Friday, February 21, 2020

U.S. and Canada environmental agencies agree to phosphorus targets for Lake Erie

Lake Erie
Lake Erie
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Canadian Environment and Climate Change Ministry recently committed to Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement targets that will reduce the phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 40 percent.

“To protect public health, we must restore the Great Lakes for all those who depend on them,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “The first step in our urgent work together to protect Lake Erie from toxic algae, harmful algal blooms, and other effects of nutrient runoff, is to establish these important phosphorus limits. But, establishing these targets is not the end of our work together. We are already taking action to meet them.”

Limiting phosphorus levels in the lake will reduce the low-oxygen dead zones found in its central basin and limit algae growth to natural levels. This will prevent harmful algal blooms that can threaten human and ecosystem health, a timely concern as 2015 saw the largest bloom this century.

“Canada recognizes the urgency and magnitude of the threat to Lake Erie water quality and ecosystem health posed by toxic and nuisance algal blooms,” Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said. “By establishing these targets, we strengthen our resolve to work with our American neighbors, and Canadian and U.S. stakeholders who share these waters, to protect the tremendous natural resource that is Lake Erie.”

Organizations in this Story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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