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Report calls for multi-state approach to nitrogen runoff

By Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

ST. LOUIS – A new report by the National Research Council is calling for the EPA to adopt a multi-state approach for reducing nitrogen runoff in the Mississippi River basin.

Nitrogen runoff from fertilizers is responsible for a twenty-thousand square kilometer so-called "dead-zone" in the Gulf of Mexico.

David Moreau was the lead author on the report. He said that the first step is to establish measurement criteria that can be used to pinpoint where the trouble spots are.

"To move forward their needs be numeric criteria established for the Gulf as a basis for then moving up stream to get reductions," Moreau said.

The report also concludes that individual states do not have sufficient resources to address the problem on their own and calls for establishing a basin-wide action plan to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution.