California updates impaired waterways list

July 6, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — More than 40,000 of California’s approximately 200,000 river miles are in need of cleanup plans.

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to approve the newest list of California’s impaired waterways, according to a press release.

The list notes that more than 40,000 miles of the state’s rivers and streams are threatened by pollution, noted the release. Monitoring of these waters by the North Coast, Lahontan and Colorado River region Water Quality Control Boards continue to show harmful pollutant levels.

The release stated that common impairments are because of mercury and other toxic metals in fish. Many waterways are affected by high temperatures, sediment and toxic metals.

More than 40,000 of California’s approximately 200,000 river miles are in need of cleanup plans, or total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), reported the release. These bodies of water also fail to meet at least one water quality goal.

“Clean water is vital to California's public health, economy, recreation and wildlife — now more than ever during our extreme drought,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, in the release. “EPA is working alongside the state as it continues the critical efforts needed to protect and restore California's damaged waters.”

States are required to monitor and assess their waterways through the Clean Water Act, shared the release. They must submit lists of impaired waters to EPA for review.

Waterways on the list include Lake Tahoe, the New River and Lake Topaz, noted the release. View the entire list here

Click here to read the entire release.

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