Toledo mayor now onboard with seeking "impairment" declaration

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Seeing green slime along the Maumee River in downtown Toledo may have inspired mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson to change her position on declaring Lake Erie impaired.

The mayor sees the terrible green slime that has migrated into the river. As mayor, Hicks-Hudson worked on protecting our drinking water and reducing chemical runoff and she's even sent letters to President Trump urging him to restore funding for lake clean up.

But she was always resistant to that *impairment* declaration, until Tuesday.

The mayor said, "Having this done will remove any doubt and we can move on to do the real work the necessary work to get our water taken care of."

The mayor is now on board with Lucas County commissioners who once again Tuesday said the lake is impaired and needs federal help.

But Hicks-Hudson also joins Wade Kapszukiewicz who throughout the campaign was alone in saying the lake is impaired.

Tuesday, he said the mayor's delay has only prolonged the problem.

Kapszukiewicz says, "Leadership requires taking strong action not waiting until there's a crisis or emergency, and I think that's the biggest shame of this whole thing today."

But there's a big question about whether having the federal government step in will actually help.

The Ohio EPA says it's spending $3-billion attacking the issue of Lake health by upgrading waste water and drinking water treatment plants and the septic system and working with neighboring states.

They see impairment as symbolism that won't work, but now the mayor and commissioners see *impairment* as a unifying declaration.

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