One-year anniversary of Toledo’s Water System Shutdown due to Lake Erie’s Algae Bloom; “We are all Toledo”

CHICAGO (July 31, 2015) One year ago, the city of Toledo, Ohio, was forced to issue a two-day ban on drinking or cooking tap water for more than 400,000 residents (as well as 30,000 residents of southeast Michigan) due to high levels of toxins harmful to humans resulting from a massive toxic algae bloom on western Lake Erie.

Following is a statement by Karen Hobbs, a Senior Policy Analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Green paint. Pea soup. Shamrock Shake. The indelible images of bright green Lake Erie water lapping the shores of Toledo, Ohio one year ago seemed surreal. But before writing it off as a one-time occurrence in a place far away from where you live, remember that we are all Toledo. 

"Algae is not a Toledo problem. It is not a Lake Erie problem. It is a national problem. Lakes and waterways across the country are choked by algae that threaten our health, the economy, and are just plain nasty. The sources of this pollution are varied and in many places, like Toledo, will take years to fix. But the Obama Administration recently finalized a rule that will have a more immediate impact by better protecting small streams and wetlands from pollution and filling. That’s because these smaller waterbodies capture some of the pollution, like phosphorous and nitrogen, which fuels algae blooms, acting as ‘nutrient sinks.’ Unfortunately, a concerted campaign against the Clean Water Rule threatens these common-sense safeguards.

“The Clean Water Rule will better protect drinking water supplies and the waters that serve as habitat for fish and other wildlife. Under the rule, wetlands and tributaries that feed into drinking water supplies for 117 million people – that’s 1 in 3 Americans - will be better safeguarded from pollution. And that’s good for all of us.”


Related Issues
Fresh Water

Related Press Releases