Ohio task force focuses on Lake Erie's toxic algae

Calls for reducing amount of phosphorus entering water


In a major report planned for release later this month, a state task force trying to reduce western Lake Erie's toxic algae will call for a 40 percent reduction in all forms of phosphorus entering northwest Ohio waterways.

The Ohio Phosphorus Task Force's report, an update to its initial 2010 study, could affect farmers, sewage plant operators, large land-based businesses such as golf-courses, and homeowners - anyone who uses or manages large amounts of fertilizers.

State and federal legislators are expected to use the task force recommendations when deciding whether to expand existing laws or adopt new ones.

The recommendations have been anticipated for months. They were made public today at the University of Toledo College of Law's annual Great Lakes water-law conference.

Tom Bridgeman, UT's top algae researcher, said the state task force chairman, Ohio Lake Erie Commission Executive Director Gail Hesse, gave him permission to release an excerpt of the report.