide applicator or private pesticide applicator has been certified to apply fertilizer, to indicate on the applicator’s license an agricultural nutrient pesticide-use category.
• The bill also expands the requirements for nutrient management plans.
• Defines “ag pollution” as the “failure to use management or conservation practices in agricultural operations to abate wind or water erosion of the soil or to abate the degradation of water by soil sediment, nutrients, manure, animal bedding, wash waters, waste feed, or silage drainage.”
• A “nutrient,” according to the bill, is defined as “a primary chemical element that is essential to plant nutrition.”
For a complete look at the bill, which is still being developed, visit www.ohiosenate.gov, and search Senate Bill 150.