EPA Perspective on Nutrient Pollution

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Although nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus in particular, are essential for aquatic life, too many nutrients can create significant problems for our nation’s lakes, streams, and coastal waters. Nutrient pollution can degrade habitat for fish and wildlife, render water bodies unsafe for swimming and other forms of contact recreation, create a public health concern for drinking water supplies, decrease property values, and negatively impact local economies. According to national statistics, more than 45% of streams have medium to high levels of nutrients, approximately four million lake acres have been identified as threatened or impaired, and approximately 78% of assessed coastal areas exhibit signs of eutrophication. For more: http://www.extension.org/pages/67798/environmental-protection-agency-epa-perspective-on-nutrient-pollution

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  • We certainly can’t do this alone and appreciate any help you could provide in reducing nutrient pollution. For more information please visit EPA’s nutrient pollution website at epa.gov/nutrientpollution.Thank you very much for inviting me to speak today.
  • EPA Perspective on Nutrient Pollution

    1. 1. EPA Perspective on Nutrient Pollution Al Basile U.S. EPA Region 8 Denver, CO
    2. 2. Photo credit: Chris Johnson,Alabama DEM
    3. 3. Nutrient Pollution•Degrade habitat for fish and wildlife;•Render water bodies unsafe for swimming and other forms of contact recreation;•Create a public health concern for drinking water supplies;•Decrease property values, and•Negatively impact local economies. Photo credit: Larry Dupont, VT CAC
    4. 4. Nutrient Pollution Photo credit: Larry Dupont, VT CAC
    5. 5. National Scope of Nutrient Pollution• More than 45% of streams have medium to high levels of nutrients;• Approximately 4 million lake acres identified as threatened or impaired;• Approximately 78% of assessed coastal areas exhibit signs of eutrophication;• The occurrence and severity of nuisance algal blooms is on the rise; and• Algal toxins have potentially serious human health and ecological effects.
    6. 6. EPA Region 8Waters Threatened/Impaired by Nutrient Pollution:>8,000 river miles>300,000 lake acres
    7. 7. Phosphorus delivered to the Gulf of Mexico
    8. 8. Chesapeake Bay
    9. 9. Lake Erie
    10. 10. Photo credit: Oregon DEQ
    11. 11. Photo credits:M. Suplee, V. Watson, M. Teply, and H. McKee
    12. 12. Grand Lake St. Mary’s Ohio
    13. 13. What is EPA doing to help address nutrient pollution?1. Providing states with technical assistance and other resources to help develop water quality criteria for N and P;2. Working with states to identify waters impaired by nutrients and developing restoration plans;3. Awarding grants to states to address pollution from nonpoint sources, such as agriculture and storm water runoff;
    14. 14. What is EPA doing to help address nutrient pollution?4. Administering a permit program designed to reduce the amount of N and P discharged to the environment from point sources;5. Providing funding for the construction and upgrade of municipal wastewater treatment plants;6. Working with states to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from air sources;
    15. 15. What is EPA doing to help address nutrient pollution?7. Conducting and supporting extensive research on the causes, impacts, and best approaches to reduce nutrient pollution; and8. Improving collaboration with other federal partners (e.g., USDA) and stakeholders.
    16. 16. Incremental Progress?
    17. 17. EPA is working on the following actionswith the Agriculture Community:-Continue to improve dialogue between EPA, states,and the agriculture community;-Continue to build partnerships;-Continue to improve data utilization; and-Collaborate with USDA and the agriculture communityto facilitate forums on best available and emergingtechnologies.
    18. 18. Collaboration – a few examples-National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)-Hypoxia Task Force-Gulf of Mexico Initiative (GOMI)-Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI)-Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative-Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP)-EPA AgSTAR Program-National Air Emissions Monitoring Study-ND nutrient management plan development
    19. 19. We value your input!As we continue to move forward, please let us knowwhat else we can do to help the agriculture industryreduce its environmental impact?
    20. 20. www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution

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