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Ohio official to oversee Lake Erie water quality, manage plan to cut pollutants feeding algae

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TOLEDO, Ohio — Ohio's environmental chief is creating a new team to oversee water quality issues in Lake Erie.

State Environmental Protection Agency Director Craig Butler has appointed Karl Gebhardt, the Ohio EPA's deputy director for water resources, to focus on Lake Erie water issues.

One of the main tasks will be managing a plan aimed at cracking down on phosphorus runoff that's blamed for a rash of harmful algae blooms on the lake.

Ohio, Michigan and Ontario, Canada, said earlier this summer that they will cut the amount of phosphorus flowing into western Lake Erie by 40 percent within 10 years.

Gebhardt also will be in charge of figuring out what to do with sediment dredged out of harbors along the lake instead of dumping it in the water.

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