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Water: Total Maximum Daily Loads (303d)

Atmospheric Deposition Handbook - Notice of Availability

EPA's Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) and Office of Water (OW) collaboratively developed the attached technical handbook Frequently Asked Questions about Atmospheric Deposition: A Handbook for Watershed Managers (EPA-453/R-01-009, September 2001). The handbook answers basic questions about air deposition and sources, how its significance can be assessed through existing information, monitoring and modeling, and how the information can be used in a management strategy. It also provides extensive references for additional resources. Publishing this handbook was one of our commitments for education and outreach in the Air-Water Interface Work Plan of January 2001.

Addressing water quality impacts from atmospheric deposition of toxics and nitrogen is an increasingly important challenge for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and our partners in managing water resources. These pollutants can adversely impact both human health and the environment. Atmospheric deposition is a major contributor to the overall loading of mercury to U.S. waters. As many of you know, mercury is the most frequently listed reason for fish consumption advisories. As of December 1999, 41 States had issued fish advisories for mercury. Additionally, atmospheric deposition of nitrogen contributes to eutrophication in a significant number of our coastal watersheds. Roughly 10-40% of the nitrogen that reaches East and Gulf Coast estuaries is transported and deposited via the atmosphere.

We encourage you to promote awareness and use of this handbook. It will also be available on the web at http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/gr8water/. Questions about this handbook should be directed to Gail Lacy, OAR (919 541-5261, lacy.gail@epa.gov).


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