Quantcast RISK ASSESSMENT

 
  
 
Various sections of the Clean Water Act provide funding for water quality management
efforts. Section 305(b) establishes a process for reporting information about the quality of the Nation's
water resources. Section 314 of the Clean Lakes Program, historically, has awarded grants for the
study and restoration of publicly owned lakes. The 1987 Water Quality Act Amendments to the Clean
Water Act added Section 319, which establishes a national program to control nonpoint source
pollution. Sections 303 and 304 of the Clean Water Act require states to protect the biological
integrity as part of their water quality standards. Section 303(D) of the Clean Water Act requires each
state to establish, in accordance with its priority rankings, the total maximum daily load (TMDL) for
each waterbody or reach identified by the state as failing to meet or not expected to meet water quality
standards after imposition of technology based controls. Section 402 of the Clean Water Act provides
authority for issuing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Collaborative
efforts for watershed protection are also possible through the Federal Interagency Unified Watershed
Assessments (UWA) Action Team. This approach is being evaluated and additional information is
available from Barry Burgan at 202-260-7060.
3.1.4 RISK ASSESSMENT
Ecological risk assessment is defined as "The process that evaluates the likelihood that adverse
ecological effects may occur or are occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors"
(USEPA 1992). Risk management is a decision-making process that involves all the human-health and
ecological assessment results, considered with political, legal, economic, and ethical values, to develop
and enforce environmental standards, criteria, and regulations (Maughan 1993). This process can be
applied to a specific site or based at a geographic scale such as a river reach or watershed.
3.1.5 PUBLIC EDUCATION
While it is important to define a water quality problem based on technical studies or
perceptions, educating the public or community about the problem, why it occurs, who it effects, what
can be done about it, and what will it take to do something about it is also important if an enhancement
technique is to be applied. Local programs administered by District Conservationists and Extension
Agents are excellent starting points for public education. These individuals usually know the local
stakeholders quite well and often have developed (or can develop) good working relationships. A lot
of literature designed for public education is available through these resources. Additional information is
available at the state and federal level via water resource publications such as state sponsored
publications (e.g., NWQEP NOTES, The NCSU Water Quality Group Newsletter) and federal
publications such as The Water Monitor and News-Notes (EPA). Numerous web sites are also
available and a good starting place is:
http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/
3.1-4

 


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