Monday, March 5, 2018

Tracking mercury, phosphorous, etc., in Wisconsin waters - '95-'16

Data on a US EPA website that has escaped The Donald Trump-Administrator Pruitt scrubbing and science-obliterating machine lets you track decades of Wisconsin waterway pollution history.

I will post below more data to supplement information I wrote about in January that documented the skyrocketing number of Wisconsin waterways that have been added by the Wisconsin DNR to official US EPA lists during the Walker years.

As I have said, and documented, it's not a coincidence - - and last month's assaults on Wisconsin wetlands and waters by Walker and the equally business-obeisant GOP-controlled Legislature portend more pollution.

So now click on this US EPA webpage to track many trends in Wisconsin waterway pollution - - with these caveats: 

Numbers are only available for some years while later years have more detailed reporting, and some charts  describe only those waters or acreages actually assessed, so clearly do not represent 100% of possible impairments.

I was struck by the persistent presence of mercury and the growth of phosphorous contamination in the few categories I pulled out - - the latter not surprising because under Walker the state relaxed the time frame in which phosphorous discharges were to be addressed.

Note also there is additional data in the 2016 charge specific to lakes, and shorelines, and also data for fecal coliform bacteria, livestock grazing or animal feeding operations listed as impairment causes or probable sources.

From the EPA site:


Wisconsin Cumulative TMDLs by Pollutant

This chart includes TMDLs since October 1, 1995.
Description of this table
NOTE: Click on the underlined "Pollutant" value to see associated listed waters for which a TMDL was developed. Click on the underlined "Number of TMDLs" value to see a listing of those TMDLs for the pollutant.
Number of Causes of
Impairment Addressed
Total Suspended Solids (TSS)color.gif96161
Phosphorus, Totalcolor.gif70108

Wisconsin 2008 Causes of Impairment for 303(d) Listed Waters

Description of this table
NOTE: Click on a cause of impairment (e.g. pathogens) to see the specific state-reported causes that are grouped to make up this category. Click on the "Number of Causes of Impairment Reported" to see a list of waters with that cause of impairment.

Site-specific Targeted Monitoring Results

Causes of Impairment
Wisconsin Rivers and Streams 2016

Description of this table
Phosphorus, TotalNutrientscolor.gif5,474.2
Total Suspended Solids (TSS)Turbiditycolor.gif1,526.6
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)color.gif1,448.6

Wisconsin Causes of Impairment for Reporting Year 2016

Description of this table
NOTE: Click on the underlined Cause of Impairment Group to see a list of specific state causes of impairment making up the Cause of Impairment Group. See also Pollution categories summary document (PDF) (20 pp, 557 K, About PDF) for brief, non-technical descriptions of general cause categories.
Size of Assessed Waters with Listed Causes of Impairment
Cause Unknown - Impaired Biota827.629,493.8566.2
Flow Alteration(s)5.0
Habitat Alterations3.3
Metals (other than Mercury)130.41.36,207.1
Organic Enrichment/Oxygen Depletion57.62,953.4
Other Cause1.818.5
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)1,448.6223,573.419,971.7268.3
Salinity/Total Dissolved Solids/Chlorides/Sulfates124.913.7
Toxic Organics139.31.35,937.5

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