Toledo and Lucas County Commissioners Sue U.S. EPA

Lucas County and the City of Toledo have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The lawsuit alleges that the EPA knowingly violated the Clean Water Act by approving the total maximum daily load (TMDL) plan to restore the western basin of Lake Erie. This legal action is part of a broader effort to combat harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, which have been a persistent environmental issue.

The county commissioners argue that the TMDL plan, which is a regulatory component of the Clean Water Act intended to address the cleanup of impaired waters, fails to meet the legal standards necessary to prevent the pollution that leads to these algal blooms. They are particularly concerned about the runoff from “mega farms” and other non-point sources, which they believe is a significant contributor to the problem.

The OMA advocated for the northwest region’s manufacturers during the drafting of the TMDL plan, pushing back against inequitable policy proposals unfairly targeting point sources, which are not responsible for the major sources of pollution that come from non-point sources like agricultural runoff.