July 16, 2020

Protecting Aquatic Life From Effects of Hydrologic Alteration

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Geological Survey are releasing a draft technical report: Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration, for a 60-day public comment period. This report was developed because hydrologic alteration can be a contributor of impairment for water bodies that are designated to support aquatic life. Stresses on aquatic life associated with hydrologic alteration may be further exacerbated through climate change. Recent climate trends have included the change in frequency and duration of extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, which can have an impact on flow and affect aquatic life. The report is a nonprescriptive framework with information to help states, tribes, territories, water resource managers, and other stakeholders responsible for the maintenance of hydrologic flow regime to quantify flow targets for the preservation of aquatic life and habitat. This report also provides information on the relationship between hydrologic condition and water quality and gives examples of what some states and authorized tribes have done to address flow concerns using the Clean Water Act. The framework can also be used to translate narrative criteria and develop flow targets to protect aquatic life and habitat.<<<Read More>>>

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