(a) Authority; joint implementation
(1) The Administrator and the Under Secretary, in conjunction with other Federal, State, and local authorities, shall jointly develop and implement a program for the long-term collection, assimilation, and analysis of scientific data designed to measure the environmental quality of the Nations coastal ecosystems pursuant to this section. Monitoring conducted pursuant to this section shall be coordinated with relevant monitoring programs conducted by the Administrator, Under Secretary, and other Federal, State, and local authorities.
(2) Primary leadership for the monitoring program activities conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to this section shall be located at the Environmental Research Laboratory in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
(b) Program elements
The Comprehensive Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Program shall include, but not be limited to
identification and analysis of the status of environmental quality in the Nations coastal ecosystems, including but not limited to, assessment of
ambient water quality, including contaminant levels in relation to criteria and standards issued pursuant to title III or
the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33
benthic environmental quality, including analysis of contaminant levels in sediments in relation to criteria and standards issued pursuant to title III of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33
et seq.); and
(C) health and quality of living resources.
(2) identification of sources of environmental degradation affecting the Nations coastal ecosystems;
(3) assessment of the impact of governmental programs and management strategies and measures designed to abate or prevent the environmental degradation of the Nations coastal ecosystems;
(4) assessment of the accumulation of floatables along coastal shorelines;
(5) analysis of expected short-term and long-term trends in the environmental quality of the Nations coastal ecosystems; and
(6) the development and implementation of intensive coastal water quality monitoring programs in accordance with subsection (d) of this section.
(c) Monitoring guidelines and protocols
Not later than 18 months after October 29, 1992, the Administrator and the Under Secretary shall jointly issue coastal water quality monitoring guidelines to assist in the development and implementation of coastal water quality monitoring programs. The guidelines shall
(A) provide an appropriate degree of uniformity among the coastal water quality monitoring methods and data while preserving the flexibility of monitoring programs to address specific needs;
establish scientifically valid monitoring methods that will
(i) provide simplified methods to survey and assess the water quality and ecological health of coastal waters;
(ii) identify and quantify through more intensive efforts the severity of existing or anticipated problems in selected coastal waters;
(iii) identify and quantify sources of pollution that cause or contribute to those problems, including point and nonpoint sources; and
(iv) evaluate over time the effectiveness of efforts to reduce or eliminate pollution from those sources;
(C) provide for data compatibility to enable data to be efficiently stored and shared by various users; and
(D) identify appropriate physical, chemical, and biological indicators of the health and quality of coastal ecosystems.
(2) Technical protocols
Guidelines issued under paragraph (1) shall include protocols for
(A) designing statistically valid coastal water quality monitoring networks and monitoring surveys, including assessment of the accumulation of floatables.
(B) sampling and analysis, including appropriate physical and chemical parameters, living resource parameters, and sediment analysis techniques; and
(C) quality control, quality assessment, and data consistency and management.
(3) Periodic review
The Administrator and the Under Secretary shall periodically review the guidelines and protocols issued under this subsection to evaluate their effectiveness, the degree to which they continue to answer program objectives and provide an appropriate degree of uniformity while taking local conditions into account, and any need to modify or supplement them with new guidelines and protocols, as needed.
(4) Discharge permit data
The Administrator or a State permitting authority shall ensure that compliance monitoring conducted pursuant to section 402(a)(2) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33
U.S.C. 1342 (a)(2)
) for permits for discharges to coastal waters is consistent with the guidelines issued under this subsection. Any modifications of discharge permits necessary to implement this subsection shall be deemed to be minor modifications of such permit. Nothing in this subsection requires dischargers to conduct monitoring other than compliance monitoring pursuant to permits under section 402(a)(2) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33
U.S.C. 1342 (a)(2)
(d) Intensive coastal water quality monitoring programs
(1) In general
The Comprehensive Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Program established pursuant to this section shall include intensive coastal water quality monitoring programs developed under this subsection.
(2) Designation of intensive monitoring areas
Not later than 24 months after October 29, 1992, and periodically thereafter, the Administrator and the Under Secretary shall, based on recommendations by the National Research Council, jointly designate coastal areas to be intensively monitored.
(3) Identification of suitable coastal areas
The Administrator and the Under Secretary shall contract with the National Research Council to conduct a study to identify coastal areas suitable for the establishment of intensive coastal monitoring programs. In identifying these coastal areas, the National Research Council shall consider areas that
(i) are representatives of coastal ecosystems throughout the United States;
(ii) will provide information to assess the status and trends of coastal water quality nation-wide; and
(iii) would benefit from intensive water quality monitoring because of local management needs.
