EPA seeking public input on phosphorus reduction targets for Lake Erie algal blooms

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it is seeking public input on proposed phosphorus reduction targets to combat harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

CHICAGO, IL, July 7, 2015 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it is seeking public input on proposed phosphorus reduction targets to combat harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement requires the United States and Canada to adopt targets in an effort to reduce excess phosphorus levels for the lake by early 2016.

"The United States and Canada are committed to cutting phosphorus levels to protect Lake Erie from harmful algal blooms," said EPA Region-5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. "Public input is an important part of the process as both countries work to meet the 2016 deadline to adopt final phosphorus reduction targets."

In 2013, a binational workgroup was convened to develop recommended phosphorus reduction targets for Lake Erie. The workgroup included representatives from federal, state and provincial environmental and agricultural agencies, as well and academic experts and members of non-governmental organizations.

The phosphorus reduction recommendations developed by the workgroup were presented during the semiannual Great Lakes Executive Committee meeting in Chicago at the end of June. The recommendations call for a 40-percent reduction in:

  • Total phosphorus entering the Western Basin and Central Basin of Lake Erie from the U.S. and Canada
  • Spring total and soluble reactive phosphorus loads from the Maumee River
  • Spring total and soluble reactive phosphorus loads from various watersheds where localized algae is a problem

See also:

"Federal Agencies Join Forces to Predict Algal Blooms"

"The Blue-Green Monster: How Harmful Algal Blooms Are Increasing Costs, Risks for WTPs"

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