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GLIN==> Home Bldrs Assoc to kill Ohio's Wetlands





Please take the time to email Governor Taft of Ohio and ask him to veto
h.b. 231 as passed by the senate.  Here are some of the reasons why h.b.
231 is 
the final death sentence for "isolated" wetlands in Ohio.  This bill was
largely
drafted by the Home Builders Association and their paid, elected assets
in Ohio government.

1.  The current bill does not prohibit the denial of feedwaters to an
"isolated wetland".  This means that even large wetlands will become
small or non-existent over time.  As soon as they have been made small
enough by feedwater denial, they can be filled under a general permit
without even a public hearing.  Feedwater denial is the primary method
used to destroy wetlands in Ohio.  This should be addressed in any
modifications to the  bill.  Feedwater denial really must become illegal
if we are to protect what we have left.

2.  The current bill does not consider the historic connection of a
wetland to a Water of the State, or Ohio Waters, as the previous Corps.
of Engineers protection did provide.  The Corps., basic rule was that if
there was a connection in the 80's then it is still connected, even if
development has filled in the connective stream, swail, ditch, etc. 
Most historic connections in the state have become obscured by
development.

3.  The current bill does not consider the "land grab" by developers
that happened between the SWANCC decision and the governor's emergency
90 day
order to protect wetlands.  In Northern Wood county they have been like
locusts.

4.  The bill does not recognize the fact that mitigation simply does not
work, there is another paper coming out next month that again stresses
this fact.  Instead the bill embraces mitigation as if it were a true
replacement of any classification of natural wetland.  Mitigated
wetlands 
are not good water filters, generally are not built in a place that
provides them with
appreciable surface feedwaters, and are not found by migrating birds
after their original wetland is destroyed. Mitigated wetlands do not
provide flood control, because they are usually built on whatever piece
of land the developer can find the cheapest, without regard to the
elevations of the surrounding land and whether or not the surrounding
lands will be allowed to feed into the manmade wetland. We the taxpayers
have to take on additional tax burden to provide storm sewer upgrades.
Mitigated wetlands are usually not built on hydric soil, so the
filtration component of a mitigated wetland is very poor.  Anaerobic
bacteria can only live in hydric, oxygen free soil that comes from 50 to
a hundred years or more of saturation and drying.  The "ponds" that are
made by mitigation don't work. There is a huge difference between a
natural wetland and a manmade cattail pond.  

5.  The bill says that local mitigation is the preferred settlement, but
this does not hydric soil make.  Hydric soil is not always available to 
purchase for mitigation.  To be sure the developer will want to purchase 
the cheapest piece of land available.

6. The bill does not address farmed wetlands at all.  They would have no
protection unless directly connected to a Water of The U.S. , and that
protection would be provided by the Corps only. The Corps, budget has
been again slashed this year by 14%.  The Corps. provides only 2 men to
protect
wetlands in 22 Ohio counties, including Wood County.

7. The bill does not address the intentional destruction of a wetland. 
I recently sent a 6.5 minute video to Ohio EPA of a farmer making
multiple
herbicide sprayer passes in the same row,  immediately adjacent to a
wetland in Northwood Ohio.  Farmers are generally good stewards of the
land but they have killed off wetlands even under the Corps protection. 


H.B. 231 offers NO protection for Ohio's "isolated" wetlands. 
"Isolated" wetlands may be isolated from a
Water of The U.S., but they are not isolated from our drinking water
supply, instead, they filter our drinking water.  

Governor Taft's email address is governor.taft@das.state.oh.us

H.B. 231 can be viewed at http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/    there
is also a summary available by clicking
on the summary link on the left of your screen after the bill is
displayed

Sincerely,

Bill Katakis
Northwood, Ohio
Western Lake Erie Chapter Sierra Club
419-666-0056
email bkatakis@mindspring.com

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