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Report of the Ohio River Sub Basin Committee for Reduction of Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico February, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Report of the Ohio River Sub Basin Committee for Reduction of Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico February, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Report of the Ohio River Sub Basin Committee for Reduction of Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico February, 2008

2 Nitrogen Source Distribution Goolsby, et al

3 Steering Committee Members Illinois Department of Agriculture Illinois Department of Agriculture Indiana Dept of Environmental Management Indiana Dept of Environmental Management Indiana Department of Agriculture Indiana Department of Agriculture Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection Kentucky Division of Conservation Kentucky Division of Conservation Ohio Department of Natural Resources Ohio Department of Natural Resources Ohio EPA Ohio EPA Pennsylvania Conservation Commission Pennsylvania Conservation Commission Tennessee Department of Environmental Cons Tennessee Department of Environmental Cons West Virginia Conservation Agency West Virginia Conservation Agency West Virginia Department of Agriculture West Virginia Department of Agriculture West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection ORSANCO ORSANCO

4 Progress to Date Seven Steering Committee meetings. Seven Steering Committee meetings. Briefings on Gulf Hypoxia. Briefings on Gulf Hypoxia. Presentations on Nutrient Reduction efforts. Presentations on Nutrient Reduction efforts. Framework for Nutrient Reduction Strategy completed. Framework for Nutrient Reduction Strategy completed. Ohio elected chair state and invited to join the Task Force. Ohio elected chair state and invited to join the Task Force. Makeup of Stakeholder Group determined. Makeup of Stakeholder Group determined. Review of Emerging Documents. Review of Emerging Documents. Attended October, 2007meeting of Hypoxia Task Force. Attended October, 2007meeting of Hypoxia Task Force. Monthly conference calls Monthly conference calls

5 Reassessment of Hypoxia Action Plan Initiated in August, 2005 Initiated in August, 2005 SAB- Hypoxia Advisory Panel SAB- Hypoxia Advisory Panel Four Scientific Symposia Four Scientific Symposia Management Action Review Team – proposed revised actions Management Action Review Team – proposed revised actions Reconsideration of Roles Reconsideration of Roles Draft SAB report completed in May, 2007 Draft SAB report completed in May, 2007 Draft Revised Action Plan adopted for public review in October, Draft Revised Action Plan adopted for public review in October, 2007.

6 Other Related Developments USGS SPARROW Modeling USGS SPARROW Modeling NAS Mississippi River Report NAS Mississippi River Report 100 Watersheds Assessment 100 Watersheds Assessment Corps of Engineers – Lower Mississippi Assessment. Corps of Engineers – Lower Mississippi Assessment.

7 The SAB Charge The SAB was asked to address the state of the science of hypoxia as well as the scientific basis for mitigating hypoxia through management options The SAB was asked to address the state of the science of hypoxia as well as the scientific basis for mitigating hypoxia through management options SAB was asked to focus on scientific advancements since 2000 relating to 3 general areas: SAB was asked to focus on scientific advancements since 2000 relating to 3 general areas: Characterization of the Causes of Hypoxia Characterization of the Causes of Hypoxia Characterization of Nutrient Fate, Transport and Sources Characterization of Nutrient Fate, Transport and Sources Scientific Basis for Goals and Management Options Scientific Basis for Goals and Management Options  SAB report URL -

8 Characterizing the Onset, Volume, Extent and Duration of Hypoxia Models can explain 45-55% of the variation in hypoxic zone area and length Models can explain 45-55% of the variation in hypoxic zone area and length Model development, calibration and verification – hampered by lack of data on key physical, biogeochemical processes Model development, calibration and verification – hampered by lack of data on key physical, biogeochemical processes No single best modeling approach can be identified – managing Gulf hypoxia is best served by having multiple models with multiple outputs No single best modeling approach can be identified – managing Gulf hypoxia is best served by having multiple models with multiple outputs % N Load Reduction Area (km) 2 Scavia et al 2003, 2004

9 Nutrient Fate, Transport and Sources – Flow and Flux Fewer rivers and streams are currently monitored Fewer rivers and streams are currently monitored USGS improved nutrient flux estimates USGS improved nutrient flux estimates Annual MARB freshwater discharge increased slightly Annual MARB freshwater discharge increased slightly Annual nitrate flux increased from 1960s to 1990s, but decreased slightly since the mid-1990s. Annual nitrate flux increased from 1960s to 1990s, but decreased slightly since the mid-1990s. Spring freshwater discharge and nitrate Spring freshwater discharge and nitrate flux show slightly decreasing trends since the 1980s. USGS Monitoring sites

