Ohio Lawmaker Wants to Stop Cities from Dumping Sewage into Waterways

Ohio Rep. Jon Cross
by J.D. Davidson


The state has been paying some Ohio farmers for the past two years in an effort to reduce Lake Erie water contamination, and at least one city has spent two decades dumping sewage into the lake with little punishment.

Rep. Jon Cross, R-Kenton, said he wants that to change and has proposed legislation that would ban cities from dumping sewage into Lake Erie and increase fines for violators.

“Instead of blaming northwest Ohio farmers, we should thank them for their work to help reduce Lake Erie algae,” Cross said. “The vast majority of farmers are good stewards of the environment.”

City of Maumee officials discovered earlier this month it illegally has been discharging millions of gallons of sewage and other untreated water into the Maumee River for the past 20 years. The issue was reported to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which fined the city $29,936.

Cross said his bill would take a zero tolerance approach and completely prohibit municipalities in Lake Erie’s Western Basin from dumping waste into Ohio waters.

Under Cross’ bill, cities would face a fine of $250,000 for a first offense of knowingly violating the law, with a $1,000 per day fine for ongoing dumping. An additional $1 million would be added to the fine if the discharge exceeds 100 million gallons within a 12-month period.

“We need to shoot one across the bow and take this bill and shove it right up their sewer pipes to catch their attention, enough is enough,” Cross said.

The Maumee City Council recently approved a plan to fix its sewer system that runs off into the river, but the city could be forced to spend as much as $100 million over the next 30 years to make the changes.

Water rates in Maumee are expected to increase around 60% over the next five years to pay for the changes.

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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. He is regional editor for The Center Square.
Photo “Ohio Rep. Jon Cross” by The Ohio House of Representatives.



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One Thought to “Ohio Lawmaker Wants to Stop Cities from Dumping Sewage into Waterways”

  1. Ticked Off Momma

    Lol…Cross is always pandering and always only when he’s trying to stay relevant. He lost me last summer as small businesses were starving – something he’s not familiar with – and the mask STASI were bullying asthmatics & kids, while he was taking maskless selfies in front of a Lake Erie sunset.

    “Conservative” contains the word “conserve…”

    Farmers have been on the federal/state teat for as long as they have been dumping their $h*t into every watershed. They have all but destroyed Grand Lake St. Marys, and we need all hands on deck to resolve this issue, which doesn’t have to be an “us vs. them,” rather it should be an “all.” Farmers have heavily contributed to the horrible condition of our lakes, ergo they can do their part to restore them, full stop.

    Hey Jon, rather than continue with noise, how about you work to rein-in the DeWine/Husted Executive Branch tyranny, call for a full forensic audit of Ohio’s 2020 election to ensure we had/have free & fair elections, cut the size of government, pass HB248 so that no public or private entity may go Soviet on your constituents, kill the state income tax, eradicate the feds from our classrooms, eradicate the state school board – which is owned by the feds – so locals have no choice but to engage & take control of their own schools, and pay for your own meal at the next lobbyist lunch/dinner/event.

    If you can’t do any of that, then resign… you’re not worth the tax dollars we are still forced to pay even though you let Mike DeWine shut down our means of production & provision.

    You all deserve to be fired.