September 11, 2023
STATEMENT BY HOWARD A. LEARNER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY CENTER
The U.S. EPA is now reviewing Ohio’s inadequate plan for reducing agricultural pollution that causes recurring toxic algal blooms in Western Lake Erie. Rep. Marcy Kaptur’s September 7th letter to U.S. EPA urges the agency to use its full authority under the Clean Water Act to ensure that a “pollution diet”, or Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), plan is established for the Maumee River Basin to reduce pollution and clean up Western Lake Erie. ELPC’s Executive Director Howard Learner said in response:
“The Environmental Law & Policy Center greatly appreciates Rep. Kaptur’s letter to the U.S. EPA. The U.S. EPA now must step up and meet its responsibilities to achieve a clean and safe Lake Erie because the Ohio EPA has failed to do its job well. Rep. Kaptur’s letter recognizes the importance of targeting the right pollutant Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP) in Ohio’s “pollution diet”, or TMDL, plan. DRP is fueling Lake Erie’s toxic algal blooms that are impairing safe water in Lake Erie.
“Rep. Kaptur is right: when properly developed and implemented, TMDLs can be powerful and effective tools to restore impaired and threatened waters. The U.S. EPA must develop a better plan that is sufficient to clean up Lake Erie very soon and will best serve all who depend on and enjoy Lake Erie.”