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EPA Responds to IG’s Recommendations to Track Nutrient Reduction Impacts in the Mississippi River Basin

EPA’s Office of Water (OW) has provided a response to the September 2014 EPA Inspector General’s (IG) Report entitled, “Nutrient Pollution: EPA Needs to Work With States to Develop Strategies for Monitoring the Impact of State Activities on the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone.”  The report found that the EPA lacked necessary data to determine the impact of state nutrient reduction strategies and recommended that the Assistant Administrator for Water work with state and federal Task Force members in the Mississippi River Watershed to develop and enhance monitoring and assessment systems.

The OW agreed with the IG recommendations and presented acceptable (in the view of the IG) responses and corrective actions.  This included acknowledgement of the work EPA is undertaking to track the progress of state strategies and support states as they address nitrogen and phosphorus pollution by:  providing technical guidance and resources for developing water qualitv criteria; engaging in collaborative approaches; identifying and prioritizing impaired waters; awarding grants for operating nonpoint source management programs and water pollution control programs; providing funding and information; and conducting research.  Visit the EPA IG web site to read the report and the OW response letter and IG response letter.