Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Ohio Congressmen Pushing for Lake Erie Toxin Bills


Lake Erie’s dangerous algae blooms and the limited clean drinking water in Ohio are now a topic of discussion in Congress.

Ohio congressional members, including U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), are pushing for two bills that call for a national standard to control Lake Erie toxins while asking for more federal money to control the root of the problem.

One bill would ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to speed up its review of dangers associated with microcystin and publish a health advisory within 90 days.

EPA sent a statement to the Toldeo Blade stating that it expected to have a health advisory for microcystin and at least one other toxin published by early 2015. EPA also recently announced $12 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds to help find the sources of western Lake Erie’s harmful algae blooms.

The second bill would authorize $1.8 billion over five years for a grant program to help work on sewage infrastructure in Ohio communities. Sewage overflows are a large contributing factor to phosphorus pollution, which, in turn, allows algae to grow.