TOLEDO, Ohio — (AP) — A federal judge in Ohio says an environmental group pushing for mandatory regulations to prevent toxic algae blooms on Lake Erie can move forward with its lawsuit.

The judge in Toledo issued a ruling Wednesday denying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

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The lawsuit says the U.S. EPA must hold Ohio accountable for reducing the polluting runoff that feeds the algae and that the state’s reliance on largely voluntary efforts aren’t working.

Howard Lerner of the Environmental Law & Policy Center said he’s pleased with the ruling and now hopes that the court will quickly decide to force Ohio to adopt enforceable regulatory standards for the lake.

A message seeking comment was left with the U.S. EPA.

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