Ohio Department of Natural Resources

map of Ohio drought conditions on September 13, 2016
NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER

Almost a fifth of the state is in a moderate drought, and the federal department of agriculture says about half of Ohio is listed as “abnormally dry." And that lack of rain is having a mixed effect on farmland, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer.

photo of Gov. Kasich's oil and gas drilling executive order
OHIO GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

Ohio is rolling out a new response system in the case of oil and gas drilling emergencies. 

Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order creating a 24/7 emergency hotline for oil and gas companies.

Calling the number is a one-stop-shop that will connect the drilling operation with state services from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to the Environmental Protection Agency to the State Fire Marshal.

photo of Gary Mohr at cabin
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A new state partnership has formed to increase the number of cabins available at Ohio’s parks -- built by Ohio’s inmates. 

While touring the Ohio Department of Natural Resources park at the Ohio State Fair, visitors can spot a newly built, single unit, air conditioned cabin. The cabin is a prototype of what the state plans to put in about 24 of its parks.

Inmates housed at the Chillicothe prison will be in charge of building more than 60 of these cabins.

JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill that streamlines many functions of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The legislation is being touted as a way to save money and lives.

Kasich says the bill he’s signed will move some of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ responsibilities into other departments to consolidate services and avoid duplication.

Photo of a boat on Lake Erie
BRIAN BULL / WCPN

Eight states, along with two Canadian provinces, could decide Thursday if one community in Wisconsin will be allowed to divert water from Lake Michigan.

It would be the first city to do so since a 2008 agreement that says Great Lakes water is off-limits to anyone outside an eight-state basin.

Waukesha, Wis., sits west of Milwaukee and its groundwater is infused with radium.  Six years ago, the city applied for permission to get its water from Lake Michigan, about 20 miles away.

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