On March 3, 2006, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute and Water Environment Federation in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) held a briefing to assess the pesticides in streams and groundwater. The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) released a report documenting its nationwide assessment of pesticides in streams and ground water from a decade of monitoring and analysis. Briefing speakers described the unique design and significance of NAWQA’s studies, providing a context for its findings, presented the major findings and implications from the assessment and evaluated the implications of the assessment and described ways EPA and USGS have collaborated to enhance the science base for EPA policy decisions. Briefing speakers included:
Dr. Robert Hirsch, USGS Associate Director for Water
Bob Gilliom, Chief, NAWQA Pesticide Synthesis Team
Jim Jones, Director, Office of Pesticides of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The USGS assessment provides the most comprehensive national-scale analysis to date of pesticide occurrence, sources, concentrations, and potential effects on humans, aquatic life and wildlife. It shows where, when, and why specific pesticides occur across the Nation, and begins to examine two important topics with implications for the future – prediction of pesticide occurrence and long-term trends.
The findings also provide important implications for water-quality protection and can be used to help guide and inform state and national regulations and policies. Policies, including those currently being deliberated in the 2007 Farm Bill that take into account these science-based insights, can now reflect actual environmental conditions, identify sources of nonpoint pesticide pollution in both urban and agricultural areas, and improve investments in water-quality monitoring and management across the Nation’s diverse environment and pesticide-use patterns.