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The Great Waters Program

Third Report to Congress - About the Report

Information provided for informational purposes onlyNote: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

This document fulfills the requirements in Clean Air Act (CAA) section 112(m)(5), which directs EPA, in cooperation with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to periodically submit a report to Congress on atmospheric deposition to the Great Waters. The waterbodies collectively referred to as the "Great Waters" in this report are the Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, Chesapeake Bay, and specific coastal waters (i.e., defined in the statute as coastal waters designated through the National Estuary Program and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System). The First Report to Congress on atmospheric deposition to the Great Waters was published in May 1994. This document is the Second Report to Congress and is intended to be an update of the information presented in the First Report to Congress.

The main objective of this report is to present information about atmospheric deposition of pollutants to the Great Waters based on the scientific data available since publication of the First Report to Congress. The report focuses on research and activities in specific waterbodies to further understand and promote reductions of overall contaminant loadings to the Great Waters. In addition, this report includes a brief discussion of EPA's draft determination of the adequacy of CAA section 112 to protect the Great Waters from deposition of hazardous air pollutant emissions from domestic stationary sources.

Although EPA has attempted to minimize restating information from the First Report to Congress, in some instances, important findings or issues raised in the First Report to Congress are reiterated in this report to provide background information or to highlight an issue that continues to be significant to the Great Waters. For more detailed information on atmospheric deposition to the Great Waters, readers are encouraged to refer to the First Report to Congress, which summarized the scientific understanding of atmospheric deposition at that time and identified regulatory and research needs.


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