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 as an attachment.