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EPA Publishes Document on Non-point Source Pollution

Posted: September 27, 2010

A new document focused on the Chesapeake Bay presents a suite of tools and management practices to manage non-point source pollution on federal lands.

Targeted towards the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, this document presents the newest and most effective tools and practices to address non-point source pollution.  These are broken into six sections. Each section is supplied as a downloadable PDF.

The management practices are readily accessible to any groups who need guidance to meet the new Chesapeake Bay discharge standards. The Agricultural management section includes source, in-field, and edge of field practices.

“Existing facilities, cities, and suburban areas contribute large volumes of scouring runoff containing pollutants—including nutrients, sediment, and toxic organics.”  The Urban and Suburban section addresses the fastest growing land use in the Bay watershed, development. Low impact development (LID) design and practices; watershed planning; smart growth; targeted retrofits; and redevelopment and new development polices are critical elements to reduce current and future damage to the Bay from both new and existing development.

Undisturbed forests are the gold standard for filtering and holding water vital to the watershed. The Forestry chapter discusses timber harvesting; road construction and management; and removal of streamside forests that have the greatest potential for delivering sediment and nutrients to streams and waterbodies.  

Riparian forests are natural buffers between upland areas and streams. These forested areas filter nutrients, sediments, and pollutants before they enter streams.  The Riparian Area Management section contains methods to establish and maintain buffers.

Over two million homes in the watershed rely on decentralized systems to treat their waste water. Over the next 20 years that number is expected increase to over three million homes. Since even properly functioning conventional septic systems contribute significant amounts of nitrogen to the Bay, measures in Decentralized Wastewater Treatment section seek to reduce this load through introducing next generation technologies and management practices.

The Hydromodification section discusses activities such as creation of dams and channelization that impact water quality.

 From EPA Non-point Source News-Notes, June 2010 #90

www.epa.gov/newsnotes/pdf/90issue.pdf

 Research you can use:

Guidance for Federal Land Management in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: http://www.epa.gov/nps/chesbay502/

EPA Non-point Source Pollution Page: http://www.epa.gov/nps/