[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 57 (Monday, March 25, 2013)]
[Page 17930]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06753]



[FRL- 9793-8]

National Rivers and Streams Assessment 2008-009 Draft Report

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given for a 45-day public review and comment 
period on the draft report of the National Rivers and Streams 
Assessment 2008-2009 (NRSA). The NRSA draft report describes the 
results of the nationwide probabilistic survey that was conducted in 
the summers of 2008 and 2009. EPA and its state/tribal partners looked 
at biological conditions in rivers and streams of the conterminous 
United States. The draft NRSA 2008-2009 report includes information on 
how the survey was implemented, what the findings were on a national 
and ecoregional scale, and future actions and challenges.

DATES: Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. May 9, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Email your comments to [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alice Mayio, Assessment and Watershed 
Protection Division, Office of Water, Washington DC Phone: 202-566-
1184; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: To better answer questions about the 
condition of waters across the country, EPA and its state and tribal 
partners have embarked on a series of surveys under the National 
Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) program. The draft NRSA 2008-2009 is 
the most recent in this series of surveys. The goals of the draft NRSA 
2008-2009 are to:

 Generate scientifically valid and environmentally relevant 
information on the condition of the nation's river and stream resources
 Identify key stressors to river and stream health and explore 
their relative importance
     Establish baseline information for future trends 
    Using a statistical survey design, sites were selected at random to 
represent the condition of the larger population of rivers and streams 
across the lower 48 states, from the largest ``great rivers'' to the 
smallest headwater streams. 1,924 sites were sampled.
    The draft NRSA finds that 55% of the nation's river and stream 
miles do not support healthy biological communities when compared to 
least disturbed sites in similar ecological regions. Fair conditions 
are found in 23% of river and stream miles, while 21% are in good 
condition and support healthy aquatic communities. Of the stressors 
that were examined, phosphorus and nitrogen are the most widespread. 
Biological communities are at increased risk for poor condition when 
phosphorus and nitrogen levels are high. This is the first time a 
national monitoring study of the overall condition of rivers and 
streams has been conducted using a statistically-valid random sample 
    The draft report has undergone State and EPA review. EPA, through 
this public review, is seeking comment on the information contained in 
the draft report, the reasonableness of the conclusions, and the 
clarity with which the information is presented. You may view and 
download the draft report from EPA's Web site at http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/riverssurvey/index.cfm.

    Dated: March 14, 2013.
Nancy K. Stoner,
Acting Assistant Administrator for Water.
[FR Doc. 2013-06753 Filed 3-22-13; 8:45 am]