Status and Trends of Environmental Monitoring
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Status and Trends of Environmental Monitoring Lessons Learned From EPA’s Draft Report on the Environment. Denice M. Shaw, Ph.D Office of Research and Development U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Whitman’s Directive.

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Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Status and Trends of Environmental MonitoringLessons Learned From EPA’s Draft Report on the Environment

Denice M. Shaw, Ph.D

Office of Research and Development

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Administrator Whitman’s Directive

“ My goals for the Agency are to make our air cleaner, our water purer and our land better protected. These are the results that we are working hard to achieve. Our progress towards these goals will be the measure of our success. To know whether we are making progress toward these goals, we need high quality information about the state of the environment. -- Christine Todd Whitman, November, 2001


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Evaluate

EPA Performance

Identify Data

Gaps

Identify

Emerging Issues

Purposes

Set

Benchmarks

Public

Environmental

Managers

Scientists

Audiences

Policy

Makers

Change

Behavior

Fill/Fund

Data Gaps

Funding

Decisions

Research

Uses

Make Better

Decisions

Policy

Setting


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Assess

EPA Progress

Assess Indicators/

Gaps

Establish

Baseline

Public

Change

Behavior

Purposes

Identify

Emerging Issues

Environmental

Managers

Audiences

Scientists

Policy

Makers

Fill/Fund

Data Gaps

Funding

Decisions

Uses

Research

Make Better

Decisions

Policy

Setting


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Assess

EPA Progress

Assess Indicators/

Gaps

Identify

Emerging Issues

Scientists

Research

Purposes

Establish

Baseline

Public

Environmental

Managers

Audiences

Policy

Makers

Change

Behavior

Fill/Fund

Data Gaps

Funding

Decisions

Uses

Make Better

Decisions

Policy

Setting


Goals report on the environment roe technical report

GOALSReport on the Environment & RoE Technical Report

  • Identify and describe indicators and data that provide national information about the state of the environment

  • Describe also what we don’t know


Report structure

Report Structure

  • Questions / Indicators/ Monitoring Data

  • 5 Chapters

    • Ecological Condition

    • Human Health

    • Land

    • Air

    • Water


Questions indicators

Questions / Indicators


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Air

  • Outdoor Air

  • Acid Deposition

  • Indoor Air

  • Stratospheric Ozone


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

AIR

Substantial progress has been made in monitoring to effectively measure status and trends in air quality consistently across the country.


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Criteria Pollutants

  • Monitoring is conducted mostly in urban areas limiting ability to characterize rural levels

  • The indicators do not provide exposure data

  • Emissions indicators reflect emissions estimates (except for sources in NOx trading programs)


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Acid Deposition

  • Limited geographic coverage for measuring deposition

  • Limited techniques for measuring dry deposition

  • Lack of data on exposure of high elevation forests and watersheds

  • Lack of adequate forest health monitoring

  • Lack of adequate biotic monitoring


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Toxic Air Pollutants

  • No national monitoring network

  • The monitoring we do is limited

  • Emissions

    • Estimates not available annually

    • Indicator is aggregates across pollutants and geographic locations


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Indoor Air & Stratospheric Ozone

  • Data on homes with radon is 13 years old

  • Data on children’s exposure to ETS is derived

    Data on worldwide ODS production may not be as reliable as US-only data

  • Incomplete understanding of interactions among atmospheric gases


Water

Water

  • Water and Watersheds

  • Drinking Water

  • Recreation In and On the Water

  • Consumption of Fish and Shellfish


Water1

WATER

Current monitoring programs for measuring and reporting inland water quality are often adequate at the state and local level but cannot provide a national picture.


Water2

WATER

Environmental monitoring data available for measuring and reporting on several aspects of condition for estuaries and great lakes


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

  • Federal responsibility for implementing water statutes and for managing programs that affect water resources is spread across many different agencies, including EPA, USDA, DOI, the Corps of Engineers, NOAA, and HHS.

  • Water programs are largely delegated to states (and sometimes territories and tribes) who have authority and first line responsibility for implementation and coordination.


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

  • At the state level, water programs are housed in many different agencies

  • Hydrologic patterns vary widely across the United States, and different hydrological conditions exist in different ecosystems. Appropriate indicators and goals for water resources can be very different in different parts of the U.S.

  • Much water data is collected and presented at a smaller than national scale. Water programs are often managed at a watershed scale.


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Fresh Surface Waters

  • Several programs collect data on the condition of surface waters. At this time, these data cannot be used to produce a national indicator to answer this question with sufficient confidence and scientific credibility.

  • Indicator data does exist for several stressors to water. States also identify principal causes of impairment to waters they list as impaired.

  • We also have several indices that measure incremental changes in the condition of waters and provide clues to the pressures affecting aquatic communities (see Chapter 5 – Ecological Condition)


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Coastal Waters and Wetlands

  • The Nation’s estuaries are in fair to poor condition

  • Rates of annual wetland losses have decreased from 500,000 acres/year 30 years ago to fewer than 100,000 acres/year today


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Drinking Water

  • In 2002 data reported by states to EPA showed that 251 million people were served by community water systems (CWS) that had no violations of EPA health-based standards. This represents 94% of the population served by CWSs.

  • We know that underreporting and late reporting of violations affects the accuracy of this data.


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Recreational Waters

  • In 2001, survey respondents reported that beaches were closed or under advisory for almost six percent of the days that beaches would normally be open to the public.

  • This data covers 2,445 beaches for which data were collected and voluntarily reported. Almost all waters for which data were reported are coastal or Great Lakes beaches.


