Will Ohio’s Lake Erie strategy work? Answers won’t come soon

FILE- In this Aug. 3, 2014 photo, a sample glass of Lake Erie water is photographed near the City of Toledo water intake crib, in Lake Erie, about 2.5 miles off the shore of Curtice, Ohio. Ohio and Michigan have agreed to sharply reduce phosphorus runoff blamed for a rash of harmful algae blooms on Lake Erie that have contaminated drinking water supplies and contributed to oxygen-deprived dead zones where fish can't survive, Friday, June 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)
FILE- In this Aug. 3, 2014 photo, a sample glass of Lake Erie water is photographed near the City of Toledo water intake crib, in Lake Erie, about 2.5 miles off the shore of Curtice, Ohio. Ohio and Michigan have agreed to sharply reduce phosphorus runoff blamed for a rash of harmful algae blooms on Lake Erie that have contaminated drinking water supplies and contributed to oxygen-deprived dead zones where fish can't survive, Friday, June 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – Ohio’s attack on toxic algae in Lake Erie, a source of drinking water, is aimed at reducing what’s feeding the algae.

But some environmental groups say the plan relies too much on voluntary programs and lacks the sense of urgency that is needed for it to work.

The state strategy outlined recently by Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency centers on new regulations and programs put in place within the past year. How well they work won’t be known for a couple more years.

One researcher says that reaching the goal of reducing phosphorus runoff by 40 percent over the next decade is possible, but it’s going to be difficult.

Ohio officials say the plan will be evolving and changes will be made if what’s being done now isn’t working.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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