Design and Analysis for Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Reporting [CWA 305(b) & 303(d)]
ORD's EMAP research program has developed and tested the design and analysis processes for probabilistic survey designs, described in these web pages, to provide scientifically and statistically sound information on the extent and condition of aquatic resources applicable to 305(b) reporting. Through regional projects (REMAP), regional assessments (Mid-Atlantic Integrated Assessment, MAIA), large scale pilots (Western Pilot, Coastal 200) and working with individual States a significant body of experience and knowledge has been developed demonstrating the approach, benefits and results. Additional research results and information on the associated stressors and potential contributing causes to resource conditions can support a variety of assessments.
A growing number of States have integrated, or are currently evaluating, probability survey designs into their WQ monitoring programs. States that are employing the research results are experiencing significant improvements in WQ information on extent and condition, at significant cost savings.
In general, information in addition to the probability survey data is needed to support the 303(d) listing processes. Currently, survey results and associated assessments do appear to provide significant information to support relative risk assessments, priority setting, and identification and initial guidance for targeted monitoring. Such processes can contribute to and support the development of planning lists and initial ranking of geographic areas (ecoregions, basins, watersheds), impaired conditions, and stressors.
Continuing ORD EMAP research, and potential additional future efforts, are anticipated to further result in increased scientific information and monitoring efficiencies to support integrated WQ monitoring and assessment.
EPA has released the Guidance for 2006 Assessment, Listing, and Reporting Requirements Pursuant to Sections 303(d), 305(b), and 314 of the Clean Water Act [2006 Integrated Report Guidance (IRG)]. This guidance is for states, territories, authorized tribes, and interstate commissions that help prepare and submit section 305(b) reports. It outlines development of biennial Integrated Reports (IR) that would support EPA's strategy for achieving a broad-scale, national inventory of water quality conditions.
Recently EPA's Office of Water prepared and distributed guidance to the States and Tribes for Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Reporting to fulfill the Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements for Section 305(b) reports and 303(d) lists.
EPA Office of Water 2002 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report Guidance
In a memo dated Nov 19, 2001, Robert H Wayland, Director Office of Wetlands, Oceans, Watersheds transmitted Guidance to State and Tribes entitled: 2002 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report Guidance. Some key points of the guidance included:
- integrate 305(b) reports and 303(d) lists,
- use National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) to define assessment units
- develop comprehensive monitoring and assessment strategies
- encourages the use of probabilistic designs
- recommends monitoring schedules be supportive of the rotating basin approach
Complete memo can be found on the OWOW web site www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/2002wqma.html
Reporting information can be found at the EPA Office of Water web site: www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/repguid