Senators Portman, Brown pass bill to ensure safe drinking water

TOLEDO — The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill to define how much poison from toxic algae is dangerous for drinking water.  The bill was sponsored by Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown of Ohio in response to Toledo’s water crisis.  In early August, a toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie disrupted the water supply for nearly half a million people in Toledo and surrounding communities.

The bill would require the EPA to establish a safe level of microcystin, the poison produced by toxic algae, and standardize testing by water treatment plants.

“This is a commonsense, bipartisan bill that will ensure Ohioans are confident in the safety of their drinking water,” Brown said. “Our bill will address a void in our current monitoring efforts to protect our water and address potential public health threats.”

The Safe and Secure Drinking Water Act would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish a health advisory and submit reports on the level of microcystins in drinking water that is determined to be safe for human consumption.

The bill must pass through the U.S. House of Representatives before being sent to the President.

“It’s critical that all levels of government work together to determine if our drinking water is safe for human consumption,” Portman stated. “As we continue to work to ensure that Ohioans have access to safe and clean drinking water, the passage of this legislation is an important step toward knowing what is safe and what is not.”

The has city of Toledo has detailed a more than $263 mililon project to improve the city’s more than 70-years old Collins Park Water Treatment Plant. Officials said five years of work could sustain the plant for another 70 years. Changes include two additional basins and improvements to the filter system.

 

Photo: The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill to define how much poison from toxic algae is dangerous for drinking water.

View original article at: Senators Portman, Brown pass bill to ensure safe drinking water

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