EPA, USDA Should Do Better Job Monitoring Nutrient Runoff

National Research Council says EPA and USDA should create new initiative to better monitor nutrients across the Mississippi River Basin and northern Gulf of Mexico.

A report released in December from the National Research Council says the U.S. EPA and USDA should jointly establish a Nutrient Control Implementation Initiative to improve water quality throughout the Mississippi River basin and the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The report advises how to move forward on the larger process of allocating nutrient loading caps – which entails delegating responsibilities for reducing nutrient pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus – across the basin, as well as jointly establishing a Mississippi River Basin Water Quality Center to administer the NCII and conduct related water-quality monitoring and research.

Iowa Soybean Association represented on panel

The report also recommends that NCII implement a network of approximately 40 pollution-control pilot projects to evaluate local and downstream water-quality improvements, and to compare results and enhance the outcomes of best management practices. The types of projects recommended are consistent with ISA Environmental Program work.

The report says NCII would represent a systematic approach to better understanding and managing nutrient inputs across the basin, and provide opportunities to strengthen interagency, interstate, and state and local coordination and cooperation.

The Iowa Soybean Association's director of environmental programs, Roger Wolf, served on the National Research Council panel that developed the report. The types of projects recommended are consistent with the Iowa Soybean Association's Environmental Program work. For more information, go to www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12544.

TAGS: Soybean USDA
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