10 Upper MSR and Ohio-TN sub-basins account for the 84% nitrate-N and 64% total P flux to Gulf Upper MSR and Ohio-TN sub-basins account for the 84% nitrate-N and 64% total P flux to Gulf Tile-drained, corn-soybean landscapes very N leaky Tile-drained, corn-soybean landscapes very N leaky The SAB recommends targeting the tile-drained Corn Belt region of the MARB for N and P reductions in both surface and sub-surface waters. The SAB recommends targeting the tile-drained Corn Belt region of the MARB for N and P reductions in both surface and sub-surface waters. Nutrient Fate, Transport and Sources – Sub basin fluxes

11 Nutrient Fate, Transport and Sources – Mass balance Nutrient mass balances recalculated since 2000 Nutrient mass balances recalculated since 2000 N and net P inputs increased greatly from 1950s, but decreased in last decade N and net P inputs increased greatly from 1950s, but decreased in last decade steady or reduced fertilizer applications and increased crop yields for N and P steady or reduced fertilizer applications and increased crop yields for N and P Non-point sources of N ( ) Non-point sources of N ( ) 54% fertilizer 54% fertilizer 37% N 2 fixation 37% N 2 fixation 9% atmospheric deposition 9% atmospheric deposition Manure more significant source Manure more significant source of P than N

12 New estimates of point source N & P New estimates of point source N & P 22% of N flux (up from 11% reported in 2000) 22% of N flux (up from 11% reported in 2000) 34% of P flux 34% of P flux The SAB recommends The SAB recommends obtaining direct measures of N and P obtaining direct measures of N and P from point sources using sub-basin scale mass balances to using sub-basin scale mass balances to target management strategies, focusing on the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins Nutrient Fate, Transport and Sources – Mass balance TP point source flux as % of total flux

13 In-stream removal processes (from SPARROW model) In-stream removal processes (from SPARROW model) 20-55% of annual N inputs 20-55% of annual N inputs 20-75% of annual P inputs 20-75% of annual P inputs Relative importance of denitrification Relative importance of denitrification significant during warm, low flow periods, but not significant during high flows in Jan-June (peak nitrate export) significant during warm, low flow periods, but not significant during high flows in Jan-June (peak nitrate export) The SAB recommends The SAB recommends enhance hydrologic exchange and enhance hydrologic exchange and retention on floodplains targeted wetlands restoration to targeted wetlands restoration to reduce NPS nutrient loads Nutrient Fate, Transport and Sources

14 Evaluation of models of basin-scale processes (SPARROW, SWAT, IBIS/THMB) Evaluation of models of basin-scale processes (SPARROW, SWAT, IBIS/THMB) all capable of N and P load estimation at Basin-scales all capable of N and P load estimation at Basin-scales each has inherent strengths, limitations and value to informing decision-making each has inherent strengths, limitations and value to informing decision-making The SAB indicates the need for The SAB indicates the need for modeling flexibility and diversity of modeling approaches modeling flexibility and diversity of modeling approaches use of new statistical techniques for error estimation use of new statistical techniques for error estimation seamless linkage between the watershed and Gulf hypoxia models seamless linkage between the watershed and Gulf hypoxia models Nutrient Fate, Transport and Sources - Models

15 Scientific Basis for Goals and Management Options Are the Task Force goals supported by scientific knowledge and understanding of the hypoxic zone? The SAB discusses The SAB discusses The importance of adaptive management The importance of adaptive management Setting targets for nutrient reduction Setting targets for nutrient reduction Protecting water quality and Protecting water quality and social welfare in the Basin social welfare in the Basin while reducing the areal while reducing the areal extent of the Gulf hypoxic zone extent of the Gulf hypoxic zone

16 Setting targets for nutrient load reduction to achieve coastal goal The SAB recommends The SAB recommends 45% N load reduction goal 45% N load reduction goal from modeling studies since 2000 from modeling studies since 2000 < 3- to 5-fold increase in N load over the last 50 yr < 3- to 5-fold increase in N load over the last 50 yr 40% P load reduction goal 40% P load reduction goal need for dual nutrient control need for dual nutrient control major PS P removal using best available technologies major PS P removal using best available technologies reducing NPS P loads causing WQ impairments reducing NPS P loads causing WQ impairments Ongoing development of freshwater P criteria Ongoing development of freshwater P criteria The SAB indicates The SAB indicates Reassess/revise N & P goals within adaptive management framework as new information becomes available Reassess/revise N & P goals within adaptive management framework as new information becomes available More important to move in a “directionally correct” fashion and learn from monitoring results, rather than delay action More important to move in a “directionally correct” fashion and learn from monitoring results, rather than delay action

17 Protection of water quality and social welfare in the basin The SAB finds The SAB finds coastal goal appropriate for now coastal goal appropriate for now may need to be revised in the future may need to be revised in the future Reducing hypoxic zone & enhancing Reducing hypoxic zone & enhancing Basin water quality are inextricably & positively linked Co-benefits of nutrient reduction Co-benefits of nutrient reduction greenhouse gas mitigation greenhouse gas mitigation improved wildlife habitat & recreational opportunities improved wildlife habitat & recreational opportunities flood control & other ecosystem services flood control & other ecosystem services Social benefits will likely exceed social cost over the long run, if not the short term, & thus enhance social welfare Social benefits will likely exceed social cost over the long run, if not the short term, & thus enhance social welfare

