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K-State research: Freshwater pollution costs US at least $4.3 billion a year
Date:11/12/2008

$4.3 billion annually. Of that, they calculated that $44 million a year is spent just protecting aquatic species from nutrient pollution.

"We are providing underestimates," Dodds said. "Although our accounting of the degree of nutrient pollution in the nation is fairly accurate, the true costs of pollution are probably much greater than $4.3 billion."

The research appears in the Nov. 12 online issue of Environmental Science and Technology. Co-authors include current K-State students Alyssa Riley, doctoral student in biology, Manhattan, Tyler Pilger, master's student in biology, Wichita, and Wes Bouska, master's student in biology, Brookings, S.D.; as well as Jeffrey Eitzmann, May 2008 master's graduate in biology; Kristen Pitts, August 2008 master's graduate in biology; Joshua Schloesser, August 2008 master's graduate in biology; and Darren Thornbrugh, December 2007 master's graduate in biology.

Dodds said he anticipates the research being used by policymakers because it documents the extent of the nutrient pollution problem in the United States and one facet of why it matters.

"Putting environmental problems in terms of dollars allows people to account for the actual costs of pollution," Dodds said.


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Contact: Walter Dodds
wkdodds@k-state.edu
785-532-6998
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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