Ohio wants to put Lake Erie on a strict pollution diet

Ohio is calling for new pollution runoff limits for western Lake Erie where toxic algae blooms have flourished the past decade.

State leaders announced Thursday they want to set tougher regulations on the runoff that's feeding the outbreaks. It's a significant shift in Ohio's strategy to clean up the lake.

Environmental groups had been critical of the state's past efforts.

A lawsuit pending in a federal court had been seeking to force new regulatory standards that the state now appears poised to adopt.

The process includes a close review of the pollution sources and making an action plan.

The issue has also been raised on the Canadian side of the border. 

In 2018. the federal Great Lakes Protection Initiative contributed $600,000 to develop and test technologies that intercept and remove phosphorus from agricultural runoff in southwestern Ontario.

According to the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative, phosphorus entering the system contributes to the growth of harmful algal blooms in the Thames River and Lake Erie.