Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Environmentalists Push For Lake Erie Impairment Declaration


Environmentalists and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continue to wrangle over Lake Erie’s classification under the Clean Water Act. Environmentalists are now pushing for a court ruling that would force the EPA to declare the Ohio portion of western Lake Erie as impaired.

Michigan classified this portion of Lake Erie as impaired in 2016. The EPA conceded to this designation until this January, when it reversed its ruling, saying Ohio’s 2016 biennial report was “incomplete and thus not fully consistent with the requirements.”

Now, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, on behalf of Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie, has filed a 25-page memorandum in U.S. District Court in Toledo, Ohio, in an effort to force the EPA to declare western Lake Erie as impaired. If this happens, state and federal officials would have to conduct an analysis of the lake, where pollution is coming from, and then crack down on polluters. The memorandum supplements a motion the groups made earlier in January.

[Photo from NOAA Great Lake Environmental Research Laboratory/Flickr.]