KEY Do research on the EPA Announcement; “Aquaculture Effluents Expands Focus... Nutrient Pollution.” Explain how the EPA's Office of Water is...

Topic # 3073
Water Testing for Aquaculture Systems
created by Ed Meisel
Do research on the EPA Announcement; “Aquaculture Effluents Expands Focus on
Nutrient Pollution.” Explain how the EPA's Office of Water is focusing on new
efforts to help reduce nutrient loadings from commercial agricultural and industrial
operations nationwide. Describe how those efforts are new activities to develop
pollutant controls in the form of nationally applicable discharge standards (known
as effluent limitations guidelines and standards) for commercial and public
aquaculture operations. (Use the front and back of this paper)
Answer should state many of these points to get full credit:
In assessments of surface water quality, states most frequently cite siltation, nutrients,
and pathogens as the major cause of water quality impairment. Over the past two years,
EPA has directed resources of the Office of Water's Engineering and Analysis Division to
address specific sources of these pollutants. Current activities addressing coal mining
(remining operations and certain mine land reclamation activities in the arid west) and the
construction and development industry are expected to result in significant reductions of
soil and other solids reaching rivers, lakes and streams. Ongoing activities to control
nutrients and pathogens from concentrated animal (pork, poultry, beef, and dairy) feeding
operations are expected to improve water quality.
In 1974, EPA issued a summary technical document for use as guidance in developing
controls for wastewater discharges from fish hatcheries and farms. At that time a decision
was made not to issue final national effluent limitations guidelines and standards. Based
on the 1997 agricultural census data, the aquaculture industry includes close to 5,000 land
based and marine environment facilities. The aquaculture industry has facilities located in
every state and territory, and is currently one of several growing segments of U.S.
agriculture. Given the current growth of the aquaculture industry, and the inconsistent
state regulatory oversight, EPA has decided to examine technologies currently available
for the control of pollutants, primarily nutrients from land based and marine
environment aquaculture operations. Although the aquaculture industry is currently
subject to the NPDES permitting system, there are no national technology based
standards for aquaculture. New national standards for aquaculture will assist the 43 states
that are delegated by EPA to administer the NPDES permitting program.
Some aquaculture facilities can contribute nutrients to environmentally sensitive areas
found in estuaries, rivers, lakes, and streams throughout the country. Improvements in
wastewater treatment within the aquaculture industry have been employed by some
facilities to reduce the nutrient pollutant load. It may be possible for more facilities to
employ these technologies to reduce pollutant discharge loadings to surface waters and,
in some cases, water quality impairment in portions of the U.S. By examining the cost
and performance of pollution control technologies and practices, EPA is committed to
developing national effluent limitations guidelines and standards that are consistent with
the principles of good environmental stewardship and support the long-term sustainability
of the industry.
Throughout this national regulatory effort, EPA will work closely with USDA and other
federal agencies, academia, industry trade associations, state and local governments,
citizen groups, environmental groups and other stakeholders. EPA's efforts will build on
the technical expertise of nationally recognized leaders, such as members and participants
of the Federal Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture (JSA) and its newly created
Aquaculture Effluents Task Force. EPA will regularly provide to the JSA, the industry,
and the public, information on its data needs and the status of their efforts throughout the
regulatory development period.