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1998 News Releases



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 approval of California's list of 472 polluted waters and pollutants of concern, and at the same time proposed adding 37 rivers and streams to the State's list.  The State's list includes waterways throughout California, which correspond to the jurisdictions of the State's nine regional water boards.  The listing, which is required under the federal Clean Water Act,  is used by federal, state, and local agencies to set priorities for development of pollution controls.

     "California worked hard to develop the 1998 list," said Felicia Marcus, regional administrator of U.S. EPA's western region.  "We agree with the State and Regional Water Boards' findings that many of California's best-known waters still have pollution problems, including San Francisco Bay, Santa Monica Bay, the Sacramento River, Lake Tahoe, and numerous other lakes, rivers, streams, and coastal waters. However, we believe there are some additional streams, and some other pollutants, which merit our combined attention."

     California's State Water Resources Board submitted its list of "impaired," or polluted waters needing pollution controls 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.  U.S. EPA has identified 37 additional streams, and 12 additional pollutants that should be added to the list because available data indicate pollution problems in those waters. U.S. EPA is starting a 30-day public comment period during which interested parties are invited to submit written comments on these proposed additions.  After considering the public comments received, U.S. EPA will make final decisions regarding the additions.  

     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 welcomes comments from the public on its approval of the state's listing of waterways and pollutants, and U.S. EPA's proposed additions to that list.  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
<>.  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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