When you really, really want to be sure your pants won’t fall down, you go with the belt-and-suspenders strategy: You put on a belt, but in case a belt is not going to be enough to keep your pants up, you’ve got your suspenders.
The same can be said for strategies to clean up the pollution that is causing toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, says one of the environmental lawyers suing to force the federal government to designate the western basin of the lake impaired under the terms of the Clean Water Act.
While it is great that Ohio’s state environmental officials are pursuing research and voluntary pollution-control measures to reduce the amount of algae-feeding phosphorus flowing into the lake, if those approaches don’t deliver results, the Clean Water Act will.
Madeline Fleisher of the Environmental Law and Policy Center made the analogy at this year’s Great Lakes Water Conference at the University of Toledo.
There must be more than one strategy — and more than one path of action — to save Lake Erie.
Joining her on a panel at the conference was Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Karl Gebhardt, a former Ohio Farm Bureau lobbyist who is Gov. John Kasich’s point man on lake issues.