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U.S. Rep. Kaptur demanding transparency from environmental regulators

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"I'm calling on the U.S. EPA to release its findings," U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur told The Blade.

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U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) has told The Blade she is demanding more transparency from environmental regulators after inadvertently learning during a conference call Sunday that Toledo's tap water has been as high as 3 parts per billion for the toxin found in microcystis algae - three times higher than the World Health Organization standard of 1 ppb.

No data has been released to the public by the city of Toledo, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, or the U.S. EPA.

Sampling results from a specialized U.S. EPA laboratory in Cincinnati have not been released to the congressman by the federal agency. It has referred her to the Ohio EPA, which she said has likewise kept the numbers under wraps.

"In all of the meetings we've been in, we've been given nothing," Miss Kaptur said. "Every time I asked [the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] to provide information, they deferred to the Ohio EPA. We've not been given anything tangible."

The information about a microcystin spike in tap water as high as 3 ppb came out during a conference call between members of Miss Kaptur's staff and employees of the U.S. EPA's Region 5 office in Chicago, the congressman said. She declined to identify the individual who revealed the information, saying it was stated in passing.

The only figures released to the media so far was a range of 1.5 ppb to 2.5 ppb in a Toledo-Lucas County statement issued Saturday.

"I'm calling on the U.S. EPA to release its findings," Miss Kaptur said.

Contact Tom Henry at: thenry@theblade.com or 419-724-6079 or via Twitter @ecowriterohio.
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