Monday, October 29, 2012

New EPA water pollution tracker tells water quality in local communities' rivers and streams

The Environmental Protection Agency released a new interactive map about river and stream quality on the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. The map allows users to find out if waterways in their communities are polluted, with what, and what's being done to reverse the pollution. It could be a helpful tool for citizens, especially journalists, who can use the map to help them keep track of local efforts to clean up -- or let be -- polluted rivers.

"How's My Waterway?" also provides detailed descriptions of each type of water pollutant, the likely sources from which they came and potential health risks. Most information is based on 2010 data. "The practicality and convenience of [the map] may be its best asset," notes Appalachian Voices, an environmental advocacy group based in Boone, N.C. "Not many of us have time to sift through databases searching for the creek behind our community or our favorite fishing spot."

To check the health and quality of your local rivers, click here to access "How's My Waterway?"

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