JUST over twenty years since
              the enactment of the Clean
             Water Act, many of us are an-
             ticipating a careful examination
             by Congress of what has been
             accomplished,  what remains to
             be done,  and what must be
             done to fully realize the impor-
             nt goals adopted two decades
       ago. It's an important opportunity for
all of us here. I'm especially eager for these
deliberations because two  areas of my re-
sponsibility, wetlands protection and control
of nonpoint  source pollution, are certain to
be among the issues garnering much of the
attention.  But I must begin this "assessment"
phase of  the conference by noting that the
assessment and monitoring programs we ad-
minister with the  states have not been de-
signed to identify water quality status and
trends, rather, they are structured to  help us
identify and  understand water quality prob-
The need for better monitoring

  Conclusions about the condition of the na-
tion's waters are complicated by the fact that
data on water quality and the  health  of
ecosystems are incomplete. Much of our cur-
rent understanding of the condition of the
water is based upon EPA's biennial section
305(b) Report to Congress, otherwise known
as the Nation's Water Quality Inventory Re-
port. This report is actually a compilation of
state reports; and while the quality of these
reports is improving and states are examining
a more comprehensive array of indicators,
e.g, wetlands function and values and habitat
destruction, we are still striving to improve in
the report.
  The  report is based on  an  assessment  of
less  than half of the nation's freshwater sur-
face  water bodies. We cannot well  answer
the basic questions, "How clean is our water
and how is water quality changing over time"
in spite of the fact that EPA and many other
                         Reprinted from the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
                              July-August 1993, Volume 48, Number 4
                          Copyright  1993 Soil and Water Conservation Society

organizations have spent millions annually
monitoring water quality for a variety of pur-
  Federal and  state agencies have recog-
nized this need. In January 1992, EPA and
U.S. Geological Survey founded the  inter-
governmental  task force on  monitoring
water quality. My office chairs the task force
which is composed of representatives of 10
federal agencies and 10 states,  and has de-
veloped a nationwide integrated monitoring
strategy that would be based upon existing
monitoring, establishing  comparable meth-
ods, sharing monitoring data, and reporting
water and related resource quality status and
  EPA is also developing its own five-year
water monitoring plan in conjunction with
the states.  New guidance for collection of
data to be included in the biennial 1994 re-
port has also been developed to make the
data in  the report as comprehensive and
consistent among the states as possible.
  Although we  are handicapped in our abil-
ity to quantify  water  quality  improvements,
we do know that tremendous  efforts have
been mounted by the public  and private
sectors to control water pollution and we
are able to see some encouraging results.

Twenty years of progress

  These  improvements have  come as a re-
sult of a concentrated effort  and significant
public and private investments to control
"traditional" point sources of pollution,
largely from industry and municipalities.
  EPA has developed water  quality criteria
for toxic chemicals, which form the scientific
basis for state water quality standards, calcu-
lating the risks to humans for 105 substances
and the risks  to aquatic life  for 27  sub-
stances. Discharge standards,  or  effluent
guidelines,  have been developed for 53 cat-
egories of industry, after carefully examining
the costs and effectiveness of various tech-
  Limits on discharges of pollutants have
been incorporated into  permits issued to
64,000 industrial  facilities, generally requir-
ing greater than 90 percent removal  over
uncontrolled discharges. Since 1972, the
Federal  government has invested $65 billion
in construction  of facilities to control domes-
tic wastewater.
  Between 1968 and 1983, U.S. GNP in-
creased by 67 percent, the volume of
sewage  discharged increased by 20 percent
and biological oxygen demand, an indicator
of pollution from sewage, decreased 37 per-
  As a society,  we are spending $40 billion
annually to protect and restore the quality of
our rivers, streams, estuaries, and lakes.
New problems identified

