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Utah Reduces Toxic Algae Testing After Budget Reductions

Dozens of Utah bodies of water were not tested this spring for toxic algae blooms this spring because of state budget cuts. 

The Daily Herald reports the water bodies underwent regular testing for years before the cuts to the Utah Division of Water Quality's testing and monitoring program. The Utah State Legislature provided $200,000 in 2019 to monitor and test harmful algae blooms across the state. But division director Erica Gaddis says lawmakers cut funding in 2020 to prioritize Utah Lake initiatives. Gaddis says toxic algae has been monitored at 17 state water bodies this year compared to 60 last year.