EPA Says Columbia River Toxin Levels are High - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

EPA Says Columbia River Toxin Levels are High

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COLUMBIA RIVER-- The environmental protection agency just released a report that says toxin levels are still too high in some Columbia Basin waterways and could be harmful to people and animals.

Now the EPA just released a report. They say there are four contaminants spreading throughout the Columbia in Washington and Oregon. They are Mercury, DDT, PCP, and PBDE.
 
These toxins are coming from waste like fire retardants, household dust, and sewage. KNDU asked the regional EPA administrator if the Hanford site is adding to the toxin levels. 

She says a separate risk assesment study is ongoing right now and won't be released until 2010.

"The thing that we've been worried the most about is to do anything we can to look at prevention of migration into the river, so any of the groundwater source issues and what we need to do about that," said Elin Miller, EPA Region 10 Administrator.

Other problems they're finding in the river are erosion run-offs from crops, pesticides, and pharmaceutical chemicals.

What the EPA wants to do is have the river monitored in different locations more often to know if toxin levels are increasing or decreasing to pin-point where they are coming from.

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