Atlas of America's Polluted Waters  


June 12, 2000

EPA has recently published the Atlas of America's Polluted Waters, EPA 840-B-00-002, which include maps showing waters within each state that do not meet state water quality standards.  States listed these waters in their most recent submission to EPA, generally, in 1998, as required by section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.  This provision of the Clean Water Act requires a "total maximum daily load" or TMDL for each listed water. 


Over 20,000 water bodies across the country are identified as not meeting water quality standards.  These water bodies include more than 300,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 5 million lake acres.  The overwhelming majority of Americans -- 218 million -- live within 10 miles of a polluted water body.


A key feature of the 1998 lists of polluted waters is that, for the first time, all states provided computer-based "geo-referencing" data that allow consistent mapping of these polluted waters.  In order to better illustrate the extent and seriousness of water pollution problems around the country, EPA prepared this Atlas of state maps that identify the polluted waters in each state.  The maps are color coded to indicate then type of pollutant causing the pollution problem.  And, bar charts show the types of pollutants impairing stream/river/coastal miles, and lakes/estuary/wetland acres.


Copies of the document are available at no charge from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) in Cincinnati at: Phone: (513) 489-8190; Fax: (513) 489-8695.   A copy of the Atlas has also been posted on the TMDL web site for browsing and downloading at:  


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