Agency says US, Canada fall short on protecting Great Lakes

A joint U.S.-Canadian agency says untreated sewage releases, chemical pollution and algae blooms show that the two nations have a long way to go to meet their pledge to clean up the Great Lakes.

The International Joint Commission on Tuesday released its first progress report since the two countries approved an updated version of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 2012.

It credits them with moving forward on the cleanup of sites contaminated by industrial pollution and setting targets for reducing phosphorus runoff into Lake Erie that causes explosive growth of toxic algae.

But it says those targets aren't enforced. And it faults both countries for failing to keep drinking water and sewage treatment facilities in good condition.

The report also says agencies are behind on identifying new contaminants such as fire retardants.