Press Release

Ohio EPA’s Declaration of Lake Erie as ‘Impaired’ is a Step in the Right Direction

March 22, 2018

Cleveland (March 22, 2018) – Today the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency announced the listing of the open waters of western Lake Erie as “impaired” under the Clean Water Act in the agency’s draft Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under the Clean Water Act, every two years states submit a list of impaired waters to the US EPA. The U.S. EPA will need to sign off on Ohio’s plan. The process is instrumental in helping local communities, states, and the nation identify unhealthy waters so actions can be taken to improve the health of rivers, lakes, and streams.

Following is a statement from Alliance for the Great Lakes Policy Director Crystal Davis in reaction to the announcement:

“The Clean Water Act provides tools to protect our drinking water, public health, and economy. Listing the open waters of western Lake Erie as impaired under the Clean Water Act is the right thing to do and we applaud this move by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

In 2015, under pressure from people across the Great Lakes region, the Governor of Ohio joined with the Governor of Michigan and the Premier of Ontario to commit to reducing the amount of runoff pollution, specifically phosphorus, flowing into western Lake Erie by 40 percent by 2025. Runoff pollution from agricultural lands is the number one source of phosphorous flowing into western Lake Erie. For Ohio to reach its aggressive pollution reduction goals, the state will need to adopt specific, accountable measures that address phosphorus, the root of the harmful algal bloom problem.  

We look forward to reviewing the draft report in detail and providing input during the upcoming comment period.”


Media Contact: Jennifer Caddick, (312) 445-9760,