Friday, September 22, 2017

California gives EPA list of impaired waterways

California recently gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a list of impaired waterways totaling more than 40,000 miles of rivers and streams.

The list also updates lists from three of the state’s nine Water Quality Control Boards.

“Clean water is vital to California's public health, economy, recreation and wildlife -- now more than ever during our extreme drought,” EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said. “EPA is working alongside the state as it continues the critical efforts needed to protect and restore California's damaged waters.”

California has over 200,000 river miles and 1.6 million acres of lakes and reservoirs, but over 40,000 miles and 80,000 acres are not meeting water-quality goals and need Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), which are cleanup plans. The waterways are suffering from a variety of impairments. For example, Lake Tahoe has excess nutrients and fine sediment, and the Colorado River region has listings for toxicity and pesticides, among other pollutants.

The list submitted by California is required by the Clean Water Act and helps drive restoration efforts. California is already working to clean up roughly 1,000 bodies of water across the state, amounting to 50,000 river miles and 160,000 lake acres.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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