Congressman Tim Ryan Passes Amendment to Prevent Harmful Algae Blooms in Lake Erie

Sep 30, 2016 Issues: Energy, Environment

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan’s legislation to create the position of a Great Lakes algal bloom coordinator was agreed to last night as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA) which passed last night in the House of Representatives by a vote of 399 – 25.

Harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes have affected over a half million Ohioans in recent years. Lake Erie supports over 117,000 fulltime jobs and provides drinking water to approximately 3 million Ohioans. This bipartisan legislation would encourage the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate a coordinator to work with federal, state, tribal, and local governments.

“I’m proud that the House of Representatives passed our amendment to finally give us a coordinator within the EPA to defend our fresh water from harmful algal blooms,” said Rep. Ryan. “Our state’s abundance of fresh water is a vital resource and strategic advantage, and it’s our duty as Ohioans to ensure Lake Erie and the Great Lakes are able to continue to thrive. I will continue to use my position on the House Appropriations committee and work with my Ohio colleagues to combat these harmful algal blooms that threaten the health and well-being of our state. ”

In July of 2015, Representative Tim Ryan successfully included language in the Department of Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriation bill to evaluate the need for a Great Lakes algal bloom coordinator.