The Illinois River begins in the Ozark Mountains in the northwest corner of Arkansas and flows west into northeast Oklahoma.
The program, which was developed with local stakeholders and state and tribal governments in Arkansas and Oklahoma, will help identify the best methods of pollution control in the area in terms of reducing the amount of phosphorus flowing into the watershed from sources within the state.
The highly specialized computer models reproduce conditions within the watershed, allowing the EPA to predict the results of pollution control options. This will allow the agency to come up with a targeted plan for the Illinois River Watershed, as it can determine which methods or combination of methods will be most effective.
The EPA has already undertaken its own calibration and validation of the model’s operating system, and commissioned an independent peer review. The next steps will be to review the program and computer models with state and tribal officials, and host a public meeting on the topic.