- Associated Press - Sunday, February 7, 2016

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The Lake Champlain Basin Program has announced that it plans to start monitoring fish in the lake for mercury and toxins produced by cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae.

The basin program said it will test for microcystin, a liver toxin, and an anatoxin, a neurotoxin, the Vermont Public Radio reported (http://bit.ly/1nS7cPn).

It is taking proposal for a $56,000 program to test water and fish samples from the lake for toxins with active cyanobacteria blooms. It also plans to test in the spring, when cyanobacteria are relatively rare.

The data will help guide public health and cleanup efforts stemming from water pollution, the basin program’s technical director said in a release.

“Data generated from this project will help resource managers and health officials frame appropriate guidance around the health risks of handling and consuming fish exposed to certain cyanotoxins,” the director said in the release.

Phosphorus-laden runoff of rain and snowmelt from farms, roads and parking lots, and discharges from municipal wastewater treatment plants feed toxic algae blooms in the lake.

The EPA this summer set new pollution reduction goals for the Vermont side of the lake, breaking them down by total maximum daily loads of phosphorus for different segments of the lake and from different sources.

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Information from: WVPS-FM, http://www.vpr.net

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