The Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 231 this week which allows implementation of the Great Lakes Compact, a federally enforceable agreement among the eight Great Lakes states that governs water withdrawals from the Great Lakes Basin. The Compact was put in place to protect the Great Lakes from other states and parties that might seek undue access to the fresh water resource.
There are two versions of the bill. Environmental groups seeking to expand the reach of the Compact backed House Bill 257, a bill that is burdensome to business. Meanwhile House Bill 231, which is environmentally appropriate and fair to business, had the support of OMA.
House Bill 231 passed along party lines with crossover support of Representative Michael Stinziano (D - Columbus). The bill is expected to be voted by the full Senate and sent to the Governor next Tuesday.