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Agency seeks tough rules to reduce Lake Erie algae

12:33 PM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- A U.S.-Canadian agency is urging both nations to crack down on big farms and other sources of phosphorus that is believed responsible for a rash of algae blooms on Lake Erie.

The International Joint Commission released a report with its recommendations Thursday.

After taking public comment, the commission will revise the document before submitting it to both federal governments.

Runaway algae is a worsening problem on Lake Erie and some bays of Lakes Huron and Michigan. It contributes to an oxygen-deprived "dead zone" in Lake Erie and can release toxins.

Scientists say a leading cause is excessive phosphorus runoff from farms and cities. The report calls for setting firm targets for reducing runoff.

It also recommends tougher regulation of farm fertilizing practices and banning most phosphorus fertilizers for lawn care.

Associated Press

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