18 Scientific Basis for Goals and Management Options The SAB discussed options for reducing nutrient flux in terms of cost, feasibility, and other social welfare conditions The most effective agricultural practices The most effective agricultural practices The most effective actions for other nonpoint sources The most effective actions for other nonpoint sources The most effective technologies for industrial & municipal point sources The most effective technologies for industrial & municipal point sources

19 Most Effective Agricultural Practices Optimal choices will likely include: Optimal choices will likely include: drainage water management, drainage water management, conservation tillage, conservation tillage, manure management, manure management, changing fertilizer application rates and timing, changing fertilizer application rates and timing, crop rotation, crop rotation, cover crops, cover crops, conservation buffers, conservation buffers, wetlands enhancement wetlands enhancement Watersheds with greatest potential for N and P reductions should be targeted for action to ensure cost-effectiveness Watersheds with greatest potential for N and P reductions should be targeted for action to ensure cost-effectiveness Targeting allows optimization of cost and benefits. Targeting allows optimization of cost and benefits. An array of economic incentives are recommended to encourage conservation An array of economic incentives are recommended to encourage conservation

20 Most Effective Actions for Other Nonpoint Sources Atmospheric deposition and urban/suburban storm water runoff are the two major non- agricultural NPS Tighter limits on sources of NOx emissions would assist hypoxia reduction and improve water quality. Tighter limits on sources of NOx emissions would assist hypoxia reduction and improve water quality. Incorporating water quality benefits into decisions involving: Incorporating water quality benefits into decisions involving: Retirement or retrofitting of old coal-fired power plants, Retirement or retrofitting of old coal-fired power plants, NOx controls - extension of current summertime NOx standards to a year-round requirement, NOx controls - extension of current summertime NOx standards to a year-round requirement, Emissions standards & mileage requirements for SUV’s, heavy trucks and buses. Emissions standards & mileage requirements for SUV’s, heavy trucks and buses.

21 Effective Technologies for Municipal and Industrial Point Sources Sewage treatment plants and industrial dischargers more significant source of N and P Sewage treatment plants and industrial dischargers more significant source of N and P The SAB recommends The SAB recommends Upgrade sewage treatment plants in MARB to Biologic Nutrient Removal (BNR) or Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) technologies Upgrade sewage treatment plants in MARB to Biologic Nutrient Removal (BNR) or Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) technologies MARB sewage treatment plants upgrade to achieve total N concentrations of 3 mg/L and total P concentrations of 0.3 mg/L. MARB sewage treatment plants upgrade to achieve total N concentrations of 3 mg/L and total P concentrations of 0.3 mg/L.

22 Effective Technologies for Municipal and Industrial Point Sources For industries with high nutrient discharges For industries with high nutrient discharges Use a targeted permit by permit approach. Use a targeted permit by permit approach. Evaluate for opportunities to reduce N and P discharges through pollution prevention, process modification or treatment Evaluate for opportunities to reduce N and P discharges through pollution prevention, process modification or treatment

23 Proposed Revisions to Action Plan Draft developed by Coordinating Committee. Draft developed by Coordinating Committee. Independent of SAB report. Independent of SAB report. Attempts to add accountability. Attempts to add accountability. Addresses need for funding. Addresses need for funding. Public Comment period closed January 4. Public Comment period closed January 4. Revised draft will be presented to the Task Force at its next meeting. Revised draft will be presented to the Task Force at its next meeting.

24 January 28 States Meeting Funding Funding Congressional Initiative Congressional Initiative Federal Agencies Federal Agencies Nutrient Reduction Strategies Nutrient Reduction Strategies States Association – possible letter to Governors. States Association – possible letter to Governors.

25 Next Task Force Meeting February in Chicago February in Chicago Public Session February 28 Public Session February 28 Coordinating Committee will meet February 27 for discussion of SPARROW modeling. Coordinating Committee will meet February 27 for discussion of SPARROW modeling.

26 Public Release of USGS SPARROW Model Results Model Results available last spring; provided input to SAB report. Model Results available last spring; provided input to SAB report. News conference in Washington on January 29. News conference in Washington on January 29. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee identified as major contributors to Gulf Hypoxia. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee identified as major contributors to Gulf Hypoxia.

27 February 11 ORSBSC Call SBC recommends co-sponsoring (with Upper Miss. SBC) technical workshop on SPARROW model results. SBC recommends co-sponsoring (with Upper Miss. SBC) technical workshop on SPARROW model results. SBC recommends sponsoring workshop on point source nutrient removal. SBC recommends sponsoring workshop on point source nutrient removal. SBC directs staff to investigate possible funding opportunity. SBC directs staff to investigate possible funding opportunity.


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