Water Quality: Key EPA and State Decisions Limited by Inconsistent and Incomplete Data: RCED-00-54

March 2000
GAO Reports;3/15/2000, p1
Government Documents
The Clean Water Act requires states to submit reports on the condition of their waters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which then compiles the data into a report entitled "National Water Quality Inventory." GAO examined several issues relating to EPA's report on water quality and water quality management. This reports discusses (1) the reliability of the data in the Inventory and whether the data are representative of water quality conditions nationwide and (2) whether the available data are sufficient to allow state officials to make key decisions on activities required by the act. GAO found that the Water Quality Inventory does not accurately portray water quality conditions nationwide. Consequently, the information in the Inventory cannot be meaningfully compared nationwide.


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