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U.S. EPA to Distribute $60 Million to 12 States for Water Pollution Control

According to the U.S. EPA, the federal government will distribute $60 million among 12 states that have waterways that flow into the Mississippi River.

The goal is to help control farm runoff and other pollution contributing to a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, reported AP News.

The money comes from the infrastructure law, according to the EPA. The states are Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

“The Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico watershed is an iconic ecosystem that millions of Americans depend on for drinking water, agriculture, recreation and economic development and it is essential that we reduce nutrient pollution that harms water quality,” said Radhika Fox, EPA assistant administrator.

The $60 million will be distributed over the next five years, according to EPA, reported AP News. Each state will receive $965,000 this year and $748,000 for each of the next three years and in 2026 each state will receive $965,000 again.

According to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, who is also co-chairman of the 12-member Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force, the task force wants to reduce the phosphorus and nitrogen that flows from rivers and streams into the Mississippi River, reported AP News.

According to AP News, the funds will: buy agricultural equipment; deploy remote-sensing tools to identify critical sources of contaminants; implement continuous real-time water quality monitoring; develop or revise numeric nutrient criteria and water quality standards; and support farmer-led education, training and demonstrations of on-farm methods.

The Watershed Nutrient Task Force has a long-term goal of reducing the dead zone to 1,900 square miles, which is about 35% of its current average area.

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