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Michigan Conservation Groups Unsatisfied With Lake Erie Cleanup Initiative

Mar 24 | 2016  by

By Beth Florkowski of Fausone Bohn, LLP posted in Environmental Law on Thursday, March 24, 2016.

Paul Bohn, Esq.

Last month, the MDEQ announced their plan to reduce the algae blooms in Lake Erie that have threatened the drinking water and tourism industry in the region. The effort will feature a market-based approach of water quality credit trading amongst industrial facilities and large-scale farmers. (For details, read our previous blog here.)

While conservation groups were thankful for the government’s attention to the issue, they were disappointed with the plan itself. The largest complaint was the absence of specific reduction targets and details of how they can be enforced. The plan more resembles a research and assessment project than a serious runoff elimination effort. Each year the blooms increase in size and toxicity. In 2014, one bloom left Toledo residents without water for nearly three days; and last year saw the largest algae bloom ever recorded in history.

Gov. Rick Snyder has since been called on to draft a new proposal that will specify how the Great Lakes Region Leaders’ 40% run-off reduction goal will be furthered by this plan, in addition to what sorts of cross-border cooperation and enforcement will take place.

See the full plan at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/wrd-western-lake-erie_503547_7.pdf