EPA awards funds to fight Lake Erie algal blooms, Ohio gets about $7.4 million

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Ohio about $7.4 million to fight harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

Susan Hedman, the EPA’s regional administrator, announced Monday that the agency has awarded $8.6 million to Ohio, Michigan and Indiana state agencies to fight harmful algal blooms — with most of the money going to Ohio.

The federal agency awarded $5.9 million of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative money to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and more than $1.5 million to the Ohio EPA.

The money will be used to (1) provide technical assistance and cash incentives to farmers in the Lake Erie watershed to reduce water runoffs with phosphorus running into Lake Erie and (2) improve the measurements of phosphorus loads for rivers and streams running into Lake Erie.

On Sept. 3, EPA administrator Gina McCarthy had announced that the agency will award $12 million to state and federal agencies to fight algal blooms in Lake Erie.

Monday’s announcement concerned state agencies. The EPA will make an announcement soon on funding to federal agencies to fight Lake Erie algal blooms.

“We must be guided by good science as we tackle the hard issues around reducing nutrient runoff on this massive, tri-state watershed,” said U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo. “I am especially pleased to see resources directed toward sampling and monitoring in tributaries leading to Lake Erie. We need a better picture of where conservation strategies and infrastructure improvements can be most effectively used to stop runoff and protect our waters.”

“This funding will enhance the ongoing partnership between the state of Ohio and the agriculture community to reduce phosphorus runoff from farm fields into the waters of the Western Lake Erie Basin,” said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

“This important step will help us to move forward with preventing the formation of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and other freshwater bodies in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Harmful algal blooms remain an issue across the state and more still needs to be done to protect communities like those around Buckeye Lake and Harsha Lake, which are struggling with harmful algal bloom problems of their own,” Portman said.

 

View original article at: EPA awards funds to fight Lake Erie algal blooms

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