(Toledo, OH) Northwest Ohio leaders are making headway in their quest to clean up Lake Erie.
The Ohio EPA declared the western basin of the lake impaired Thursday because of toxic algae.
The impairment designation makes polluters more accountable for dumping algae-causing chemicals into the lake. Local officials had pushed for the declaration, citing the algae's impact on the region's drinking water and economy.
Lucas County Commissioners and Toledo's mayor applauded the designation. State senator Randy Gardner is among those who believe the biggest difference will be made by Ohio's efforts to clean up the lake.