On December 31, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final report—National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) 2013-2014: A Collaborative Survey—that provides a snapshot of water quality in U.S. rivers and streams. The NRSA is one of the four National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) designed to assess the quality of America’s water resources. In addition, the agency is seeking input on all aspects of the design and implementation of the NARS program to improve future assessments. To provide comments, click here.
In a statement released by the EPA, the agency acknowledges that the NARS assessment methods may not reflect the best scientific methods currently available. EPA intends to modernize and improve the scientific methods and approaches that are utilized in the NARS program so that the development of future assessments will be more transparent and the surveys can better and more quickly inform the public about the quality of the nation’s surface waters. Click here to view the specific topics the EPA is seeking input on.
Among a county’s numerous responsibilities, environmental stewardship is a primary function to create healthy, safe and vibrant communities for our residents. As both regulators and regulated entities, counties are responsible for protecting local air, water and land resources. This includes maintaining water systems to provide clean drinking water, revitalizing contaminated sites to ensure safe and equitable neighborhoods, providing waste and recycling services to minimize pollution and implementing land use and energy policies to promote sustainability communities, along with many other duties.