Schumer Demands Action to Stop Toxins from Spreading
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Senator Chuck Schumer was in Buffalo today, touting what he calls the area's Blue Economy, a big part of that being Lake Erie. He's urging the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to act quickly to curb the threat that toxic algae in Lake Erie is posing to Western New York drinking water.
Schumer is asking the EPA to provide direction on how to test toxins in drinking water, and wants the USDA to make Western New York a critical conservation area to help prevent Algae growth in Lake Erie.
“Lake Erie is one of Western New York’s greatest resources: for tourism, recreation, and for healthy drinking water. But toxic algae blooms threaten to greatly undercut the value of this resource, and what’s more, have the potential to contaminate our drinking water,” Schumer said, in a statement.
“The EPA should issue guidance and recommendations to local water treatment plans on how best to test for and treat these cyanotoxins. Second, the USDA should designate the Great Lakes a Critical Conservation Area, so local farmers can access funds to help mitigate the phosphorous runoff from their farms which is one part of the cause of the algae problem. With these two steps – one to address the underlying cause and another to treat and manage the existing problem – we can safeguard our drinking water and ensure that Lake Erie remains a draw for tourists, a hub for the local economy, and a great source for a nice glass of water.”
Naming Western New York a critical conservation area would give farmers assistance in preventing the runoff of fertilixzer, which is linked to Toxic Algae Growth.