By Rich Rezler | December 8, 2014
U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) agreed to co-sponsor the Drinking Water Protection Act on Tuesday, calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a plan to deal with cynatoxins in public water systems.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Robert Latta (R-Ohio) in late November. It requires the EPA to develop and submit a plan to Congress – within 90 days – on how it will assess and manage cases similar to the water emergency in Toledo, Ohio, in August.
Hundreds of thousands of residents of Toledo and its suburbs were warned not to drink tap water for two days because of toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.
“We were reminded of the very serious threat these toxins have on our Great Lakes and the communities that rely on them,” Miller said. “Assuring that we have adequate resources dedicated to monitoring and managing this threat across the entire Great Lakes region must be a priority.”
Miller also touted her Great Lakes Assurance Program Verification Act, introduced in 2013, that would mimic a farming conservation program in Michigan throughout the Great Lakes region. She said waters around Michigan have seen a steep decline in algae blooms since the Michigan Environmental Assurance Program began.
“Michigan farmers have been leading the way when it comes to protecting our lakes from damage caused by algae blooms, but they shouldn’t carry the burden alone,” Miller said. “We must all work together to preserve and protect the health of our agricultural and maritime resources.”