The federal government showed the Great Lakes a whole lotta love on Valentine’s Day by announcing that Presque Isle Bay in Pennsylvania has been taken off of a list of Great Lakes toxic hotspots.
The decision was made by the U.S. Department of State in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency, International Joint Commission and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania after reviewing the success of various cleanup activities in the bay, according to an EPA press release.
“The historic discharge of industrial and domestic wastewater contaminated Presque Isle Bay with excessive nutrients, organic compounds, toxic metals and other pollutants,” the EPA said. “Improvements at Erie’s wastewater treatment plant, along with the waterfront’s conversion from heavy industrial to commercial use, reduced pollution and helped restore the bay.”
The announcement came on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s last day at the agency. It was a fitting going away gift for an EPA leader who was committed to restoring the Great Lakes.
Since 2010, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding has been used to accelerate the final steps needed to delist Presque Isle Bay. President Obama launched the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at the start of his first term.