MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Environmental Protection Agency officials say the U.S. is falling short of its goals to cut Mississippi River pollution and shrink the dead zone it creates in the Gulf of Mexico.
Speaking in Minneapolis Tuesday, the federal officials said states in the river's watershed need to accelerate efforts to cut pollution from farm field runoff and sewage treatment plant discharges.
The area of depleted oxygen was the size of Connecticut this summer. Nancy Stoner, the EPA's acting assistant administrator for water, says that's about three times larger than the agency's goal.
Minnesota Public Radio reports each state has its own plan to help reach the overall goal. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will issue a draft of its updated plan next month and take public comments on it.
SAUGET, Ill. (AP) - Illinois and federal agencies are assessing pollution on 380 acres in three southwestern Illinois suburbs.
Workers are also trying to determine whether companies that once owned the properties should pay the tens of millions of dollars in cleanup costs.
The Belleville News-Democrat says the 11 sites in Sauget, Cahokia and East St. Louis were used for decades for waste disposal.
Federal efforts to clean parts of the properties have been ongoing since at least 1995. The land is being proposed for a national priorities cleanup list, which may draw federal money.
Tom Heavisides works with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He says officials have been addressing human health risks involving the sites. And the state says the pollution may be responsible for deformed animals and fish kills.