[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 72 (Monday, April 14, 2008)]
[Page 20047]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-7774]




Application of Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment Methods to 
Watershed Management

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: EPA is announcing the availability of a final report titled, 
``Application of Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment Methods to 
Watershed Management'' (EPA/600/R-06/037F), which was prepared by the 
National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office 
of Research and Development (ORD).

DATES: This document will be available on or about April 14, 2008.

ADDRESSES: The document will be available electronically through the 
NCEA Web site at http://www.epa.gov/ncea. A limited number of paper 
copies will be available from the EPA's National Service Center for 
Environmental Publications (NSCEP), P.O. Box 42419, Cincinnati, OH 
45242; telephone: 1-800-490-9198; facsimile: 301-604-3408; e-mail: 
lmit.com">[email protected]lmit.com. Please provide your name, your mailing address, the 
title and the EPA number of the requested publication.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Information Management Team, 
National Center for Environmental Assessment (8601P), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: 703-347-8561; fax: 703-347-8691; e-
mail: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a 
process for analyzing environmental problems and is intended to 
increase the use of ecological science in decision making in order to 
evaluate the likelihood that adverse ecological effects may occur or 
are occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors. 
Applying ERA principles to watershed management makes scientific 
information more relevant to the needs of environmental managers. 
Watershed ERAs are complex because addressing impacts from multiple 
sources and stressors on multiple endpoints presents a scientific 
challenge and because multiple stakeholders have diverse interests. The 
needs of managers and stakeholders may change, and the need to take 
action may require using the best available information at the time, 
sometimes before an ERA is completed. Therefore, some flexibility of 
ERA methods is needed when performing watershed ERAs. It is also 
important that risk assessors and managers interact regularly and 
    This report supplements the Guidelines for Ecological Risk 
Assessment (U.S. EPA, 1998a) by addressing issues unique to ecological 
assessments of watersheds. Using lessons learned from watershed ERAs, 
the report presents guidance and examples for scientists performing 
watershed ecological assessments. The report also can be useful to risk 
assessors, watershed associations, landscape ecologists, and others 
seeking to increase the use of environmental assessment data in 
decision making.
    Each activity and phase of the watershed ERA process is explained 
sequentially in this report. Guidance on how to involve stakeholders to 
generate environmental management goals and objectives is provided. The 
processes for selecting assessment endpoints, developing conceptual 
models, and selecting the exposure and effects pathways to be analyzed 
are described. Suggestions for predicting how multiple sources and 
stressors affect assessment endpoints are also provided; these include 
using multivariate analyses to compare land use with biotic 
measurements. In addition, the report suggests how to estimate, 
describe, and communicate risk and how to evaluate management 

    Dated: April 3, 2008.
Rebecca Clark,
Deputy Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. E8-7774 Filed 4-11-08; 8:45 am]