  Even though we have made improvements
in water quality, problems remain, and new
problems are, being'discovered. Twice as
many rivers^rheet the'ir designated usescon-
tact recreation, fishery,, agricultural/industrial
useas did so when I came to EPA in 1974.
But in that year, only one-third of rivers were
of adequate quality to support designated
  In the  case of estuaries, our progress has
tapered off, and some are in decline once
again. And these are some of our most valu-
able and productive aquatic resources. Our
progress in dealing  with  industrial and mu-
nicipal pollution has revealed just how im-
portant and detrimental are the many small
insults that appear insignificant individually,
but that cumulatively add up to big trouble.
  The most recent biennial reports to EPA on
water quality show that nontraditional
sources of pollution are  clearly the leading
reason for impairment in surface waters with
runoff from agricultural lands being the lead-
ing source. For rivers 35  percent of the im-
paired river miles are impaired by siltation
and 25 percent by nutrients,  two pollutants
normally associated with runoff. Further-
more, by state accounts, nearly 50 percent of
the impaired river miles are adversely im-
pacted by  agricultural sources, more  than
double the next highest ranking source  cate-
gory.  However, much the credibility of the
Section 305(b) report may be questioned,
there  is a general consensus that agricultural
practices  account for a substantial contribu-
tion to our water quality problems.
  In addition to our concerns about control-
ling nonpoint sources of pollution, we  now
recognize that we have not adequately calcu-
lated  the effects of the degradation or de-
struction of wetlands, riparian zones, and
wildlife habitat. We have destroyed or se-
verely degraded millions of acres of wetlands
that are as important to the biological health
and productivity of a stream or an estuary as
is the chemical "purity" of the water column
itself;  and we are reducing the biological di-
versity of fish, shellfish, amphibians, and wa-
terfowl with unknown consequences.
  These  impairments,  to use the jargon of
the Clean Water Act,  are costing us as a soci-
ety. They reduce our recreational opportuni-
ties, they limit the productivity of fisheries,
and they increase costs of treatment for water
intended for human consumption and indus-
trial use.
  In Iowa, for example, sediments are the
leading pollutant in surface waters. Iowa's
Department of Natural Resources reports that
sediment problems cost lowans approximate-
ly $32 million every year in damages to
recreation, fish arid wildlife resources, munic-
                                                                                           JULY-AUGUST  1993   263

                              ipal water supplies, transportation, and
                              blocked drainage on agricultural land.

                              New solutions required

                                The number and diversity  of enterprises
                              and individuals contributing to these  prob-
                              lems can't be successfully addressed by rely-
                              ing primarily on the "standard permits, in-
                              spections,   enforcements"   model  we
                              employed successfully with the point source
                              dischargers. There are two and a half million
                              fanning operations alone in the country.
                                Nevertheless, Congress and advocacy
                              groups appear to be coming to the limits  of
                              their patience in awaiting progress in dealing
                              with polluted runoff, since the problem was
                              known in the earliest days of our water pol-
                              lution control efforts.  And many of us are
                              now exploring new approaches to solving
                              the remaining water quality and related envi-
                              ronmental problems.
                                One such approach can be  found in the
                              1990 Coastal Zone Act  Reauthorization
                              Amendments, through which Congress re-
                              quired states with coastal zone management
                              programs to adopt coastal nonpoint source
                              programs. This January, EPA and NOAA is-
                              sued guidance on the types of state programs
                              and management measures to be adopted by
                              the states. The law requires that states devel-
                              op programs, which can be tailored to their
                              particular needs, with  enforceable policies
                              and mechanisms for controlling nonpoint
                              sources and submit these for approval within
                              30 months. If states fail to submit approvable
                              programs  they must, by law, forfeit a portion
                              of their EPA and NOAA grants. Some  have
                              expressed interest in  expanding  this ap-
                              proach throughout the country in a new
                              Clean Water Act.
                                Another promising approach, and one that
                              is receiving  much attention currently, is not
                              really a new idea, but one that makes partic-
                              ularly good sense given the nature of our re-
                              maining problems. This is the watershed pro-
                              tection   approach,   and the  National
                              Governors Association and Water Quality
                              2000 have advocated its broad  adoption. It is
                              built on the foundation of encouraging re-
                              sults in the National Estuary  Program and
                              Clean Lakes  Programs. The concept is simple:
                              Federal, state, and local stakeholders, public
                              and private,  join to evaluate the quality of
                              and threats to aquatic resources within a
                              basin or other hydrologically-defined  area.
                              These stakeholders devise solutions  that em-
                              ploy the authorities, expertise,  and resources
                              available across the entire watershed team.
                                While this approach is not new to  EPA,
                              neither is  it in broad use.  Nor is it new to
                              other federal agencies, but these agencies, as
                              well as Congress, are taking a new look at
 this approach.
   There is a new spirit of cooperation among
 the federal partners, USDA/SCS, EPA, the
 Army Corps of Engineers,  Department of the
 Interior/Fish and Wildlife Service, and USGS,
 among  others, to work together, to more ef-
 fectively target our resources, and to get a
 job done.

