Nutrients in Utah's Waters: Resources
EPA Promulgation of Nutrient Criteria in Florida
This Web site contains information surrounding EPA's promulgation of numeric nutrient criteria in Florida. The background material, FAQs, etc. associated with this effort provides good insight into several of the technical and legal issues surrounding the development and implementation of nutrient reduction programs.
EPA Workshop on Bringing Stakeholders Together to Address Nutrient Problems
This Web site contains a report that summarizes recommendations and concerns raised by a diverse group of stakeholders from throughout EPA Region 8. The report provides good insight into the diverse range of questions and concerns that surround these issues. Also, the report contains several recommendations on how groups can come together to address this water quality problem.
Nutrient Scientific Technical Exchange Partnership and Support (N-STEPS)
This is a Web site that is hosted by TetraTech that provides a good amount of background material surrounding the development and implementation of nutrient criteria. The site is somewhat dated, but still contains useful background information including a searchable bibliography (through 2007) and links to several analytical methods.
Water Quality Criteria for Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution
This is EPA's central location of information regarding their nutrient-related programs.
EPA, State, and NGO correspondence.
EPA Region 8 Comments on Colorado Proposed Criteria: 2011
This is a comment letter from EPA Region 8 to CO on their proposed nutrient criteria. While the comments are specific to CO, the letter provides good information about the questions and concerns of region staff with regard to nutrient reduction programs.
Florida Petition for EPA to Withdraw the Nutrient Criteria that They Were Promulgating for Florida Waters: 2011
This is a letter from Florida requesting that EPA withdraw the nutrient criteria that they were proposing for FL waters.
Numeric Criteria Need to be Considered in Concert with Biological Responses: Letter from New England States to EPA
This letter from New England States to EPA describes the need to consider numeric nutrient criteria in concert with biological responses. The letter requests that EPA reconsider its policy of Independent Applicability with regard to nutrient criteria.
EPA Response to New England States Standing Behind the Policy of Independent Applicability
This letter from EPA headquarters, in combination with the initial letter from New England States (see above), provides good background into some of the issues surrounding the simultaneous use of both numeric criteria and biological responses. It is important to note that EPA is now reconsidering this position with regard to nutrients.
- Nutrient Limits Should be Considered from NPDES Permits: EPA 2011 Letter to Illinois
The letter provides the legal basis for EPA not approving any NPDES permit that does not expressly consider limits for nitrogen and phosphorous, regardless of whether numeric criteria exist.
- State Water Programs: Nutrient Reduction Programs and Methods 2012
A compilation and summary of state nutrient reduction programs generated by ACWA in late 2012.
- Use of Numeric Criteria and Biological Responses: Maine Congressional Delegation Letter to EPA
This letter from Maine's congressional delegation to EPA on questions raised by EPA on the use of both nutrient criteria and biological response data. The letter captures the potential use of an "indeterminate" impairment decision when assessment conclusions derived from interpretations of numeric nutrient criteria differ from those obtained from biological assessments.
- EPA Response to Maine Congressional Delegation
This letter is a response to concerns raised by Maine's congressional delegation to EPA (see above). The letter restates EPA's position that numeric criteria should also protect the degradation of high quality waters. Hence, strictly using numeric and biological responses to identify impaired waters is inadequate. A compromise "middle ground" is also discussed.
- EPA Response to Maine Congressional Delegation
Working in Partnership with States to Address Phosphorus and Nitrogen Pollution through Use of a Framework for State Nutrient Reductions: 2011 Policy Memorandum from EPA
This memorandum reaffirms EPA's commitment to partnering with states and collaborating with stakeholders to make greater progress in accelerating the reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus loadings to our nation's waters. The memorandum synthesizes key principles that are guiding and that have guided Agency technical assistance and collaboration with states and urges the Regions to place new emphasis on working with states to achieve near-term reductions in nutrient loadings.
Guidance documents and background materials.
An Exploratory Analysis of Regional Assessment Data in Support of Nutrient Criteria Development for EPA Regions 5, 7, and 8: EPA Report
This report summarizes a number of Exploratory analyses that were conducted by EPA in 2011 to generate regional criteria for streams throughout the Great Plains and Midwest. While the results are not directly applicable to Utah, the methods employed in the report could be used to generate similar numbers for our waters.
An Urgent Call to Action: Report of the State-EPA Nutrient Innovations Task Group
In this report, a group of leaders from the water quality community present a summary of scientific evidence and analysis that characterizes the scope and major sources of nutrient impacts nationally. This information is not new; it has been synthesized from a number of reports and examined in a holistic framework. The enclosed report also considers the tools currently used under existing federal authority and presents options for new, innovative tools to improve control of nutrient pollution sources. Finally, the Task Group presents findings and suggests next steps needed to better address nutrient pollution.
California: Developing Nutrient Numeric Endpoints and TMDL Tools for California Estuaries: An Implementation Plan
The details of this paper pertain to estuaries, but the approach for identifying important measures of biological response and subsequently using them within water quality programs are germane to Utah. There are several great ideas in this paper that are worthy of careful examination.
Improving Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico: Strategies and Priorities
This is a report from the National Academy of Science that provides recommendations on how to address nutrient-related problems in the Gulf Coast. Several recommendations are worth considering as we think about how to address Utah's nutrient-related problems.
Montana: Scientific and Technical Basis of the Numeric Nutrient Criteria for Montana’s Wadeable Streams and Rivers
This is a technical paper prepared by Montana that describes the technical basis behind criteria that they are proposing. This paper is a great example of the use of multiple lines of evidence to generate numeric criteria.
Nutrients in Lakes and Reservoirs: Literature Review
This document, which was prepared by TetraTech for Wyoming, provides an annotated bibliography of papers that relate nutrients to biological responses in lakes and reservoirs.
Using Stressor-response Relationships to Derive Numeric Nutrient Criteria
A recent guidance document from EPA that describes analytical methods for deriving numeric nutrient criteria from biological response thresholds. Among other things, this paper discusses the use of conceptual models to better tie nutrients to biological uses. Also, several methods for addressing the importance of covariates are discussed.
Updates from States on Numeric Nutrient Criteria Development
- Derivation of Nutrient Criteria Using Existing Community Thresholds
- Multiple Lines of Evidence for Nonlinear Community Responses to Novel Environmental Gradients
- N:P Enrichment Stimulates Whole-stream Heterotrophic Respiration Despite a Reduced Carbon Base
- Plankton Dynamics in Mesotrophic Reservoirs of the Colorado River System, Texas
- Threshold Elemental Rations: A Mechanistic Explanation for Threshold Declines in Stream Detritivorous Insect Species with Nutrient Enrichment?
- Thresholds in N and P Concentration and Ratio Defined by Carbon Loss in Streams