On Wednesday, Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) introduced legislation, H.R. 1923, that would require that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appoint a coordinator for issues related to toxic algal blooms. The text of Rep. Ryan’s bill can be found here. Currently, the legislation has two cosponsors, Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).
“We thank Reps. Tim Ryan, David Joyce, and Marcy Kaptur for introducing a bill that will strengthen our efforts at stopping farm runoff and harmful algal blooms. We’re seeing results through important efforts like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, but we know more needs to be done, which is why it’s essential we have an orchestra conductor who can ensure that resources are being invested in the most efficient and effective way possible,” said Chad Lord, policy director with the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.
Last August, 400,000 citizens around the greater Toledo area lost access to safe drinking water for three days because of a toxic algal bloom in Lake Erie. This 2014 bloom might be one of the more memorable, but these algal blooms have occurred in other parts of the Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan’s Green Bay and Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. In 2011, the algal bloom that grew in Lake Erie was so large it could easily be seen from space.