Harold Henderson does a good job ("Dead Zone," July 31) explaining a complex ecological problem and Illinois' possible contribution to it, as well as possible solutions.
Unfortunately, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which has the responsibility for providing for clean water in our state, doesn't seem to take the problem as seriously. Their reaction to the notion that polluted runoff from Illinois agriculture may be contributing to toxic levels of pollution in the Gulf of Mexico has usually been more in line with that of the fertilizer companies than with those trying to solve the problem. In addition, Illinois EPA's failure to institute controls on polluted runoff and permitting of increased discharges of nutrients and other pollutants from sewage treatment plants will likely exacerbate the problem.
As citizens and taxpayers, we count on Illinois EPA to protect our rivers, lakes, and streams from pollution. Let's hope Illinois' next governor recommits them to this task.