EPA-ORD’s Nutrient
Research
Anne W. Rea, Ph.D.
Building Science Assessments for State
Nutrient Reduction Strategies
Davenport , Iowa
November 14, 2012
Office of Research and Development - Office of Water - Office of Air & Radiation – EPA Regions
Overview
• ORD research portfolios & cross cutting areas
• Nitrogen Research Roadmap
• Example projects/outputs from current portfolios
• MARB-NGoM case study
1
ORD’s Research Programs
SAFE &
SUSTAINABLE
WATER
RESOURCES
HOMELAND
SECURITY
HUMAN
HEALTH RISK
ASSESSMENT
SUSTAINABLE &
HEALTHY
COMMUNITIES
2
CHEMICAL SAFETY
FOR SUSTAINABILITY
AIR, CLIMATE,
& ENERGY
N Roadmap: Vision for Integration
Cross-EPA Nitrogen Research Integration
Significant reductions in reactive nitrogen loadings are
necessary to meet air and water quality goals.
• Key Question: What would be the most economically efficient, socially
acceptable, and environmentally sound ways to meet air and water quality
goals?
Nitrogen Research Roadmap
A one-EPA perspective on sustainable
nitrogen & co-pollutant management for
research planning and management
•Optimizes the uses of nitrogen
•Reduces environmental & health
impacts
•Maximizes the benefits to society
3
Implementation Plan
Needs: Variety of tools, range of scales,
cost effective & practical
Sustainability: Triple Bottom-Line
Environmental, Economic & Social Systems
Stressors
& Drivers
Environmental
Systems
Decisions
Assessment
Scenarios
Economic
Systems
4
Social
Systems
Ecosystem Goods
& Services
OAR, Regions:
Emission
regulations
OAQPS/OTAQ:
AQ standards
OW, Regions,
States :
TMDLs
USDA:
BMPs, CRP,
incentives
Stressors
& Drivers
OW-OST,
States:
WQ criteria
Environmental
Systems
Decisions
OAR & OW:
Cost-Benefit
Analyses
Assessment
Scenarios
Economic
Systems
Social
Systems
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Policy Drivers
Ecosystem Goods
& Services
OW: Safe
DW criteria
IRIS review
of ammonia
OAR, Regions:
Emission
regulations
Nutrient
Removal
Technologies
Remote Sensing
Tools
Stressors
& Drivers
N mapping
tools
Nutrient Mgmt
Toolbox
Atlas and
Mapping
OW, Regions,
States :
TMDLs
USDA:
BMPs, CRP,
incentives
Successful
N policies
Streams in Ag
Regions
Green
infrastructure
Environmental
Systems
Decisions
Assessment
Scenarios
EGS valuation
Life Cycle
Assessment
Air-land-water
Scenario models
N Valuation
Functions model predictions
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ORD Research
N dep effects
on ecosystems
Valuation
Functions
Narragansett
Bay & Watershed
Sustainability
Social
Systems
Ecosystem Goods
& Services
Health and Wellbeing Functions
OW-OST,
States:
WQ criteria
GOM nutrients
& hypoxia
STAR Grants
Economic
Systems
of WQ in forested
watersheds
(STAR)
ISA for NOxSOx
secondary
NAAQS
Deposition tools
Evolving Energy
Landscapes
OAR & OW:
Cost-Benefit
Analyses
OAQPS/OTAQ:
AQ standards
SSWR
SHC
ACE
HHRA
Link condition
to EGS
Algal blooms,
HHWB
OW: Safe
DW criteria
Sustainable Nutrient Management
ACE
• Development of Numeric Nutrient Criteria & Science-Based
Interpretation of Narrative Standards for Inland Waters &
Downstream Estuarine and Coastal Waters
• Development of Water Quality Simulation Modeling for
Managing N & P Pollution
• Ecological Processes Affecting Water Quality & Quantity
• Decision Support System for Sustainably Managing
Nutrients
Conceptual model of
nutrient impaired coastal
system.
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Sustaining Water Resources by
Understanding & Managing Stream
Hydrology in Agricultural Regions
– Promote understanding of how hydrologic alteration per se
creates problems in agriculture-dominated regions
– Improve modeling tools, with a focus on the role of BMPs
– Explore climate-change interactions with hydrology and BMP
design
• Key client contacts:
– OW: Roberta Parry, Bob Bastian, Rachael Novak
– R6: Brian Fontenot
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Randy Bruins
Sustaining Water Resources by
Understanding & Managing Stream
Hydrology in Agricultural Regions
– Conceptual models of row crop hydrologic alteration
• Causal diagrams supported by literature review (à la CADDIS), showing:
 Impacts (sediments, nutrients, channel erosion, flooding)
 Climate change as interacting factor
 Improvement strategies (BMPs, floodplain restoration)
– Improved models, with a focus on the role of BMPs
• Automated system to generate screening-level TMDLs (nitrogen example)
• Improved BMP models (wetlands and riparian zones); optimized watershed
placement
• Monitor, model stream channel restoration via the removal of historic mill pond
sediments
• (With R7 and USGS) Monitor, model “Iowa Initiative” tile replacement and
constructed treatment wetlands (pending site selection)
– National maps of climate-scenario impacts on edge-of-field
hydrology and nutrients
9
Sustaining Water Resources by
Understanding & Managing Stream
Hydrology in Agricultural Regions
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Products for 2012-13
Products for 2014-16
• Demonstration of automated TMDL
• Watershed modeling tools for BMPs
system (NRMRL-WSWRD)
• Big Spring Run stream channel
restoration: monitoring data for
hydrology, nutrients, sediments
(NRMRL-GWERD)
• Comparative analysis of BMP
effectiveness for nutrients (NRMRLGWERD)
• Ag hydrology conceptual models
and documentation (NCEA lead)
(NRMRL-LRPCD)
• National maps of edge-of-field
runoff, interflow and drainage as
well as N and P losses under
selected climate change scenarios
(NERL-AMAD)
• Effect of redesigned agricultural tile
drains and constructed wetlands on
hydraulic loads of sediments,
nutrients and stream water quality
(NRMRL-LRPCD)
Integrated Management of
Reactive N
• Informing TMDLs and nutrient management -
Better tracking and mapping of nutrient inputs
• Connect N loads to Ecosystem Services and Human
well-being - LCA of costs of N using accessible units
• Informing NAAQS - N impacts on biodiversity and
ES, interactions with climate change
• Nutrient management research & tools - buffer
placement, river and groundwater restoration
Jana Compton11
Integrated Management of
Reactive N
Products for 2012-13
Products for 2013-2014
• Map and report on N inputs to
• N‐Sink: Simple geospatial tool
US at several levels of
resolution. 2012
• Report: Using model
comparisons to reduce
uncertainties in sources of
nitrogen to US surface waters.
