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Study: Less pollution in New Jersey streams, but more salt

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By WAYNE PARRY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Feb 27, 2017, 3:14 PM ET

A new federal study shows less pollution in most New Jersey streams, but salt levels rising in some places.

The study by the U.S. Geological Survey found that levels of two key pollutants, nitrogen and phosphorus, either declined or stayed about the same over the last four decades in most of the 28 streams surveyed. But it also found salt levels rose, probably due to the increasing use of road salt during the winter that washes into waterways.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection commissioned the federal agency to study long-term trends. The findings were consistent with other studies done in the Northeastern U.S.

Bob Martin, department commissioner, said the study was the largest ever done on nutrient trends in the state’s streams. Contributing to the decline in pollutants, he said, were better management of stormwater at the local level and upgrades to wastewater treatment plants beginning in the 1980s and early 1990s, with regional plants replacing smaller local plants.

New Jersey has the strictest standards in the nation for phosphorus in fertilizer. Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for plant and animal life, but high levels in water can cause algae blooms, drinking water concerns and low levels of dissolved oxygen, which harms marine life.

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/study-pollution-jersey-streams-salt-45784290