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Commentaries and editorials

EPA Sets Limits on Snake River Pollutants

by Associated Press
Statesman Journal, September 14, 2004

BOISE -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved limits on the amount of pollutants released into the Snake River where it flows along the Oregon border.

The stretch runs about 200 miles from Adrian to where the Snake River meets the Salmon River.

It does not meet water quality standards for temperature, nutrients such as fertilizers, sediments and a number of pesticides.

Limits, called total maximum daily loads, are the maximum amount of the contaminants the river can safely take in each day. The limits call for significant reductions in phosphorus and lower water temperatures in some areas.

The Clean Water Act requires the states to restore and maintain the water quality in their rivers.

They identify those that do not meet standards and prioritize their cleanups.

Many of the reductions will be tied to reducing the amount of silt pouring in from tributaries including the Boise, Payette and Weiser rivers.

The daily limits were developed to mesh with the statesí schedules and to run concurrently with the relicensing of Idaho Power Co.ís three hydroelectric dams in Hells Canyon.

The states have worked for more than two years to identify pollutant levels and held more than 40 meetings with the public and stakeholders.


Associated Press
EPA Sets Limits on Snake River Pollutants
Statesman Journal, September 14, 2004

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