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March 31, 2016

Canada-US Announce New Phosphorus Reduction Targets

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy, and Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, announced February 22, 2016, that the two countries have adopted targets under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to reduce phosphorus entering affected areas of Lake Erie by 40 per cent. The targets will minimize the extent of low oxygen "dead zones" in the central basin of Lake Erie; maintain algae growth at a level consistent with healthy aquatic ecosystems; and maintain algae biomass at levels that do not produce toxins that pose a threat to human or ecosystem health.

The 40 per cent reduction targets are based on 2008 loading levels. Canada and the United States have committed to develop domestic action plans no later than February 2018, to help meet the new targets.

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