Farmers sue to stop measure giving Lake Erie legal rights

National/World
Lake Erie algae

A family of Ohio farmers has filed a lawsuit challenging a measure approved by Toledo voters this past week seeking to give legal rights to Lake Erie.

The federal lawsuit calls the Lake Erie Bill of Rights unconstitutional. Lawyers who filed the suit say it’s an assault on the fundamental rights of farms in the Lake Erie region.

The ballot issue approved Tuesday would allow people to file lawsuits on behalf of the lake.

A coalition of environmental groups backed the idea because they’re upset that Lake Erie’s toxic algae blooms have become a persistent threat to drinking water and the lake’s overall health.

Much of the pollution feeding the algae comes from farm runoff.

Legal experts have questioned whether the Lake Erie Bill of Rights can survive in court.

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