2012
• Website, database and GIS
servers for monitoring and
modeling data related to nutrient
flux in northeastern lakes. 2012
• Report synthesizing policy and
12 management tools for reducing
nutrients. 2013
for managers to describe
sources and sinks of N in a
watershed. 2013
• Integrated scalable framework of
response relationships between
N loads and the ecosystem
goods and service production,
human health and well-being,
and economic benefits
functions. 2014
• Report: Sustainability and
efficiency in the N cycle:
Interventions to benefit human
well-being and ecosystems.
2014
Enviro Atlas
• Develop an online, easy-to-use decision support tool allowing
users to view and analyze the geographical distribution of supply,
demand, and drivers of change in ecosystem services
• Incorporate sustainability metrics related to our built environment
(e.g., transportation, land use, waste and materials management,
and infrastructure)
• Develop foundational data to support the development of the
National Atlas
• Develop methods and metrics to populate Atlas at three primary
scales: national (i.e., ~83,000 12-digit HUCs), special study areas,
and high resolution analysis for selected communities (i.e., census
block group).
• Develop and incorporate tools that can help decision-makers
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analyze impacts of alternative decisions
Enviro Atlas: N metrics
o Ecosystem services includes clean water for drinking, recreation,
and to support aquatic habitat
o Metrics include N sources (e.g., fertilizer, atmospheric
deposition, point sources, etc)
o Metrics include N sinks (e.g., wetlands, riparian habitat, trees in
urban setting)
o Includes metrics related to opportunities for nutrient reduction
(e.g., areas with potential for wetland restoration, areas with high
retention potential and draining high source area, identification of
headwater basins, stream density)
o Atlas contains foundational data useful to N modeling
o All data developed as web services so can be easily integrated
in other applications; also accesses web services (e.g.,
Enviromapper for Water)
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Anne Neale
One-Environment Model Development
• Linked modeling system connecting air, land and water
elements of the N cascade that can predict impacts of
emissions, deposition, land use change and climate change
on air and water quality endpoint
• Coupled air and agricultural models to asses the effects of
agricultural management on air and water quality
• Modeling decision support tools to evaluate sensitivity of
ecosystems to nitrogen deposition under changing climate
Robin Dennis
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National Scale Fertilizer Application (USDA EPIC)
Coupled to NH3 Bi-directional Air-Surface Exchange
CMAQ NH3 Flux
X
CMAQ
Input
CMAQ
Input
Process
Incorporated
In CMAQ
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EPIC = Environmental Policy Integrated Climate Model (USDA)
A crop management model with biogeochemistry
CMAQ
NH3
Bi-Dir
Flux
MARB-NGoM Case Study
MARB Domain
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MARB-NGoM Case Study
ACE
SHC
SSWR
• Modeling Aspect of Project
– Develop integrated capability to address MARB-NGoM hypoxia
looking across air, land, water and ocean environments to
demonstrate value of air-water integration
• Objective
– Connect models to provide a screening capability for multi-media
assessment of broad management activities addressing Gulf
hypoxia
• Goal
– Provide insights into air and water benefits of proposed broad
actions to reduce Gulf hypoxia
– Considering air, water and climate impacts on services
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• Air: effects on Ozone and PM2.5 human health and visibility aesthetics
• Water: effects on surface water load to NGoM, groundwater NO3-, hypoxic zone
• Climate: N2O greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
MARB-NGoM Case Study
Model Components
ACE
Agriculture
Management
EPIC
Riparian Tool
SHC
NH3
SSWR
N,P Load
N2O
NOX
Combustion VOC
SMOKE
MARKAL
Climate
EPA/AMAD
WRF
Downscaling
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Air Quality
CMAQ
Meteorology
WRF
Hydrology
VIC
N
Deposition
Water Quality
N,P
NEWS
Load
SWAT
N
Deposition
Hypoxia
GoMDOM
GEM
Hydrodynamics
Navy
MARB-NGoM Case Study
Services and End Points
Greenhouse
Gas (N2O) –
Climate
O3, PM2.5 Health;
Visibility Aesthetics
Recreation Aesthetics;
Groundwater
Nitrate - Health
Ecosystem
Health;
Economic
Health
Agriculture
Management
NH3
N,P Load
N2O
Combustion
NOX
VOC
Air Quality
N
Deposition
Water Quality
N,P
Load
Meteorology
Climate
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Hydrology
N
Deposition
Hypoxia
Hydrodynamics
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Anne Rea, Environmental Protection Agency