Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has decided to include Western Lake Erie in a list of impaired waters, due to the harmful algae blooms that plague the region every year.  The agency’s move comes after years of calls from environmentalists and a federal lawsuit. 

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

The U.S. EPA has approved Ohio’s list of impaired waters, a disappointment to environmental groups that filed a lawsuit against the agency last month.

Ohio’s list did not include the open waters of western Lake Erie – and groups including the National Wildlife Federation said that was a serious omission.

In a statement, the Federation’s Frank Szollosi said the federal agency's decision to approve Ohio’s list without the open waters prolongs Lake Erie’s problems.

Elizabeth Miller

Tuesday, a coalition of Great Lakes organizations sent a notice of intent to sue the U.S. EPA.  They say the agency isn’t moving fast enough to clean up Lake Erie.

The filing from conservation, environmental, and boating groups is the latest effort to designate western Lake Erie as an “impaired” body of water.