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USEPA Nutrient Framework (Nancy Stoner Memo)

USEPA issued a memo March 2011, memorializing EPA’s commitment to partner with states and collaborating stake holders to accelerate the reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus loadings to our nation’s waters. EPA recognizes that the best framework approaches entail states, federal agencies, conservation districts, private landowners and other stakeholders working collaboratively to develop watershed-scale plans that target the most effective practices to the acres that need it most. We also encourage federal and state agencies to work with NGOs and private sector partners to leverage resources and target those resources where they will yield the greatest outcomes. Where states are willing to step forward, EPA is encouraging progress on nutrient frameworks through on the ground technical assistance and/or dialogue with state officials and stake holders, coupled with cooperative efforts with other agencies.

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DATE:02/07/2017
USEPA Nutrient Indicators Dataset

EPA has developed the Nutrient Indicators Dataset. This Dataset consists of a set of indicators and associated state-level data to serve as a regional compendium of information pertaining to potential or documented nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, impacts of that pollution, and states’ efforts to minimize loadings and adopt numeric criteria for nutrients into state water quality standards.

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DATE:02/07/2017
USEPA Nutrient Pollution Educational Materials Online

The goal of this site is assist to state and local agencies, watershed groups, nongovernmental organizations and others in developing effective communications materials related to nutrient pollution. Nutrient pollution can cause human health problems, fish kills, and algal blooms. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to enlist the help of local groups in sharing information with the media and the public about the growing threats to our nation’s water resources from nutrient pollution and ways that the public can help make a difference. Making this important environmental issue relevant to one’s community and explaining how it affects local water resources (like your local lake, river, reservoir, etc.) will be critical for success.

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DATE:02/07/2017
USEPA Nutrient Pollution Policy and Data website (Nutrient microsite)

EPA webpage with compilation of links related to nutrient policies, technical documentation (including criteria document), MRGOM Task Force ("HTF"), "what EPA is doing," states' progress in adopting numeric criteria, N&P Data Access Tool, CADDIS, Watershed/Modeling Support Center, Nutrient Indicators Dataset, Assessment/TMDL ("WATERS"), Reports and Research, Map of Nutrient Reduction Efforts (link currently not working), Additional Resources including Training link, and link to EPA's Nutrient Home page

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DATE:02/07/2017
USEPA Protocol for Developing Nutrient TMDLs

EPA protocol for developing nutrient TMDLs.

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DATE:02/07/2017
USEPA Recovery Potential Screening Tool

This website on Recovery Potential Screening provides a systematic approach for comparing waters or watersheds and identifying differences in how well they may respond to restoration. Originally, this approach was developed as a technical aid to states, territories and tribes (hereafter referred to as states for brevity) concerning their Clean Water Act obligation to "develop a prioritized schedule" for creating Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to reduce pollution in impaired waters. Recovery Potential Screening can also be applied in a wide range of other watershed activities. Rather than a 'one-size-fits-all' procedure, this site offers a flexible framework of methods, tools, technical information and instructional examples that can be customized for any impaired waters restoration program in any geographic locality. When used with existing data, it provides a rapid assessment and comparison method at a general screening level. Key components for ecological indicator selection include: Candidate ecological indicators1.Watershed natural structure, 2.Corridor and shorelands stability, 3.Flow and channel dynamics, 4.Biotic community integrity, 5.Aquatic connectivity, 6.Ecological history. Key components for stressor indicator selection include: 1.Watershed-level disturbance, 2.Corridor or shorelands disturbance, 3.Hydrologic alteration, 4.Biotic or climatic risks, 5.Severity of pollutant loading 6.Legacy of past, trajectory of future land use. Key components for social context indicator selection include: 1.Leadership, organization and engagement, 2.Protective ownership or regulation, 3.Level of information, certainty and planning, 4.Restoration cost, difficulty, or complexity, 5.Socio-economic considerations, 6.Human health, beneficial uses, recognition and incentives

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DATE:02/07/2017
USEPA Report "Reactive Nitrogen in the United States: An Analysis of Inputs, Flows, Consequences ...

This original SAB study analyzes sources and fate of reactive nitrogen in the environment, and provides advice to the EPA on integrated nitrogen research and control strategies. Sources of Reactive Nitrogen: Nitrogen gas in the air is an abundant, inert form of nitrogen that is transformed by nitrogen-fixing microbes into reactive forms of nitrogen that are taken up by algae, plants and other producers at the base of the food web. Human activities (primarily production and use of nitrogen fertilizers, nitrogen-fixing legume crops, and burning of fossil fuels) introduce five times more reactive nitrogen into the U.S. environment than natural sources. Environmental Effects: The overload of reactive nitrogen causes a range of effects as it cycles in the atmosphere, on land, and in water bodies. This sequence of effects is called the “nitrogen cascade.” Reactive nitrogen provides essential benefits as a fertilizer for food production. However, most of this nitrogen is not taken up by crops and is lost to the environment where it can contribute to the impacts noted above. Nitrogen oxides from burning of fossil fuels for transportation and power generation contribute to formation of smog, particulate matter and acid rain, and then can go on to contribute to over-fertilization of unmanaged forests and grasslands, coastal eutrophication, greenhouse effect and stratospheric ozone depletion. Management Implications: The SAB recommends (1) the use of the nitrogen cycle as an essential framework to address the environmental loading of reactive nitrogen; (2) an integrated cross-media approach to more effectively manage reactive nitrogen; (3) and monitoring and research to support management of reactive nitrogen. The SAB suggests that a 25 percent reduction of excess reactive nitrogen can be achieved with existing technology in the near term. The SAB also emphasizes that this decrease alone will not solve the problems of excess reactive N in the environment.

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DATE:02/07/2017
USEPA Report Getting In Step: A Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns. 2010.

The purpose of this guide is to provide the tools you need to develop and implement an effective outreach campaign as part of a state or local water quality improvement effort. Whether you’re charged with developing a watershed management plan to restore impaired waters or protecting your local water resources for the future, this guide will help you understand the importance of reaching out to people and motivating them to act. It will help you understand the audiences in your watershed, create messages that resonate with them, find appropriate ways to communicate your message, and prompt changes in behavior to reduce water pollution.

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DATE:02/07/2017
USEPA report Getting in Step: Engaging and Involving Stakeholders in Your Watershed

A guide to help effectively engage stakeholders to restore and maintain healthy environmental conditions through community support and cooperative action. Focus on getting started, outreach and communication tools, building stakeholder group, keeping process moving forward, and follow-up after engagement period. List of resources also given.

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DATE:02/07/2017
USEPA Source Water Protection Program

Online resource for information on source water/drinking water protection.

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DATE:02/07/2017