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EPA wants states along Mississippi River to cut down on pollution

MINNEAPOLIS (WTAQ) - Federal EPA officials have told Wisconsin and other states along the Mississippi River to step up their efforts to reduce river pollution from run-off and sewage plants.

Speaking in Minneapolis, top EPA official Nancy Stoner said more needed to be done to reduce the large oxygen-depleted dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. 

EPA officials blame things like run-off from farms and parking lots. 

Just over a year ago, the EPA approved Wisconsin's latest plan to avoid run-off pollution with collaborative efforts from all parties involved, and an emphasis on flexibility. Stoner said her agency had worked with a number of states on various strategies -- but they're not working as well as planned. 

She said the dead zone is about three times as big as what the EPA is trying to achieve in working with the states. 

Trevor Russell of the Friends of the Mississippi River said the EPA has good objectives -- but changing land management practices would be a monumental task without mandatory rules and-or federal funding.