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San Joaquin Delta Water|Quality Investigated

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating water toxins and other fish stressors in the San Francisco Bay-San Joaquin Delta Estuary, and is asking the public for help in identifying barriers to improving water quality, according to an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking.

The agency is soliciting input on how it should implement existing programs under the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, and whether the agency should be taking new or different actions to address aquatic resources, according to the notice.

Most of the EPA's activity in the region is in monitoring the implementation of a Federal Action Plan created with local authorities in 2009 to limit agricultural pesticide use, and review source polluting permits and flow standards through the dikes, impoundments and damns used to alter the natural flow of water in the region for agricultural irrigation.

The agency is most concerned about the collapse of fish stocks in the region and the impact of the decline on more than forty species of indigenous fish, birds, mammals, invertebrates and plants protected under the Endangered Species Act, according the notice.

The public has until April 25 to submit comments to the agency.

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