Jul 17, 2019 | Updated: 10:03 AM EDT

Lake Erie Should Be Declared Impaired Due To Toxic Algae: Lawsuit Against US EPA Says

Apr 27, 2017 02:21 AM EDT

Algae from Lake Erie washes ashore at Maumee Bay State Park August 4, 2014 in Oregon, Ohio.
(Photo : Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Various environmental groups in Ohio and Michigan filed a lawsuit against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday over allegations of mistreating the Lake Erie in Toledo, Ohio. The lake suffered from toxic algae that have affected drinking water supplies in years.

In an article published by ABC, the federal lawsuit states that the EPA has lacked in action of protecting Lake Erie from the harmful algae. It also states that the environmental agency delayed steps that could have prevented the crisis.

The lawsuit also states that the EPA has failed their responsibility to act on the proposals for the Lake Erie crisis last year within 30 days. It is said to be a requirement under Clean Water Act.

In the previous year, Michigan proposed of designating the portion of Lake Erie as impaired. However, Ohio resisted of doing the same proposal for the entire section and instead wants only to include some shoreline areas.

The National Wildlife Federation, one of the environmental groups that sued the EPA, wants the environment agency to have a decision on whether the western part of the lake in Ohio and Michigan should or should not be declared as an impaired watershed. With this decision, it could allow some pollution regulations to take place and be improved for the Lake Erie.

The toxic algae have been a threat to drinking water and wildlife ever since it has been noticed by the residents and environmentalists in the previous years. The algae in the Lake Erie spread in the western end of the lake and turned into murky shades of green in summer.

The EPA last December said that they were reviewing the proposals on the list of impaired parts of Lake Erie. The Columbus Dispatch has stated in their report that the Ohio proposal was rejected by the environmental agency because it determines the state's entire share of the lake as impaired. With this, the EPA would have to propose adding those to the list.

"Continuing to kick the can down the road will only make the problem worse for Lake Erie, our environment, and our economy," Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation, has said.

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