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ASDWA Submits Comments to EPA on Freshwater HABs and Hypoxia Events of National Significance

ASDWA submitted comments to the EPA Docket on its “Notice of Intent to Develop a Policy on the Determination of a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Hypoxia as an Event of National Significance in Freshwater Systems.” EPA requested these comments in accordance with the 2017 Amendments to the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act (HABHRCA). The HABHRCA authorizes (but has not yet appropriated) $20,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023 for Inter-agency Task Force actions to address both freshwater HABs and marine and coastal water hypoxia events with EPA and NOAA. EPA is taking the lead and requested comment for addressing freshwater HAB events and NOAA is taking the lead and requested comment for addressing marine and coastal water HAB or hypoxia events – of national significance. Freshwater events of national significance are to be determined by the EPA Administrator and can be requested by a state Governor. Once determined, the EPA Administrator would be authorized to make “sums available to the affected state or local government” for the purposes of assessing and mitigating the detrimental environmental, economic, subsistence use, and public health effects. Read ASDWA’s comments that offer recommendations to EPA for assessing these impacts and for making determinations of events.