Conservation in Ohio is focused on flood control, reforestation, spoil-bank reclamation, wildlife preservation, and the prevention of soil erosion and water pollution. The federal agencies responsible for conservation in Ohio are the United States Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. State conservation programs are administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Floods have long been a problem. One of the earliest effective flood-control systems in the nation was completed in 1922 by the Miami Conservancy District.
Soil erosion has been a major problem in southeastern Ohio. The forests on the steep hillsides were cut, and the land was plowed and planted in straight rows. Cultivation loosened the exposed soil, and heavy rains washed tons of silt into the rivers. Since the 1930s many thousands of acres of eroded land have been reforested or converted to pasture. In other areas, contour plowing, strip-cropping, terracing, and other soil-conservation measures have been used to protect still productive cropland. Surface-mining operations have caused a great deal of damage to the land. To reach the coal seams, it is necessary to remove what is called the overburden—the earth and rock that lies on top. This overburden is piled into large, unsightly mounds, called spoil banks.
In 1949 the state legislature passed the Ohio Strip Mine Law, which, with its subsequent amendments, imposes penalties on coal operators who do not rehabilitate the land when mining is completed.
The Ohio environmental protection agency is responsible for the abatement and control of air, water, and land pollution. In 1979 the state adopted a comprehensive law for the monitoring and control of the transportation and disposal of hazardous industrial waste. In 2008 the state had 31 hazardous waste sites on a national priority list for cleanup as a result of their severity or proximity to people.
Progress was being made in efforts to reduce pollution; in the period 1995–2000 the amount of toxic chemicals discharged into the environment was reduced by 8 percent. "Ohio" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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