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Water: Aquatic Life

Aquatic Life: Common Effects Methodology

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Both the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and the Office of Water (OW) assess the effects of pesticides on aquatic ecosystems using approaches that afford a high degree of protection for aquatic life and that were developed with high quality data using rigorously peer-reviewed assessment methodologies. In characterizing pesticide effects, both programs consider acute effects as well as chronic and sub-lethal effects on growth, survival, and reproduction in their assessments. Reference documents highlight these approaches. Stakeholders have identified a need for consistent and timely Federal input that will allow EPA, states, tribes and the public to gauge whether pesticides represent a concern for aquatic life, for example, based on water monitoring results.

EPA is now exploring how to build on the substantial high quality science developed under both programs to develop additional tools and approaches to support a consistent and common set of effects characterization methods using best available information.  EPA's goal is to develop tools and approaches that:
  • Continue to be based upon sound science and utilize the available data,
  • Are legally defensible under our statutory mandates,
  • Will be based upon methodologies that are as consistent and practical as possible,
  • Are implementable at the federal and state level,
  • Are developed as quickly and efficiently as possible, and
  • Reflect stakeholder input and comments .
EPA held six regional public meetings in January 2010 to solicit stakeholder input on its initial thinking regarding a common effects assessment process and the scope and content of future white papers. The meetings were held in the following EPA regions:  Regions 2/3 (Edison, NJ), Region 4 (Atlanta , GA), Region 5 (Chicago, IL), Region 7 (Kansas City, KS), Region 9 (Oakland, CA) and Region 10 (Seattle, WA).

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National Stakeholder Meeting

EPA is conducting a national stakeholders meeting on December 1, 2010 to solicit input on methods being evaluated by the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and the Office of Water (OW), with the support of the Office of Research and Development (ORD), to characterize effects from pesticides on fish, other aquatic organisms, and aquatic plants in aquatic ecosystems. This meeting builds on the meetings held at EPA Regional offices around the country in January 2010 at which EPA solicited public comment on a set of presentation that laid out the need for this effort, the process EPA would use, and the agency’s initial thinking on major issues regarding common effects assessments using available data. Those comments solicited during the comment period were considered by EPA in its development of white papers that expanded on the Agency’s initial thinking.
At the public meeting in Washington, D.C., EPA will present three white papers that explore the following topics:
These white papers also describe how the potential new tools, methods, and analytical approaches may be used by the Agency, state pesticide and water quality agencies, and other stakeholders to gauge whether pesticides represent a concern for aquatic life. Below are copies of the individual white papers presented at the national stakeholder meeting. 

Agenda (1 pp, 10K)

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Regional Stakeholder Meetings
January 11-22, 2010

Docket ID (EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0773)

FR Notice

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out of date 

April 2009 Scoping Document (Toward a Common Effects Characterization Methodology)

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