 The future

   I believe the watershed  approach is partic-
 ularly well-suited to  addressing four areas
 that are key to addressing the challenges of
 the '90s, which I  refer to as the four As
 awareness, accountability, alliances, and af-
   First,  we must make people aware  of the
 impacts their activities  can have on water
 quality.  This  is a significant challenge. With
 many groups it prompts  anger  and  denial.
 And this appears to be particularly true for
 the farmer. Farmers perceive themselves as
 good  stewards  of  the land, as indeed many
 are. They are wary of outside  interference.
 Whereas national  statistics and  generalities
 about water quality impairment may do little
 to motivate individuals to  take another look
 at their practices, learning that  their  aquifer
 has high nitrate levels or that their stream is
 too silted to  allow fish  spawning can have
 much more meaning.      '
   We are working to establish  partnerships
 or alliances  with and among the federal
 agencies, such as USDA's SCS and Extension
 Service, which  have programs,  skills,  and a
 willingness to  assist.  And we are working
 with a coalition of other public  and  private
 organizations, including the National Associa-
 tion of  Conservation Districts, to  establish a
 national alliance to promote awareness of the
 problems  and spur collective responsibility
 and actions at the local level.  We want to
 build upon public-private  alliances and net-
 works that have been established to promote
 the successful crop residue management
   Some of the  most promising alliances are
 being formed at the local watershed or basin,
 scale. Frankly, this helps with the awareness
 and accountability problems. The dialogue
 changes from one about a general concern
with water quality  to the very real matter of
what is the state of our lake or river and how
is  our aquifer being affectedand how farm-
ing practices of individual farmers affect their
neighbors. The local watershed approach is
one way to promote an understanding that,
along with property rights,  come responsibili-
ties and accountability.
  This  and other actions  to place account-
ability on those who are hurting  our aquatic
resources has been an area of increased em-

                the past eight  or ten
             years, very significant
            .progress has been^made
      b^T point source arena We  have
   ..   and we 	 ,
    * ^ S-f*& 4ssm,*H%m*&%& ^  $
    source phospho-
  WHMM1  V*   ,-.,-. .
^eight years ahead of
            .ution. paritouaiT^ with le-
              to be  using 'at a much
          sace'              .',*-
              ar^tc^ successes" ancfac-
       SSBrnents, probably the (Chesa-
       a, ji t * Ht  ^ <$t~s*(* w~ as <*   i^*1****  ^-4tK-=t
          Bay Progiara) is the envy of
         8li^sMS^awp!&**te**a*>if|!w  sra^frfe^s?*^  ^ %> i
        juntrv wjth,jhejiigh leyej^of
          . visibility ana^suppprt Every- "*
            Ksjaerejs a  Chesageate
            am" tt'spolitical cteath not*"*
                     "the past decade
                     (UWt* Mr AS saivi^f^t gt, *w* MS*
              eenunprecedented  This
         (3ft!2tt8i9S i J&Wr^-Ttws^ t ^i^f   ***. ft   nts
        sOrfant because I think |hat
           general geiception that tne_
           ~is* being bankrolled by the
           ^alg^ i;  f^ 'Fi5!w ".afMi^yr f^r-^frSH'feg *w
                                      opment pressures aie crowding farm-
                                      land out, and we have recognized in
                                      our aiea that weVe got to get every
                                         fund of nutrient fiom everf SOUice
                                                          *     ,1 .
                                         weje gojijg to^rnage a djffe^rice
                                      for tlie future of the Bay * And* we've
                                      ^  ^    .  ^.^   sjst s  j fvwir    ^^ ^ A^n,'
                                      leally tried hard not to point fingeis,
                                        4     . .     *     a  => t '
                                      not to l^.y  uneven blame  for any
                                       f  /r v*   J    A  #t***-  s *-t* *       J
                                      souice or any segment of die ^opu-

