Legal Tools for Reducing Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie
55 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2012
Date Written: October 1, 2012
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie have reached crisis proportions in recent summers, causing substantial economic and environmental damage and threatening public health. The prime culprit is excessive phosphorus entering Lake Erie and its tributaries. To date federal and state law have proven ineffective in achieving the needed reductions in phosphorus loading, especially from nonpoint sources. This article describes the complex set of legal tools now available under federal and Ohio law to control the key point and nonpoint sources of phosphorus, identifies gaps and weaknesses in the existing legal regime, and makes recommendations for using these legal tools more effectively and for improving the law to combat the HABs problem.
Keywords: Phosphorus, Algae, Great Lakes, Clean Water Act
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