EPA Releases Draft 2014 Report on the Environment

On March 27th, EPA released its Report on the Environment 2014 draft (ROE) for a 30 day comment period ending April 28th.  This report is a comprehensive source of scientific indicators that describe the trends in the nation’s environmental and human health condition. This latest ROE is available in a new online format that users can navigate to get more information about each of the indicators in the report. The indicators help to answer important questions for EPA about the current status and historical trends in air, water, land, human health, ecological systems, and sustainability at the national and regional levels. The indicators are based on data collected by the EPA, other federal and state agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The audience for the report includes scientists, policy-makers, educators, and interested members of the public, as well as EPA staff.
For water, the report includes trend information on water quality and quantity indicators for drinking water, surface water (including nutrients and pesticides), groundwater, wetlands, coastal waters, and consumable fish and shellfish.  The drinking water indicator is based on SDWIS reporting data and EPA’s Program Activity Measure that calculates the percentage of the population served by community water systems (CWS) for which no violations were reported to EPA annually for the period from FY 1993 to FY 2012, the latest year for which data are available. This indicator also reports the number of persons served by systems with reported violations of standards covering surface water treatment, microbial contaminants (microorganisms that can cause disease), disinfection byproducts (chemicals that may form when disinfectants, such as chlorine, react with naturally occurring materials in water and may pose health risks), and other contaminants.
The report concludes that, of the population served by CWSs nationally, the percentage served by systems for which no health-based violations were reported for the entire year increased overall from 79 percent in 1993 to 95 percent in FY 2012, based on reported violations of the standards in effect in any given year.