Lake Erie not on impaired waters list

Lake Erie not on impaired waters list
(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.

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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