Review of EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program: Overall Evaluation

Committee to Review the EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

Water Science and Technology Board

Commission on Life Sciences

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council
Washington, D.C.
1995



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--> Review of EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program: Overall Evaluation Committee to Review the EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Water Science and Technology Board Commission on Life Sciences Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council Washington, D.C. 1995

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--> NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the board responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this project was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Agreement No. 68C00082/C. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 95-68895 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05286-6 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, D.C. 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) B-550 Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Cover by John Eberhard, Pittsburgh, PA. Printed in the United States of America

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--> COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE EPA'S ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM RICHARD FISHER, Chair, Texas A&M University, College Station PATRICK L. BREZONIK, University of Minnesota, St. Paul INGRID C. BURKE, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins LOVEDAY L. CONQUEST, University of Washington, Seattle THURMAN L. GROVE, North Carolina State University, Raleigh JOHN E. HOBBIE, Marine Biological Laboratory Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts TIM K. KRATZ, University of Wisconsin, Madison ANNE E. MCELROY, State University of New York, Stony Brook JOHN PASTOR, University of Minnesota, Duluth JAMES N. PITTS, JR., University of California, Irvine SAUL SAILA, University of Rhode Island, Kingston TERENCE R. SMITH, University of California, Santa Barbara SUSAN STAFFORD, Oregon State University, Corvallis MICHAEL J. WILEY, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Liaison from the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology KRISTIN SHRADER-FRECHETTE, University of South Florida, Tampa National Research Council Staff SHEILA D. DAVID, Study Director, Water Science and Technology Board DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Study Director, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology ANITA A. HALL, Senior Project Assistant, Water Science and Technology Board SHIRLEY F. JONES, Project Assistant, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

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--> BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY PAUL G. RISSER, Chair, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio MICHAEL J. BEAN, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, D.C. EULA BINGHAM, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio EDWIN H. CLARK, Clean Sites, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia ALLAN H. CONNEY, Rutgers University, New Jersey ELLIS COWLING, North Carolina State University, Raleigh JOHN L. EMMERSON, Eli Lilly & Company, Greenfield, Indiana ROBERT C. FORNEY, Consultant, Unionville, Pennsylvania ROBERT A. FROSCH, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts KAI LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts JANE LUBCHENCO, Oregon State University, Corvallis GORDON ORIANS, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee GEOFFREY PLACE, Consultant, Hilton Head, South Carolina DAVID P. RALL, Consultant, Washington, D.C. LESLIE A. REAL, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana KRISTIN SHRADER-FRECHETTE, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida BURTON H. SINGER, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey MARGARET STRAND, Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott, Washington, D.C. GERALD Van BELLE, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington BAILUS WALKER, JR., University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Staff JAMES J. REISA, Director DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Associate Director and Program Director for Applied Ecology and Natural Resources CAROL MACZKA, Program Director for Toxicology and Risk Assessment Program

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--> KULBIR BAKSHI, Program Director for Committee on Toxicology LEE R. PAULSON, Program Director for Information Systems and Statistics RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Program Director for Environmental Sciences and Engineering BERNIDEAN WILLIAMS-SMITH, Administrative Associate

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--> WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD DAVID L. FREYBERG, Chair, Stanford University, California BRUCE E. RITTMANN, Vice Chair, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois LINDA M. ABRIOLA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor J. DAN ALLEN, Chevron U.S.A., Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana PATRICK L. BREZONIK, University of Minnesota, St. Paul WILLIAM M. EICHBAUM, The World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C. WILFORD R. GARDNER, University of California, Berkeley WILLIAM L. GRAF, Arizona State University, Tempe THOMAS M. HELLMAN, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New York, New York CHARLES C. JOHNSON, Jr., U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. (Retired) CAROL A. JOHNSTON, University of Minnesota, Duluth WILLIAM M. LEWIS, JR., University of Colorado, Boulder CAROLYN H. OLSEN, Brown and Caldwell, Pleasant Hill, California CHARLES R. O'MELIA, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland IGNACIO RODRIGUEZ-ITURBE, Texas A&M University, College Station HENRY J. VAUX, JR., University of California, Riverside Staff STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director SHEILA D. DAVID, Senior Staff Officer CHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff Officer GARY KRAUSS, Staff Officer JACQUELINE MACDONALD, Senior Staff Officer ETAN GUMERMAN, Research Associate JEANNE AQUILINO, Administrative Specialist

