ANN ARBOR, MI - The state of Ohio today announced steps to help prevent toxic algal outbreaks in Lake Erie. A 2014 outbreak poisoned drinking water for more than 400,000 people in greater Toledo, and Lake Erie advocates have been calling for the state to take action to prevent the harmful algal blooms that continue to be a scourge on the region’s environment and economy.
Today, the Ohio EPA moved to list western Lake Erie as “impaired” under the Clean Water Act, a designation that acknowledges the toxic conditions that have persisted in Lake Erie. The state of Ohio has also signaled its intent to take additional steps in the next couple of days to clean up Lake Erie.
Gail Hesse, director of water programs for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center, said:
“We thank Ohio Gov. Kasich and Ohio EPA Director Butler for taking this important step to curb toxic algae outbreaks in Lake Erie. We urge the state to use all available tools and options for pollution reduction that provides long-overdue relief to the communities, businesses, and industries that have borne the brunt of damage caused by harmful algal blooms. We look forward to working with the state of Ohio to make sure that we protect Lake Erie, our drinking water, our health, our wildlife, and our economy.”
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