Michigan DEQ Develops Draft Plan to Reduce Phosphorus to Lake Erie

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has published a draft plan to reduce phosphorus inputs to Lake Erie by 40 percent.  This is part of the Western Basin of Lake Erie Collaborative Agreement that was signed in June 2015 by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to achieve a 40 percent total load reduction in the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 2025, using phosphorus loading data from 2008 as its baseline.  Michigan’s plan focuses on reducing phosphorus to the Detroit River, the River Raisin and the state’s portion of the Maumee River basin by:  maintaining and modifying several wastewater discharge permit reductions; working with Indiana and Ohio to target reductions in the Maumee River watershed; monitoring and assessing harmful algal blooms and the role of invasive mussels; and continuing to reduce nutrient loads that can contribute to site-specific or seasonal water quality fluctuations.

Comments on the draft plan are being accepted until December 7, 2015.  The full draft plan is available at www.michigan.gov/wrd, under “What’s New.”  For more information, please contact Bill Creal of Michigan at crealw@michigan.gov or 517-284-5470.