Monitoring our communities’ waterways is an important step in ensuring the safety of our citizens. Thanks to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is now an easy way to monitor the pollutants that are released into local waterways through the Discharge Monitoring Report Pollutant Loading Tool. Continue reading below for the official statement about this tool in EPA’s recent press release.
EPA Releases New Tool with Information About Water Pollution Across the U.S.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released a new tool that provides the public with important information about pollutants that are released into local waterways. The Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool brings together millions of records and allows for easy searching and mapping of water pollution by local area, watershed, company, industry sector, and pollutant.
“Transparency leads to greater accountability and better information about pollution in our nation’s communities,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “By making the data we collect available in easy to use tools, we are keeping Americans informed about the health of the environment in their neighborhoods.”
Searches using the DMR Pollutant Loading Tool result in “top ten” lists to help users easily identify facilities and industries that are discharging the most pollution and impacted water bodies. When discharges are above permitted levels, users can view the violations and link to details about enforcement actions that EPA and states have taken to address these violations.
Facilities releasing water pollution directly into our nation’s waterways, such as wastewater treatment plants or industrial manufacturers, must receive a permit to discharge under the Clean Water Act. Each permit sets specific limits for how much can be discharged. It also requires the permittee to frequently sample their wastewater discharges and report the data to their state or EPA permitting authority.
So why is this important for Kentucky water and wastewater facilities?
- Facility operators should be aware of their permit limits in their Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) permit and how their operations impact values recorded on the DMR.
- Kentucky is moving to an electronic reporting system called NetDMR, which is a national tool for regulated Clean Water Act permittees to submit discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) electronically via a secure Internet application to the EPA. This data is fed into the DMR Pollutant Loading Tool.
- DMR data is now more accessible to the public and interested third parties. Facilities may see an increased awareness and attention by the public to proper operation and violations at facilities.
For more information on this new tool, visit the DMR Pollutant Loading Tool at http://www.epa.gov/pollutantdischarges.