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Tell the Ohio Legislature: Don’t Raise My Bill for Dirty Energy!

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The Ohio legislature continues to aggressively move forward with legislation that will gut our clean energy and efficiency standards.  Now comes breaking news that they want YOU to pay for their plan to kill the future.
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Save Ohio’s Butterflies!

Flower and ButterflyDo you enjoy the summer butterflies? Well, as these pollinator populations dwindle, the OhioDepartment of Agriculture and Wayne National Forest are planning to spray a dangerous insecticide called BtK all over Ohio to decrease the Gypsy Moth, a non-native moth that impacts trees through eating of leaves. Unfortunately, BtK doesn’t just kill the Gypsy Moth – it could wipe out every type of butterfly or moth it touches.  Read More

Years of Living Dangerously

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Years of Living Dangerously

New Showtime documentary showing the human impacts of climate change. Learn more and what you can do as an individual to #actonclimate

See the first episode here

 

 

years

Agriculture

Ohio is a major food producer in the United States. Livestock agriculture has dramatically shifted away from traditional family farming. New and expanding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), or factory farms, pose significant problems to public health, quality of life and the environment. CAFOs produce over ten million tons of manure per year, with some individual facilities creating more waste than medium-sized cities. These facilities significantly impact communities with foul odors, air pollution, water pollution and declining property values. We can reduce environmental and public health impacts of agricultural production by purchasing sustainable, local foods. Visit the Agriculture Committee page to learn more about our efforts and get involved.

 

Agriculture - Latest News

Photo courtesy of Meaduva

Photo: "roosters", by Meaduva

The campaign has started! Ohioans for Humane Farms needs 600,000 signatures to get a measure on the Ohio November ballot. This initiative will end extreme confinement of livestock in tiny cages, stop downer cows from entering the human food chain, and stop inhumane methods of euthanasia.

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The Sierra Club Ohio Chapter recently endorsed a ballot measure to adopt minimum standards that will prevent the cruel and inhumane treatment of farm animals, enhance food safety, protect the environment and strengthen Ohio family farms.  Read on to see the Ohioans for Humane Farms press release and help us gather signatures by contacting Laurel Hopwood.

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The Ohio Senate passed House Bill 363 on December 9, the very same day that the bill was voted out of the Senate Agriculture Committee.   The bill would transfer water permitting authority of factory farms from the Ohio EPA to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The Ohio House passed House Bill 363 on Dec. 1, in favor of transferring Clean Water Act authority to an administrative body whose mission is aligned with the agricultural industry. It is an abdication of responsibility from Ohio EPA, which is legally mandated to protect public health and the environment.  It is unprecedented for environmental permitting and enforcement authority to be handed over to an agency that is not charged with the goal of environmental protection.
In Ohio, CAFOs generate over 10.5 million tons of manure per year, with some individual facilities creating more waste than medium-sized cities. Concentrated livestock production leads to concentrated manure production. This can result in manure over-application, where it can easily run off into local rivers and streams, and leach into groundwater.
Our Legislators must consider ODA’s poor track record before handing over authority to regulate water pollution generated by CAFOs. A study by the Environmental Integrity Project reveals ODA’s weak enforcement record under the current regulatory program, and a failure to address air and water pollution created by factory farms.  Ohioans will continue to suffer severe consequences from factory farm pollution without proper guidelines and enforcement.  In light of Ohio Department of Agriculture’s weak track record, Ohioans deserve a better equipped agency to protect our drinking water, our quality of life and the state’s natural resources.

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On Dec. 1, Ohio Chapter member Teri Reinhart testified in opposition to the transfer of the NPDES water permitting program for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).

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In the aftermath of the November election, the Sierra Club and Ohio ACT coalition members agree that citizen involvement and oversight is needed to address the new Livestock Care Standards Board. Issue 2 opponents are reconvening to determine the next steps moving forward.  We hope to insert a sense of balance on this board, which was largely created by agribusiness interests. Please stay tuned for more information and watch for opportunities to get involved.