Nitrogen Pollution in Long Island Sound

RCED-92-171R: Published: May 19, 1992. Publicly Released: May 19, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined water quality problems in Long Island Sound and the strategies designed to address them. GAO noted that: (1) sewage treatment plants are the primary source of excessive nitrogen levels in the Sound; (2) in 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New York, and Connecticut agreed to implement a strategy to prevent net increases of nitrogen in the Sound; (3) EPA and state officials believe that the strategy can be implemented with available funds, although municipal sewage treatment facilities will incur some costs; and (4) other nitrogen reduction strategies could cost as much as $6.5 billion.

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