Water Pollution

Environmental groups sue EPA over condition of Lake Erie

Environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit, accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of violating the Clean Water Act.

The lawsuit involves a dispute over whether western Lake Erie should be classified as an impaired waterway.

In the suit, groups including the National Wildlife Federation and the Ohio Environmental Council claim the EPA is violating federal law because it has not yet acted on Ohio’s list of impaired waters.

Environmentalists sue US EPA over Lake Erie

“The science is there and it’s voluminous that the open waters of Lake Erie are impaired ... (This) list is the first step in making sure that Ohio moves forward to mitigate toxic algae,” said Trent Dougherty, an attorney for the Ohio Environmental Council, also part of Tuesday’s lawsuit.

In February, the U.S. EPA approved Michigan’s list, which includes its portion of Lake Erie’s open waters. But Michigan alone will not be able to clean the lake, conservation advocates say.

Groups Sue U.S. EPA to Act on Lake Erie

To force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect communities and businesses from harmful algal blooms that have plagued Lake Erie for years, today a coalition of businesses, conservation advocates, and sportsmen groups sued, asking a federal judge to order the agency to carry out its duty under the Clean Water Act. In 2014, a harmful algal bloom poisoned drinking water for more than 400,000 people in Toledo, and in 2015, an algal bloom stretched for over 300 square miles.

Rover Pipeline Construction Leaks Raise Questions of Contamination

But Melanie Houston with the Ohio Environmental Council says that wetland is supposed to protect a wide array of species.

“The effects that it has is the potential to smother out any aquatic life,” Houston said.

There’s no word yet on the exact impact on the wetlands or its aquatic life. The Ohio Environmental Council would like to see an investigation into this spill.

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