Clean Water

Northwest Ohio Water Poll

NW Ohioans overwhelmingly support regulatory actions on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to reduce the toxic algal blooms that continue to plague Western Lake Erie.

Nationally-recognized pollster J. Ann Selzer’s poll of 506 voters in northwest Ohio found that they overwhelmingly favor strong, enforceable regulation of CAFOs. The poll reflects the views of Ohioans from Erie, Lucas, Ottawa and Sandusky counties, who represent a broad cross-section of the population and political parties. It builds on research in NW Ohio from our 2019 poll, adding depth to previously promising results.

A whopping 78% of voters favor requiring permits for all CAFOs, regardless of size.

This 2021 poll showed that

  • 93% of voters rank access to safe clean water in general – including cleaning up Lake Erie – as the #1 issue for people, ranking above health care, jobs and wages, and COVID-19.
  • 81% of voters favor instituting enforceable regulations to reduce manure and fertilizer runoff from CAFOs instead of voluntary programs that aren’t working.
  • 78% of voters favor requiring permits for all CAFOs, regardless of size.
  • Majority of voters polled say the health of Lake Erie will be a major voting issue as they consider candidates to support, and more regulation of CAFOs is a key component of that.

Clean water is as important as ever to voters in NW Ohio and so is cleaning up Lake Erie. That does not begin at the shoreline. It begins upstream. Governor DeWine must keep Ohio’s promise and commitment under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to reduce phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 40% by 2025.

How can Ohio clean up Lake Erie?

  1. Adopt enforceable regulatory standards to reduce pollution from manure and fertilizer runoff.

  2. Require permits for all CAFOs, regardless of size.

  3. Place a moratorium on new or expanded CAFOs.

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