Water Pollution in 18 States Flowing Down from Others

Article excerpt

Most of the water pollution in 18 states - Missouri and Illinois among them - comes from another state, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

In the report made public Friday, researchers Richard Smith and Richard Alexander sampled water from across the country for the chemical phosphorous. They then used computers to analyze its movement.

Despite a new political emphasis on returning authority to the states, the study illustrates that state governments may have less control over their water quality than they realize, Smith and Alexander said.

A check of phosphorous in streams, rivers and large reservoirs showed the biggest problem with out-of-state pollution was along the major rivers such as the Missouri, the Mississippi and the Ohio.

The water of the Missouri River, for example, has flowed through, or along the border of nine states and two Canadian provinces before it reaches Missouri, the state.

States along those waterways that receive more than half their water pollution from elsewhere are Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia.

But significant problems also were found in the Northwest and in the Middle Atlantic region.

For example, other states with more than 50 percent outside pollution were Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey in the East, as well as Washington, Utah and North Dakota. …

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