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US House Approves Bill To Step Up Fight Against Toxic Algae

Blue Green Algae bloom (file)
Lake Champlain International

The U.S. House has voted to require more aggressive federal action to prevent toxic algae blooms from contaminating the Great Lakes and other waterways around the nation.

The measure was inspired by an outbreak on Lake Erie last August that made public drinking water supplies unsafe for two days in Toledo, Ohio, and parts of southeastern Michigan.

Lake Erie and Lake Champlain are among the waterways that have been plagued with large blooms of bacteria commonly known as blue-green algae. They produce a toxin that can kill animals and cause liver damage in humans.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Bob Latta of Ohio would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop a plan for assessing and managing risk associated with algal toxins.

It passed on a 375-to-37 vote and was sent to the Senate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2015.

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