What EPA is Doing
EPA is working diligently with its partners to combat the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution problems in the U.S., including:
- Providing states with technical guidance and resources to help them develop water quality criteria for nitrogen and phosphorus as part of their water quality standards regulations for surface waters.
- Working with states to identify waters with nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to restore the waters by limiting allowable nutrient inputs.
- Awarding grants to states for operating nonpoint source management programs.
- Administering a permit program that restricts the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus released to the environment from point sources.
- Providing funding for the construction and upgrading of municipal wastewater facilities and the implementation of nonpoint source pollution control and estuary protection projects.
- Working with its state and federal partners on the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Taskforce to reduce hypoxia.
- Conducting and/or supporting research on nitrogen and phosphorus pollution-related topics.
- Working to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions through emissions standards, the NOx trading program and the acid rain program.
- Helping states reduce air pollution and attain clean air standards and manage interstate air pollution from power plants.
EPA Efforts in the Regions
Click on the map to learn more about efforts to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in your Region.
EPA Numeric Nutrient Criteria Strategy
In 1998, EPA outlined a Numeric Nutrient Strategy to describe the approach that EPA would follow to develop nutrient information and work with the states and tribes to adopt numeric nutrient criteria.
- An Urgent Call to Action: Report of the State-EPA Nutrient Innovations Task Group
- Nutrient Innovations Task Group, Report Fact Sheet
In 2013, EPA developed an interactive website to show state progress on developing numeric nutrient criteria. The site features maps and tables showing development of nitrogen and phosphorus criteria from 1998 projected through 2016. It also includes each state's existing numeric criteria and development plans. EPA will update this website with new information as it becomes available.