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 user 2005-04-19 at 11:11:00 am Views: 65
  • #8960

    Ten ‘most endangered’ U.S. rivers listed
    Conservation group ranks based on perceived threats

    Susquehanna River is the most endangered river in America and a threat to public
    health due to the sewage flowing into the water, according to a report released
    Wednesday by a top environmental group.

    The river that
    flows through New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland is not the nation’s most
    polluted but it is at greatest risk of further deterioration, said American
    Rivers, which put it at the top of the 10 most endangered rivers in its annual

    Raw or poorly
    treated human sewage contains infectious diseases including salmonella,
    hepatitis and dysentery, according to American Rivers.

    Dozens of sewage

    In Binghamton, N.Y., the main branch of the Susquehanna takes
    sewage from 10 outlets, and there are another 70 outlets in Scranton, Penn., and
    65 in Harrisburg, Penn., according to the report.

    Some of the sewage
    is raw, especially during rainstorms when drains overflow, and some is poorly
    treated because aging pipes cannot deal with growing flow from residential and
    commercial development, it said.

    When the
    Susquehanna’s water reaches the Chesapeake Bay on the Maryland shore, high
    levels of phosphorous and nitrogen create a “dead zone” where fish are unable to
    live during the summer, the report said.

    The Susquehanna is
    a “poster child” for threatened rivers throughout the country, said Rebecca
    Wodder, president of American Rivers, which is urging the U.S. Senate to reject
    a White House proposal to cut federal funds for water infrastructure by about a
    third to $730 million in the current year.

    Billions in
    funds sought

    The group argues that $3.2 billion is needed to prevent
    further deterioration of the nation’s rivers.

    The Environmental
    Protection Agency said in a statement that the Bush administration plans to
    spend $6.8 billion on water infrastructure between 2004 and 2011, $5.1 billion
    more than during the previous administration.

    The top 10 rivers
    listed in the report are:

    1. Susquehanna
    N.Y., Penn., Md.
    2. McCrystal Creek, N.M. Companies are
    pushing for coalbed methane drilling in the area.
    3. Fraser River,
    The Denver Water Board has been siphoning off large amounts of water
    to help development on the other side of the mountains.
    4. Skykomish
    River, Wash
    The crystal clear river is threatened by large scale
    5. Roan Creek, Tenn. A huge dairy farm may send large
    quantities of manure into the river.
    6. Santee River, S.C. A
    hydropower dam has taken much of the river’s water.
    7. Little Miami River,
    A wastewater plant, new roads and bridges could significantly pollute
    the river.
    8. Tuolumne River, Calif. San Francisco wants to take more
    and more water from the river.
    9. Price River, Utah. Pressure mounting
    to build a dam and pipe the water to other communities.
    10. Santa Clare
    River, Calif.
    Developers are considering a massive shopping and condo center
    near what is called “Southern California’s last significant