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--> ANITA A. HALL, Administrative Assistant ANGELA BRUBAKER, Project Assistant MARY BETH MORRIS, Senior Project Assistant GREGORY NYCE, Senior Project Assistant

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--> COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN, Chair, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. JAMES P. BRUCE, Canadian Climate Program Board, Ottawa, Canada WILLIAM L. FISHER, University of Texas, Austin EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, LaJolla, California GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena PERRY L. MCCARTY, Stanford University, Stanford, California S. GEORGE PHILANDER, Princeton University, New Jersey RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland ELLEN K. SILBERGELD, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, D.C. STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate

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--> COMMISSION ON LIFE SCIENCES THOMAS D. POLLARD, Chair, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland BRUCE N. AMES, University of California, Berkeley JOHN C. BAILAR, III, McGill University, Montreal, Canada J. MICHAEL BISHOP, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco JOHN E. BURRIS, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts MICHAEL T. CLEGG, University of California, Riverside GLENN A. CROSBY, Washington State University, Pullman MARIAN E. KOSHLAND, University of California, Berkeley RICHARD E. LENSKI, Michigan State University, East Lansing EMIL A. PFITZER, Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., Nutley, New Jersey MALCOLM C. PIKE, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles HENRY C. PITOT, III, University of Wisconsin, Madison JONATHAN M. SAMET, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque HAROLD M. SCHMECK, JR., Armonk, New York CARLA J. SHATZ, University of California, Berkeley SUSAN S. TAYLOR, University of California, San Diego, LaJolla P. ROY VAGELOS, Merck & Company, Inc., Whitehouse Station, New Jersey JOHN L. VANDEBERG, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, Texas Staff PAUL GILMAN, Executive Director SOLVEIG PADILLA, Administrative Assistant

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--> The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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--> Acknowledgements The membership of this committee has evolved since our review of EMAP began in 1990. We are grateful to the following former members for their contributions to the committee's work: James Gosz, Chair (1990-1992) Edwin H. Clark (1990-1993) Arthur Cooper (1990-1992) Shirley Dreiss (1990-1993) Charles C. Johnson, Jr. (1990-1994) Raymond A. Price (1990-1994) Donald R. Strong (1990-1994) John Sutherland (1990-1992) In addition, we are very grateful to the following EPA officials and contractors for their many presentations and other assistance during our review of EMAP. Darvene Adams Craig Barber H. Matthew Bills Robert Currie Tom DeMoss Marge Holland Robert Huggett Hal Kibby William Kepner Rick Linthurst Ed Martinko Dan McKenzie Jay Messer Scott Overton John Paul Steve Paulsen Paul Sandifer Jerry Stober Kevin Summers

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--> Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   11     Background   11     The Present Study   15 2   OVERALL ASSESSMENT   18     Introduction   18     The EMAP Assessment Framework   18     Indicators   24     EMAP Sampling Density and Sampling Frequency   27     Statistics   30     Problems of Summarizing EMAP Data to Standard Federal Regions   32     Integration   35     Program Coordination Within EMAP   39     External Scientific Review   41     EMAP's Place in the Federal Government   43 3   PROGRAM-WIDE COMPONENTS   46     Landscape Characterization and Ecology   46     EMAP Indicator Development Strategy   50     Information System   59

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--> 4   RESOURCE COMPONENTS   65     Agroecosystems   65     Estuaries   71     Forests   76     Great Lakes   79     Surface Waters   87     REFERENCES   99 APPENDIX A   September 20, 1994 letter from Dr. Edward Martinko, Director, EMAP   105 APPENDIX B   May 4, 1994 letter from Gary J. Foley, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Research and Development   119 APPENDIX C   EMAP Documents Reviewed by NRC Committee   143 APPENDIX D   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   159