(CBS) — As the toxic algae problem wanes in Toledo, a Chicago environmentalist says it could foreshadow the future of Lake Michigan, unless government gets to work.

Rob Moore, policy analyst at the National Resources Defense Council says toxin producing algae bloomed in Toledo, not Chicago, because Lake Michigan is deeper and colder that Lake Erie and most of our pollution gets sent down the Chicago River to the Mississippi, while much of Toledo’s pollution stays where it is.

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“What’s happening in Toledo is still a harbinger of potential risk that Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay and communities all around Lake Michigan and communities along the Mississippi River and Illinois River really need to be planning for and worried about,” Moore said.

Moore says further reduction of sewage and tighter controls over phosphorous runoff from farm fields are needed to prevent blooms of toxic algae from affecting Lake Michigan cities as they have Toledo.

Chicago Water Department Commissioner Thomas Powers tells CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov officials are keeping a close watch on algae levels in Lake Michigan, in the wake of the Toledo scare.

Powers says Lake Michigan’s water is tested every single day for various issues and specifically for blue-green algae levels two or three times a week. He says the odds of Ohio’s situation occurring here are remote.

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He adds: “We’re always watching for this.”




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