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Fish

  • In the U.S. in 2002, 14 percent of the river miles, 28 percent of lake acres, and 100 percent of the Great Lakes and their connecting waters are under fish advisories. These percentages have steadily increased from 1993 - 2001

  • Increases are most likely the result of more consistent monitoring and reporting, and decreases in concentration criteria – not necessarily an indication that conditions are getting worse.


Challenges

Challenges

  • We are continuing to work to improve the quality of drinking water data.

  • Of the 49 states that issue fish advisories, six do not use a risk-based approach.

  • Data on beach closings and advisories is voluntary and includes only a few inland beaches.

  • Since reporting is voluntary, the data cannot be extrapolated to accurately determine the suitability on a national level of surface waters to support recreation.

  • We lack data on the health and ecological effects of contamination on plants and animals.


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Land

  • Land Use

  • Chemicals in the Landscape

  • Waste and Contaminated Lands


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

LAND

Currently, environmental monitoring efforts to accurately characterize land use are limited by a diversity of approaches and mandates. Excellent data exist for certain sectors, e.g. forests, but a comprehensive picture across all land uses is not available.


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

LAND

EPA's programs for pesticides, chemicals used in industry, and handling of solid and hazardous wastes do not specifically authorize national ambient monitoring


Challenges land use

ChallengesLand Use

  • The ability to accurately characterize and track land use over time is limited.

    • Various efforts contribute in part to tracking land use and cover types.

    • Alaska is seldom included in national inventories.

    • Methods and classifications are not consistent

    • Ongoing availability is not assured for NLCD


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Challenges

  • Pesticide and fertilizer use data are estimates based on crop profiles, sales, etc. – no systematic survey of volume, distribution, and extent of use nationwide.

  • TRI does not track all toxic chemicals or all facilities that release them.

  • Few indicators of ambient concentrations or exposures of pesticides or toxics to fish and wildlife.

  • Better indicators are needed of the human health and ecological effects of pesticides and toxic chemicals.


Challenges waste and contaminated lands

Challenges Waste and Contaminated Lands

  • Because waste is managed by different government and private entities, data are neither complete or comparable.

  • Most waste generation is reported only by weight, providing little understanding of the volume produced.

  • Basic statistics on acreage of lands used for managing waste and their condition are not available at the national level.

  • Few indicators of ambient concentrations or exposures of waste constituents to fish and wildlife.

  • Better indicators are needed of the human health and ecological effects of municipal and hazardous wastes.


Health

Health

  • What are the trends for health and disease in the U.S.?

  • What do we know about exposure?

  • What do we know about linkages between exposure and health effects?


Human health

HUMAN HEALTH

Data on human health indicate that overall, Americans are healthier and live longer, but except in a few cases we lack the scientific understanding to know if this is due to environment, and how much to other factors such as health care and life style.


Denice m shaw ph d office of research and development u s environmental protection agency

Challenges

  • Linkages explanation

  • Case studies

  • Innovative methodologies

  • Accountability

  • Better integration with air, water, land


Ecological condition

Ecological Condition

  • What is the ecological condition of major ecosystems?

    • Forests

    • Farmlands

    • Grasslands / Shrublands

    • Fresh Waters

    • Coasts and Oceans


Ecological condition1

ECOLOGICAL CONDITION

At this time, significant gaps in environmental monitoring make it impossible to adequately describe ecological condition or to report on the status and trends nationally


Data sources

Data Sources

  • Indicators/Data identified from:

    • EPA Offices and Regions

    • Other Federal Agencies

    • Heinz Center

    • Nature Serve


Expert review workshop june 10 12 2002

Expert Review Workshop June 10 –12, 2002

Air:

  • Anthony Janetos, Heinz Center

  • Patrick Kinney, Columbia University

    Water:

  • Ed Rankin, Ohio University

  • Phil Singer, University of North Carolina

  • Chris Yoder, University of Ohio

  • Robert VanDola, South Carolina, Department of Nat’l Resources

    Land:

  • William Steen, University of Georgia

  • Rodger Tankersley, Tenn Valley Authority

    Ecological Condition:

  • Robin O’Malley, Heinz Center;

  • Keith Harrison, Michigan Environmental Science Board

    Human Health:

  • Thomas Burke, Johns Hopkins

  • Bailus Walker, Howard University Hospital

  • James Listorti, formerly the World Bank


Federal agency workgroup ceq lead

Federal Agency Workgroup (CEQ lead)

  • Department of Energy

  • Department of Agriculture

  • Nat’l Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • Department of Defense

  • Department of Transportation

  • Army Corps of Engineers

  • Department of Interior

  • Department of Health and Human Services


State indicators workgroup ecos lead

Texas

Oklahoma

Nebraska

Michigan

Illinois

Florida

California

Missouri

New Jersey

Wisconsin

Delaware

Minnesota

Pennsylvania

Arizona

Idaho

Oregon

Massachusetts

Washington

State Indicators Workgroup (ECOS lead)


Overall

Overall

  • The Report highlights the need to further assess Agency priority and expectations for “outcomes” overall and in particular, as they pertain to Human Health and Ecological Condition


Overall1

Overall

  • Understanding the linkages envisioned by the progression of indicators from source (or stressors) to effects (or outcomes) on Human Health and Ecological Condition is vital.


Challenges1

Challenges

  • Availability of Data

    • Questions with no data identified

    • Questions with data that provide only partial response

  • Availability of Data to Support Indicators

    • Spatial / Temporal trends

    • Reliability of data collection


Challenges2

Challenges

  • Shifting towards an “Outcomes” framework

    • Basic environmental questions require information that go beyond EPA’s data and authorities

    • EPA relies heavily on monitoring that is conducted by other Agencies and organizations


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