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Potomac Conservancy downgrades river’s health

WASHINGTON — The Potomac River is facing dual challenges from its country and city life.

The Potomac Conservancy says the river responsible for much of the District of Columbia’s drinking water faces challenges from forestry and farming in rural upstream areas and from development downstream. The group issued its annual State of the Nation’s River report on Thursday, giving the waterway a D grade, down from a D-plus in its first report in 2007.

The group says concerns continue about poor land use amid growing development, and that there are new concerns such as chemicals tied to intersex fish. It is calling for stronger regulations on development, including paved surfaces that increase storm water runoff that carries pollutants into waterways. The group is also calling for tighter toxic chemical controls.