E&E Article on Report of Chemical Discharges in Polluted Rivers

On March 23, E&E News published an article on a report released by Environment America Research & Policy Center entitled, “Wasting Our Waterways 2012 Toxic Industrial Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act.”

Citing an EPA discharge inventory, the report says industrial facilities dumped 226 million pounds of chemicals into waterways in 2010 and that the Ohio River and the Mississippi River top the list of the nation’s most polluted waterways.  The Ohio River received the most discharges, 32.1 million pounds, while the Mississippi River came in second, at 12.7 million.

Third, fourth and fifth, respectively, were the New River in Virginia and North Carolina; the Savannah River in Georgia and South Carolina; and the Delaware River in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

The report also ranks the top 10 states by the amount of toxic pollution released in 2010. Topping the list is Indiana, with 27.4 million pounds, followed by Virginia, with 18.1 million pounds, and Nebraska, with 14.7 million pounds.

Pollution from just five states — Indiana, Virginia, Nebraska, Texas and Georgia — accounted for nearly 40 percent of the total dumped into U.S. waterways in 2010, the report says.

The most-polluting industries, it says, are food and beverage manufacturing, primary metals manufacturing, chemical plants and petroleum refineries.

The top industrial discharger was West Chester, Ohio-based AK Steel, the report says, with 30 million pounds released into waterways in 2010.

Nevada’s Burns Creek received the largest volume of carcinogens in 2010, while neighboring Mill Creek placed third, the report says.

The report also says nitrates accounted for nearly 90 percent of the total volume of discharges to waterways reported in 2010.

To view the article, go to:  http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2012/03/23/23.



New EPA Water Quality Tools

New EPA Discharge Pollutant Loading Tool

EPA’s new Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool calculates pollutant loadings from from EPA‘s Permit Compliance System (PCS) and Integrated Compliance Information System for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (ICIS-NPDES). This tool ranks dischargers, industries, and watersheds based on pollutant mass and toxicity, and presents “top ten” lists to help users determine which discharges are important, which facilities and industries are producing these discharges, and which watersheds are impacted.  State drinking water programs can access these tools to determine pollutant sources and types in drinking water supply areas.

For more information, visit EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/pollutantdischarges.

EPA Launches Website of Tools to Compare Restorability of Impaired Waters

EPA has announced the release of a new website, “Recovery Potential Screening:  Tools for Comparing Impaired Waters Restorability.”   This website provides a systematic approach for comparing waters or watersheds and identifying differences in how well they may respond to restoration.  The three main website components include:  step-by-step instructions in recovery potential screening; a link to several online tools and resources that are used in recovery potential screening; and a library of recovery potential indicators with technical information on how ecological, stressor, and social factors influence restorability, and how to measure them.  State drinking water programs will want to reach out to their Clean Water Act counterparts to ensure that drinking water supplies are included when prioritizing watersheds for restoration.

For more information, visit EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/recoverypotential/.