COLUMBUS - State officials say Ohio's small streams and tributaries slowly are becoming clean and healthy for fish and wildlife, but despite increased efforts they do not expect to meet an ambitious cleanup goal set by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA had hoped to be able to declare 80 percent of Ohio's streams safe enough to support aquatic wildlife by 2010. But a new agency report shows with two years to go, only 55 percent of the 3,000 named streams in the state meet the standard.
Stream pollution is primarily caused by runoff from farms and homes, raw sewage overflow from cities and towns during periods of high rainfall, and erosion caused by new homes and construction sites, according to the report.
The state measures the health of a stream by how many species of fish, mussels, and insects live in it,