EPA issued new, draft ambient water quality criteria recommendations for nutrients in lakes and reservoirs.
“These draft criteria are the first update to EPA’s recommended nutrient criteria in almost 20 years," said said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. "This flexible approach is based on the latest scientific information and will help states and tribes protect lakes and reservoirs from harmful algal blooms.”
EPA is requesting input via public comment for 60 days on the new draft recommendations. For more information, click here.
When finalized, these recommendations will replace EPA’s previously recommended ambient nutrient criteria for lakes and reservoirs that were published in 2000 and 2001. Using statistical stressor-response relationships that incorporate data collected from approximately 1,800 lakes, the draft criteria recommendations represent the latest scientific knowledge regarding the concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus that are protective of drinking water sources, recreational uses and aquatic life in lakes and reservoirs. EPA developed national statistical models that provide a flexible approach for deriving numeric nutrient criteria. States and authorized tribes can incorporate local data into the national models to help develop numeric nutrient criteria that are consistent with national relationships while accounting for unique local conditions. States, territories and authorized tribes can consider adopting the resulting criteria into their water quality standards but are not compelled to revise existing EPA-approved criteria or total maximum daily load targets.
EPA is focusing its attention on reducing excess nutrients in the nation’s waters through an all-of-the-above approach, which includes enhanced federal and state coordination, stakeholder engagement, and promoting market-based and other collaborative approaches to water quality improvements