Dingell, Kaptur Decry Trump Administration Decision Jeopardizing Lake Erie
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) released the following statements today after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accepted the determinations of the status of the open waters of Lake Erie made by both the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan Department of Natural Resources. While Michigan determined the open waters of Lake Erie to be impaired, Ohio declined to make the same assessment. Notably, the U.S. EPA accepted both assessments even though they disagreed on the status of Lake Erie.
“Clean drinking water is a fundamental right for every American. There is no line of separation in Lake Erie, and this decision endangers water quality for people in Michigan, Ohio and throughout the Great Lakes region,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “Failure to recognize these waters as impaired puts public health, the Great Lakes and our $4.5 billion recreational and commercial fishing industry at risk. The administration must take a clear and proactive stance so we can confront this challenge and devise a plan to address this threat to public health and the environment.”
“This is not sensible. There is no imaginary line in the middle of Lake Erie where one side of the lake faces challenges that don’t impact the other side. This is a shared challenge that the entire region faces. This decision by the Trump era U.S. EPA leaves our Great Lakes in peril and risks the health of millions of Americans. Eleven million people depend on Lake Erie for their drinking water and this contradictory action fails to address the real danger they face from the presence of toxic algal blooms,” said Congresswoman Kaptur.
In December, the Dingell and Kaptur teamed up to send a letter to the EPA urging them to disregard Ohio’s determination and list the waters as officially impaired.