Environmental groups from Ohio and Michigan have filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, after accusing the agency of failing to protect Lake Erie.
The groups argue the EPA is failing to protect Lake Erie due to their inaction in preventing algae from blooming. The algae in question is capable of polluting drinking water supplies.
In 2014, one of these blooms contaminated the tap water for more than 400,000 people living near Toledo.
The groups that filed the lawsuit want the EPA to give the western part of Lake Erie protection, by declaring it an impaired watershed. Doing so would increase pollution regulations.
Michigan proposed designating its portion of Lake Erie as impaired in 2016, but Ohio would not do the same—instead only wanting certain shorelines to be declared impaired.
The lawsuit was filed because the EPA failed to act on proposals that aimed to curb algae blooms. They are required by the Clean Water Act to act on such proposals within 30 days.
Past proposals have been successful in cutting down on other forms of pollution, such as fertilizer run off.