Wednesday, March 27, 2013

National Rivers and Stream Assessment Report Released

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the 2008-2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment. The survey looked at the health of thousands of stream and river miles across the country, and reported that about 55% are in poor condition for aquatic life. The report findings include:

  • Nitrogen and phosphorus are at excessive levels. An estimated 27% of the nation’s rivers and streams have excessive levels of nitrogen, and 40% have high levels of phosphorus.
  • Streams and rivers are at an increased risk due to decreased vegetation cover and increased human disturbance. These conditions can cause streams and rivers to be more vulnerable to flooding, erosion, and pollution. Approximately 24% of the rivers and streams monitored were rated poor due to the loss of healthy vegetative cover.
  • Increased bacteria levels. High bacteria levels were found in 9% of stream and river miles making those waters potentially unsafe for swimming and other recreation.
  • Increased mercury levels. More than 13,000 miles of rivers have fish with mercury levels that may be unsafe for human consumption.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.
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