A U.S.-Canadian advisory agency wants to find out more about the costs and health risks posed by the string of algae blooms on Lake Erie.
The International Joint Commission plans on spending the next few months studying those issues before releasing an updated report on the algae blooms next spring.
The blooms have been under greater scrutiny since toxins contaminated the drinking water for more than 400,000 people in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan for two days last August.
The commission held a panel discussion near Toledo this past week to hear from residents about the impact of the algae.
Toledo has spent millions of dollars in the past few years to get rid of the toxins in the water it draws from Lake Erie. But how much the water emergency in August was helpful in the ongoing battle against the algae isn’t fully known.
Dave Spanger, a charter captain on the lake, said that more monitoring of the water is needed and that he doesn’t think the lake will get better without mandatory limits on phosphorus that flows into the lake.
The agency released a report more than a year ago calling for both the U.S. and Canada to crack down on sources of phosphorus that feed the algae.