EPA Approves California's List of Polluted Waters

June 13, 2003

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved California's 2002 list of 679 polluted waters and pollutants of concern. In addition, the Agency is adding five water bodies to the list, and pollutants of concern to 15 water bodies on the state's list.

The state's list includes most major waterways throughout California. The listing, which is required under the federal Clean Water Act, is used by federal, state and local agencies to set priorities for development of pollution controls.

"California did an excellent job assessing its waters to develop the 2002 list," said Alexis Strauss, associate administrator of the U.S. EPA's pacific southwest regional office in San Francisco. "We agree with their findings that many of California's best-known waters still have pollution problems -- including San Francisco Bay, the Sacramento River, Lake Tahoe, the Salton Sea and San Diego Bay. We believe there are some additional bays and streams and a few other pollutants, which also merit our combined attention."

California's State Water Resources Board submitted its list of "impaired" or polluted waters needing pollution controls to the U.S. EPA in March. The state's list is available at www.swrcb.ca.gov/tmdl/303d_lists.html. The U.S. EPA's proposed additions will be available on the Internet this week at www.epa.gov/region09/water/tmdl.

The five additional water bodies and 15 additional pollutants for water bodies already on the list that the U.S. EPA is adding are being included because available data indicates pollution problems in those waters.

Written comments will be accepted until July 7, 2003. 

Source: California State Water Resources Board