In making recommendations under this paragraph, the National Research Council shall consult with Regional Research Boards established pursuant to title IV of this Act [16
(C) The National Research Council shall, within 18 months of October 29, 1992, submit a report to the Administrator and the Under Secretary listing areas suitable for intensive monitoring.
(D) The Administrator and the Under Secretary, in conjunction with other Federal, State, and local authorities, shall develop and implement multi-year programs of intensive monitoring for Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays, the Gulf of Maine, the Chesapeake Bay, the Hudson-Raritan Estuary, and each area jointly designated by the Administrator and the Under Secretary pursuant to paragraph (2).
(4) Intensive coastal water quality monitoring programs
Each intensive coastal water quality monitoring program developed pursuant to this subsection shall
(A) identify water quality conditions and problems and provide information to assist in improving coastal water quality;
(B) clearly state the goals and objectives of the monitoring program and their relationship to the water quality objectives for coastal waters covered by the program;
(C) identify the water quality and biological parameters of the monitoring program and their relationship to these goals and objectives;
(D) describe the types of monitoring networks, surveys and other activities to be used to achieve these goals and objectives, using where appropriate the guidelines issued under subsection (c) of this section;
(E) survey existing Federal, State, and local coastal monitoring activities and private compliance monitoring activities in or on the coastal waters covered by the program, describe the relationship of the program to those other monitoring activities, and integrate them, as appropriate, into the intensive monitoring program;
(F) describe the data management and quality control components of the program;
specify the implementation requirements for the program, including
(i) the lead Federal, State, or regional authority that will administer the program;
(ii) the public and private parties that will implement the program;
(iii) a detailed schedule for program implementation;
(iv) all Federal and State responsibilities for implementing the program; and
(v) the changes in Federal, State, and local monitoring programs necessary to implement the program;
(H) estimate the costs to Federal and State governments, and other participants, of implementing the monitoring program; and
(I) describe the methods to assess periodically the success of the monitoring program in meeting its goals and objectives, and the manner in which the program may be modified from time-to-time.
(5) Criteria for monitoring Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays
In addition to the criteria listed in paragraph (4), the intensive monitoring program for Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays shall establish baseline data on environmental phenomena (such as quantity of bacteria and quality of indigenous species, and swimmability) and determine the ecological impacts resulting from major point source discharges.
(6) Memorandum of Understanding
Prior to implementing any intensive coastal water quality monitoring program under this subsection, the Administrator and the Under Secretary shall enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to implement the intensive coastal water quality monitoring programs and may extend the memorandum of Understanding to include other appropriate Federal agencies. The Memorandum of Understanding shall identify the monitoring and reporting responsibilities of each agency and shall encourage the coordination of monitoring activities.
(A) The Administrator, the Under Secretary, and the Governor of each State having waters subject to an intensive coastal water quality monitoring program developed pursuant to this subsection shall ensure compliance with that program.
(B) The Administrator and the Under Secretary are authorized to enter into cooperative agreements to provide financial assistance to non-Federal agencies and institutions to support implementation of intensive monitoring programs under this subsection. Federal financial assistance may only be provided on the condition that not less than fifty percent of the costs of the monitoring to be conducted by a non-Federal agency or institution is provided from non-Federal funds.
(e) Comprehensive Implementation Strategy
(1) In general
Within 1 year after October 29, 1992, the Administrator and the Under Secretary shall jointly submit to Congress a Comprehensive Implementation Strategy identifying the current and planned activities to implement the Comprehensive Coastal Monitoring Program pursuant to this section.
The Administrator and the Under Secretary shall consult with the National Academy of Sciences, the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Director of the Minerals Management Service, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of Agriculture, the heads of any other relevant Federal or regional agencies, and the Governors of coastal States in developing the Strategy.
(3) Public comment
Not less than 3 months before submitting the Strategy to Congress, the Administrator and the Under Secretary shall jointly publish a draft version of the Strategy in the Federal Register and shall solicit public comments regarding the Strategy.
(4) Memorandum of Understanding
Within 1 year after submission of the Strategy under paragraph (1), the Administrator and the Under Secretary shall enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with appropriate Federal agencies necessary to effect the coordination of Federal coastal monitoring programs. The Memorandum of Understanding shall identify the monitoring and reporting responsibilities of each agency and shall encourage the coordination of monitoring activities where possible.