Lake Erie not on impaired waters list - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Lake Erie not on impaired waters list

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

The EPA released their list of impaired waters in Ohio. Not on the list was Lake Erie.

The Lucas County Commissioners pushed for the lake to be declared impaired for several months.

If the EPA declared Lake Erie impaired, more funding would be available to help prevent future algal blooms.

"This is not sensible. There is no imaginary line in the middle of Lake Erie where one side of the lake faces challenges that don't impact the other side. This is a shared challenge that the entire region faces. This decision by the Trump era U.S. EPA leaves our Great Lakes in peril and risks the health of millions of Americans. Eleven million people depend on Lake Erie for their drinking water and this contradictory action fails to address the real danger they face from the presence of toxic algal blooms," said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.

The Lucas County Commissioners released the following statement:

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can’t have it both ways: first it agrees with the State of Michigan that the open waters of Western Lake Erie are impaired from excessive nutrients – which is plain as day, true and accurate. And today we learn that the U.S. EPA also agrees with the State of Ohio with the opposite position, in which the same water body is not impaired. Indefensible. Foot-dragging by the Trump and Kasich Administrations put Toledo and Lucas County citizens in harm’s way. Our communities need leadership to address sources of nutrients entering our lake. We are weeks away from another algal bloom season and the concerns that come with it, including contaminated drinking water and negative economic impacts to recreation and tourism.

In 2014, we witnessed first-hand how harmful algal blooms containing toxic microcystin impacted the daily lives of Lucas County residents, as over 500,000 people went without clean drinking water for nearly three days. Lucas County has been a leader at the local level with programs such as the Nutrient Source Inventory Tool, Moving Forward: Legal Tools and Solutions to Harmful Algal Blooms and our continued advocacy at both the state and federal level. These programs will not be as effective without state and federal leadership and the recognition of Lake Erie as impaired. The health of Lake Erie is too important to the millions of people who draw their drinking water from it and who rely on a healthy Lake Erie for their livelihood.”

Earlier this year, Governor John Kasich’s administration released an action plan for Lake Erie that was criticized.

According to ELPC, the plan proposed very little to achieve Ohio’s 40% phosphorus reduction commitment under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. 

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