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Ohio EPA announces hundreds of millions to combat toxic algae
Some $150 million will be available for communities to improve their water treatment

Andy Chow
Ohio EPA director Craig Butler says his office is offering loans to help with the algae crisis.
Courtesy of Ohio EPA
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In The Region:

The Kasich administration is rolling out new funding and policies to combat toxic algae. This is in response to the crisis in Toledo that left hundreds of thousands of people without water two weeks ago.

LISTEN: Chow on water loans

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is making more than $150 million in grants and loans available for public water systems. The money can be used to upgrade facilities and cut down on the amount of pollutants that come through wastewater plants.

Leaders unveiled the no-interest loans in northwest Ohio where the toxin known as microcystin was discovered at a treatment plant in Toledo.

Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler says the state is using the lesson’s it learned during the event in Toledo to improve water quality in the long run and the loans are just part of that process.

 “It’s a multiprong problem and it’s a multi-pronged approach that just accelerates our issues and our attention to this issue even more,” Butler says.

The state also announced more funding for a program encouraging farmers to install nutrient-reduction equipment on their land. The phosphorus found in fertilizer is a major contributor to algae growth.

A bipartisan legislative panel is meeting in Maumee Bay in Northwest Ohio on Friday to hear public input on the algae blooms. 

Here's a link to a posting by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District on points to know before that meeting.

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