The Deeper Dig: Pollution politics on Lake Champlain

An outbreak of blue-green algae has closed Lake Carmi in northern Vermont.

Dozens of beaches up and down Lake Champlain were on high alert this week due to toxic algae blooms. In Franklin County, similar cyanobacteria has kept Lake Carmi closed for over four weeks.

Both sites have seen this problem before. Excess phosphorous from farms, roads and parking lots has caused algae blooms in waters across Vermont for decades. While multiple governors have worked to address the pollution, including passing legislation to strengthen water quality regulations, no permanent solution has been enacted.

Decades of phosphorous buildup stored deep under the lake may make long-term progress difficult to achieve. On this week’s podcast, Mike Polhamus and Mark Johnson talk about why that makes clean water such a difficult issue for Vermont politicans to address.

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