Cardin to hold hearing on nutrient pollution

WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin will be holding a hearing this week on nutrient pollution of waterways nationwide.

Nutrients are pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus. They come from sources such as fertilizer that runs off lawns and farm fields, animal waste, sewage, and auto and power plant emissions. Once they reach waterways, nutrients can spur algae blooms that harm water quality and reduce oxygen levels, creating dead zones.

Cardin is chair of the Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, which is holding the hearing Tuesday afternoon in Washington.

The Maryland Democrat says nutrient pollution affects more than half of all water bodies nationwide, and is a particular problem in the Great Lakes, Florida, coastal estuaries such as the Chesapeake Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico.