EPA Issues Memo for Renewed Call to Action on Reducing Nutrient Pollution

EPA’s Office of Water released a memo today from Deputy Assistant Administrator Joel Beauvais to all of the State Environmental Commissioners and Water Directors.  The subject of the memo is a “Renewed Call to Action to Reduce Nutrient Pollution and Support for Incremental Actions to Protect Water Quality and Public Health.”  The six-page memo is a follow on to the memo from Nancy Stoner of about five years ago.

In the memo, Beauvais highlights the continued, urgent need for action to reduce this significant threat to water quality and public health; calls upon states and stakeholders to intensify their efforts in collaboration with EPA; and announces $600,000 in additional support for state planning or implementation of watershed-based, multi-stakeholder projects to reduce impacts to public health from nitrates in sources of drinking water and from nitrogen and phosphorus pollution contributing to harmful algal blooms.  Some of the other specific actions in the memo include:

  • Continuing support and financial assistance from EPA;
  • Reducing nutrients from point and nonpoint sources;
  • Prioritizing watersheds and setting load reductions;
  • Strengthening water quality standards;
  • Working with states to highlight high priority incremental actions; and
  • Issuing biennial reports that assess progress and provide accountability.

In closing, the memo says that “EPA looks forward to a dialogue with states on renewed engagement, continued collaboration, and expansion of meaningful partnerships to help us meeting this priority challenge; and to working together to ensure public transparency and accountability in this ongoing effort.”  The full memo is provided here –  attachment-epa-memo-on-nutrient-pollution.

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Don’t Forget to Register for the September 27th Learning Exchange Webinar

The Source Water Collaborative will conduct the second webinar in the Learning Exchange webinar series on Tuesday, September 27th from 1:00pm – 2:00pm (eastern time) and will focus on this month’s topic of “Forming and Sustaining Source Water Protection Collaboratives.” You may register for the webinar here. The webinar speakers and topics are as follows:

  • Nicole Zacharda Pertosa will discuss the Great Lakes Commission’s current effort to launch the Great Lakes Source Water Protection Working Group as part of the Blue Accounting Initiative;
  • Kim Swan will present information about coordinating and sustaining the activities of the Clackamas River Water Providers; and
  • Jim Taft of ASDWA will share perspectives and tips from the National Source Water Collaborative.

EPA Awards Funding for Universities to Research Water Quality Benefits

EPA has announced $4.8 million in funding awards for six universities to work with local communities to better understand the economic value of water quality. These research grants will help communities and experts conduct cost-benefit analyses for actions to protect our waterways from contaminants that degrade water quality. This research will also provide a critical link between water quality science and the monetary value of the services that healthy waterways provide, including recreational uses. For more information, visit the EPA website.

September SWC Learning Exchange Webinar and Resources Focus on Forming and Sustaining Collaboratives

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September 27th Webinar:  The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) will conduct the second webinar in the Learning Exchange webinar series on Tuesday, September 27th from 1:00pm – 2:00pm (eastern time) and will focus on this month’s topic of “Forming and Sustaining Source Water Protection Collaboratives.” You may register for the webinar here. The webinar speakers and topics are as follows:

  • Nicole Zacharda Pertosa will discuss the Great Lakes Commission’s current effort to launch the Great Lakes Source Water Protection Working Group as part of the Blue Accounting Initiative;
  • Kim Swan will present information about coordinating and sustaining the activities of the Clackamas River Water Providers; and
  • Jim Taft of ASDWA will share perspectives and tips from the National Source Water Collaborative.

 

New Resources:  For the month of September, the Source Water Collaborative Learning Exchange has posted new resources on “Forming and Sustaining Source Water Protection Collaboratives” that showcase the work of local, state, and regional source water protection partnerships. These source water collaboratives constitute a diverse set of entities with differing geographic scopes, water and pollution concerns, collaborative goals, and member organizations. All, however, share a common mission of protecting sources of drinking water and the people they serve, and all recognize the immense value of a collaborative approach. Defending drinking water is truly a shared responsibility that ultimately takes place at the local level. Recognizing this fact, over the past several years the Source Water Collaborative has supported several pilot projects to build partnerships towards implementing key protections in critical source water areas. Last year, the SWC published the first-of-its-kind How to Collaborate Toolkit, which offers a detailed, step-wise approach for initiating and enhancing partnerships to protect drinking water sources. Throughout September, the Learning Exchange will provide access to success stories, helpful tips, and thoughtful resources on “Forming and Sustaining Collaboratives”. You will also have the opportunity to hear updates and lessons learned directly from established and new local source water partnerships during the webinar on September 27th.  A wide variety of source water collaboratives are working around the country on drinking water issues at local, state, and regional levels. Big impacts can be made when partners that have a shared interest come together with a desire and ability to act. We hope these resources and opportunities encourage those just getting started and provide new inspiration to established partnerships.