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Abstract

At 2 AM on August 2, 2014, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued the following warning to the citizens of Toledo: “Do Not Drink.” The Ohio City's tap water was contaminated with microcystin, a toxin that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abnormal liver function. The source was an algal bloom in Lake Erie resulting from high levels of agricultural fertilizers and animal waste. For three days, Toledo residents drank only bottled water.

This is just one of many similar examples of agricultural contamination of urban drinking water supplies. Creating a physical connection between urban and rural communities, this pollution highlights the need for an environmentally-minded and systems-based food and agriculture law.