Sunday, February 16, 2020

EPA approves New Mexico’s 2016 list of impaired waters

Chama River, New Mexico
Chama River, New Mexico
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved the list of impaired waters submitted by the New Mexico Environmental Department (NMED) in June, which identifies both causes of impairment and impaired water body segments.
The list identifies 255 areas of lakes, rivers or streams that are impaired and 427 causes linked to their categorization. Water bodies are classified as impaired based on the results of water quality monitoring. A water body segment qualifies as impaired when testing finds that portions of water bodies have pollutant levels that make it unsuitable for designated beneficial uses; in New Mexico, those uses include human recreation, agricultural water supply and maintaining healthy aquatic life.
States must develop their lists of impaired water bodies biennially and submit them to the EPA for review and approval. The agency examines the states’ lists to determine whether they reasonably considered the water quality-related data available for water bodies in their state and can identify water bodies that should be listed if it finds any discrepancies.
New Mexico’s approved list of impaired waters replaces its list from 2014.

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EPA Region 6 (South Central)

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