The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a first-ever report that addresses the extent of nitrogen and phosphorus monitoring including discharge limits for major water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) within the 12 states comprising the Hypoxia Task Force (HTF). Established in 1997, the HTF is a partnership of 12 states, five federal agencies, and a representative for tribes that works collaboratively to reduce nutrient pollution in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) and the extent of the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Based on data in the report, 57% of permits for major WRRFs across HTF states included monitoring requirements for both nitrogen and phosphorus, while 74% of permits for these facilities included monitoring requirements for at least one nitrogen or phosphorus parameter. About one-third of the permits in HTF states have limits for nitrogen or phosphorus, with most having phosphorus limits. Additionally, only 5% of the permits for major WRRFs include limits for both nitrogen and phosphorus, according to the report.