US agency won’t declare Lake Erie’s waters in Ohio impaired

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2014 file photo, algae is seen near the City of Toledo water intake crib in Lake Erie, about 2.5 miles off the shore of Curtice, Ohio. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it won’t declare Ohio’s western end of Lake Erie impaired by toxic algae.

The EPA’s decision means Ohio will continue to take the lead on fighting the algae blooms in the shallowest of the Great Lakes that have fouled drinking water in recent years.

Ohio regulators have resisted calls to designate its portion of the lake an impaired watershed.

Several environmental groups have been pushing the EPA to make the designation and pave the way for increased pollution regulations.

Those groups last month sued the EPA to force the agency to make a decision on whether the western part of the lake should be declared impaired.

The federal lawsuit urged the EPA to step in and take action under the Clean Water Act.

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