ET-4D4 (2/8/05)
Chemical Integrity: Phosphorus Reduction Case Study

Highlights / Details

  • To meet the existing phosphorus target concentrations in Lake Erie, a lake-wide phosphorus loading reduction of 2,000 metric tons/year is necessary. The Ohio portion of the established Lake Erie phosphorus loading reduction goal is 1,385 metric tons.
  • Of this, Ohio agriculture was assigned an annual phosphorus reduction goal of 900 metric tons. In response to the phosphorus reduction challenge, the 900 metric ton agricultural goal was further divided and allocated to each county in the watershed, based on the ratio of county cropland acres to total cropland acres in the Ohio Lake Erie Basin.
  • County-based phosphorus reduction steering committees were charged with developing and implementing a local strategy to meet the reduction goal. These community-led committees included farmers, agencies, agricultural industry, and environmental groups. Nearly 500 people served on 30 committees.
  • As a result conservation tillage acreage increased 500% between 1989-1992 and the central basin of Lake Erie is currently meeting the phosphorus concentration target of 10 mg/l.