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GLIN==> EPA publishes watershed ecological risk assessment document



[Federal Register: April 14, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 72)]
[Notices]              
[Page 20047]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr14ap08-52]                        

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
[FRL-8553-5]

Application of Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment Methods to
Watershed Management

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: EPA is announcing the availability of a final report titled,
``Application of Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment Methods to
Watershed Management'' (EPA/600/R-06/037F), which was prepared by the
National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office
of Research and Development (ORD).

DATES: This document will be available on or about April 14, 2008.

ADDRESSES: The document will be available electronically through the
NCEA Web site at <A HREF="http://www.epa.gov/ncea";>http://www.epa.gov/ncea</A>. A limited number of paper
copies will be available from the EPA's National Service Center for
Environmental Publications (NSCEP), P.O. Box 42419, Cincinnati, OH
45242; telephone: 1-800-490-9198; facsimile: 301-604-3408; e-mail:
<A HREF="mailto:nscep@bps-lmit.com";>nscep@bps-lmit.com</A>. Please provide your name, your mailing address, the
title and the EPA number of the requested publication.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Information Management Team,
National Center for Environmental Assessment (8601P), U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: 703-347-8561; fax: 703-347-8691; e-
mail: <A HREF="mailto:nceadc.comment@epa.gov";>nceadc.comment@epa.gov</A>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a
process for analyzing environmental problems and is intended to
increase the use of ecological science in decision making in order to
evaluate the likelihood that adverse ecological effects may occur or
are occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors.
Applying ERA principles to watershed management makes scientific
information more relevant to the needs of environmental managers.
Watershed ERAs are complex because addressing impacts from multiple
sources and stressors on multiple endpoints presents a scientific
challenge and because multiple stakeholders have diverse interests. The
needs of managers and stakeholders may change, and the need to take
action may require using the best available information at the time,
sometimes before an ERA is completed. Therefore, some flexibility of
ERA methods is needed when performing watershed ERAs. It is also important
that risk assessors and managers interact regularly and repeatedly.
    This report supplements the Guidelines for Ecological Risk
Assessment (U.S. EPA, 1998a) by addressing issues unique to ecological
assessments of watersheds. Using lessons learned from watershed ERAs,
the report presents guidance and examples for scientists performing
watershed ecological assessments. The report also can be useful to risk
assessors, watershed associations, landscape ecologists, and others
seeking to increase the use of environmental assessment data in
decision making.
    Each activity and phase of the watershed ERA process is explained
sequentially in this report. Guidance on how to involve stakeholders to
generate environmental management goals and objectives is provided. The
processes for selecting assessment endpoints, developing conceptual
models, and selecting the exposure and effects pathways to be analyzed
are described. Suggestions for predicting how multiple sources and
stressors affect assessment endpoints are also provided; these include
using multivariate analyses to compare land use with biotic measurements.
In addition, the report suggests how to estimate, describe, and
communicate risk and how to evaluate management alternatives.

    Dated: April 3, 2008.
Rebecca Clark,
Deputy Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. E8-7774 Filed 4-11-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P



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