EPA: More pollution control needed to fight dead zone

MISSISSIPPI RIVER and GULF OF MEXICO — 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, Minn., 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.

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