The bill introduced by Sen. Rob Portman was approved by Congress on June 17, 2014, and now moves on to President Obama to be signed.
The Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013 would reauthorize the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act, which was first enacted in 1998 and reauthorized in 2004 and 2008 (16 U.S.C. 1451 note). For over a decade this program has served as the federal government’s research and response framework for harmful algal blooms. According to a recent NOAA report, U.S. seafood and tourism industries suffer annual losses of $82 million due to economic impacts of HABs. In 2013, the city of Toledo was forced to spend $3 million to protect the city's water supply from Lake Erie's toxic algae and Columbus spent $723,000 to address and algae outbreak at Hoover Reservoir. It costs the city of Celina $450,000 annually to combat algae in Grand Lakes St. Marys.