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EPA Suggests Triggers For Warning Of Algae In Drinking Water

Blue Green Algae bloom (file)
Lake Champlain International

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing guidelines to help state and local officials detect dangerous levels of algal toxins in drinking water.

EPA officials Wednesday released suggested thresholds that should prompt actions such as issuing do-not-drink warnings or taking steps to quickly reduce levels of two types of algal toxins. One set of trigger points was recommended for young children and another for the rest of the population.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says harmful algal blooms are among the nation's most serious environmental challenges.  Officials say up to 48 million people nationwide get drinking water from lakes and reservoirs that could become contaminated with algal toxins.

Officials in Vermont have struggled to control blue green algae blooms in Lake Champlain.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.