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U.S. EPA PROPOSES TO ADD DIOXINS, DDT, DIELDRIN, CHLORDANE IN S.F. BAY TO STATE LIST OF POLLUTANTS; PLUS DIAZINON FOR 35 BAY AREA CREEKS

Release Date: 11/3/1998
Contact Information: Dave Schmidt, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1578

    (San Francisco) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today  announced its proposal to add dioxin-like compounds, and the pesticides DDT, dieldrin, and chlordane, to California's  list of pollutants in San Francisco Bay.  This action was part of U.S. EPA's larger proposal to add 37 more rivers and streams, including 35 Bay Area creeks that may be affected by the pesticide diazinon, and Oakland's Lake Merritt, which has had problems with low dissolved oxygen and excessive floating material, to the state water agencies' 1998 list of pollutants found in 472 waterways statewide.  U.S. EPA approved the state's list, which for the first time includes exotic species as a threat to the Bay.

     "California worked hard to develop the1998 list," said Felicia Marcus, regional administrator of U.S. EPA's western region.  "The list sets out an ambitious but critically important agenda for clean water efforts in the early 21st Century. However, we found that pollution control plans are also needed for additional pollutants in San Francisco Bay, and for additional streams.  As the State has already warned people to limit their consumption of certain fish species from the Bay,  the Bay's levels of these pollutants merit further investigation."

     The state's list includes the particular pollutants of concern for each waterway, and the state's priority (high, medium, or low) for creating pollution control plans for each pollutant on each waterway.  The biennial listing, required under the federal Clean Water Act,  is used by federal, state, and local agencies to set these priorities.  U.S. EPA has proposed a high priority for plans to control dioxin-like compounds in San Francisco Bay.  These compounds include seven types of dioxin, 10 types of furans, and 12 types of PCBs.  

     California's State Water Resources Control Board submitted its list of waters needing pollution control plans to U.S. EPA in late June.  U.S. EPA has completed its review of the list, and is now making a final decision to approve the State's listing of 472 waters.  However, U.S. EPA has identified 37 additional waterways, and 12 additional pollutants that should be added to waterways already listed, because available data indicate pollution problems in those waters.

     The list guides the State's development of water pollution control plans called Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for each water body and pollutant of concern.  TMDLs are assessments of pollution sources in a given watershed, together with estimates of the maximum amount of each pollutant that a water body can absorb while still meeting local needs for clean water.
     
      TMDLs are critically important because they guide the implementation of regulatory and voluntary efforts to clean up polluted waterways.  U.S. EPA is working with California's State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards to develop TMDLs.  Several TMDL efforts are already underway throughout California.

     U.S. EPA is starting a 30-day public comment period during which interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the proposed additions to the state's list.  After considering the comments received, U.S. EPA will make final decisions regarding the additions.  Written comments will be accepted until December 3, 1998.  The full list, including U.S. EPA's proposed additions, will be available on the Internet by the week of  November 9 at the following address: <http://www.epa.gov/region09/water/tmdl>.  Written comments should be sent to:

                          David W. Smith
                         U.S. EPA, WTR-2
                         75 Hawthorne St.
                     San Francisco, CA 94105  


        U.S. EPA Additions to 1998 California 303(d) List
                 
North Coast Regional Board:

Stemple Creek, Estero de San Antonio
Pollutant:  nutrients
Priority:  low


San  Francisco Bay Regional Board:

San Francisco Bay (all segments): Central S.F. Bay, Lower S.F. Bay, South S.F. Bay, Carquinez Strait, Richardson Bay, San Pablo Bay, Suisun Bay, Sacramento San Joaquin Delta
Pollutant: dioxin-like compounds*
Priority: high
Pollutants:  DDT,  dieldrin, chlordane
Priority: low

Lake Merritt
Pollutants: dissolved oxygen,floating material
Priority: low

Creeks:  Mt. Diablo Creek, Pine Creek, Pinole Creek, Rodeo Creek, San Pablo Creek, Walnut Creek, Wildcat Creek, Laurel Creek, Ledgewood Creek, Suisun Slough, Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio, Corte Madera Creek, Coyote Creek (Marin County), Gallinas Creek, Miller Creek, Novato Creek, San Antonio Creek, San Rafael Creek, San Mateo Creek, Calabazas Creek, Coyote Creek (Santa Clara County), Guadalupe River, Los Gatos Creek, Matadero Creek, Permanente Creek, San Felipe Creek, San Francisquito Ck., Saratoga Creek, Stevens Creek, Alameda Creek, Arroyo de la Laguna, Arroyo Del Valle, Arroyo Hondo, San Leandro Creek, San Lorenzo Creek
Pollutant:  diazinon
Priority:  low


Los Angeles Regional Board:
Santa Clara River, Reaches 7 and 8
Pollutant:  chlorides
Priority:  medium

Central Valley Regional Board:

Stockton Deep Water Channel
Pollutants: dioxins*, PCBs
Priority:  medium


* Dioxin-like compounds include 7 types of dioxin, 10 types of furans, and 12 types of PCBs.  List of specific compounds is in section 4.2 of U.S. EPA Staff Report dated November 3, 1998.

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