New lawsuit blames EPA for unsafe lake water

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COLUMBIA – The Missouri Coalition for the Environment filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency alleging it’s not doing enough to keep lakes clean.

According to Alicia Lloyd, the group’s clean water policy coordinator, said the EPA has failed to issue effective nutrient standards. She said when nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus build up, it can make water unsafe to drink and swim in.

“Missourians should be able to recreate without concern that their contact with the water would ever be bad for their health,” Lloyd said.

Ryan Williams, Columbia Water and Light Assistant Director, said the issue doesn't affect Columbia's drinking water because the city uses water from wells and not from lakes.

"Surface water and ground water are inherently different by nature.  You know surface water is exposed to the elements whereas ground water is pumped up usually from wells," Williams said.

Williams also said if the EPA were to change regulations in reaction to the lawsuit, Columbia would most likely not be affected.

Lloyd said the EPA is required by the Clean Water Act to issue standards for nutrient levels, but has failed to do so.

KOMU 8 News reached out to the EPA, but a representative for the agency said it does not comment on pending litigation.