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Improving the Mississippi River Basin's Water Quality – New Report

A new report from the National Research Council offers advice and priorities to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on improving water quality in the Mississippi River basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico -- including how to better manage and monitor nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus.  The report proposes that EPA establish a numeric limit for the amount of nutrients in the waters of the northern Gulf.  These "nutrient criteria" would provide an endpoint that EPA and the Mississippi River states can begin working toward upstream and could serve as the basis for allocating nutrient standards and limits.

 

In addition to EPA, Congress, federal agencies, and states should collaborate better and provide stronger leadership, the report says.  It also recommends implementing a more action-oriented, basinwide strategy to address nutrient-related water quality problems throughout the basin.

 

IMPROVING WATER QUALITY IN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN AND NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO is available for immediate release.  Reporters may obtain copies by contacting the Office of News and Public Information at tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail news@nas.edu.