                                     H M^* * -TF*- *'*.^1f^l^ ^i ^E   J<'C ^Sfef ^ &. JS^
                                         "Probably the most important char-
                                      <   '   *-  i j * i. *      ?  < ts   
                                      acgristic of the ChesapeakeJBay Pro-
                                      granTris that there has been a locus, a
                                      **.M  ^ i-Sfen^e- w11* ^*r<^ ?^*  ."f "  *
       tliat the_ states^, have been j.
            the federal government by
            i-^b   ifrtju*^^ "eu*   ** * Ji
       ;e measure
               access or aecomplish-
               ^ jAt~  1 r ,, ** r-  ^ ,
                to the characteristic of
           '&' r  ***.. J8<"< *!*   
           Program is that mere's been
           *"*  j *   t    *   .  V*"* ' *
           i^npt to be even-handed in ^_
          iroach that'sTb^ng taken  Sci-
                :d*Ta_ decade^^^nujri^^
    illution ^as "the^ mapr^proBlem
  ahg Water^quauty Degradation in
   "hesapeake Bay  Nutnent pollu-
   W^TS-I, *.   f^i fefe*,, * ^494 "s *  <% *vj >, ?
oStog^  FrQn^ everywhere ^We
on'i Ifve in afjrm 41 ea, welfve in a
     uibamzed area wher,e devel-
                         ductjon goaJ and they've putt a date
                         on it. That goal,Jan<| that foBus on
                         nutrient reduction, whichjsiscjnig-
                        "jjung that non-technicaf jpeople can
                         understand, ha"s leally ^rivlp.^the""
                         piogiam  The effort in the Chesa-
                              \  ** $ 4-wrt  *,**   f    &*&<
                         peake Bay began with almost total
                         reliance on BMPs  Its moved in the
                         recent yeais to a stronger leliance on
                       ^ jmtrient( management
                           "Another important aspect of the
                       .a  8*n* s* ^ * t V&K *T   ^^  "   *W"   f*ifi- J k
                         Chesapeake Bay effort is the fact that
                         theje has Joeen a pretty sound techni-
                         cal foundation for this  work  WeVe
                         spent a large amount of money and
                         time building^ the best computer
                        ^jnodels in the wadd. And we now
                         know, not perfectly, but with some
                         degree of assurance, that when some
                         activities take glace on land that lead
                       i jto Joad_ Deduction, ^eventuaE^^e'jfe
                        Agoing to see benefits  in the, rivers
                         and finally in theJBay        f
                           "We need to focus evei more at-
                         tention on(research, which 15,3 haid(
                         thing to sell to politicians, and oui
                         modeling efforts have shown us that
 the levei of technology, what we cur-
 icntly know how to do in the non-
 point source  aiena  isn't going to  be
 good enough  So we've got to invest
i * i,    cr  f  i      
 tm /esearch, better BMPs,. better ways
 to,k^ep nutrients out of our estuanne
   "The  biggest issue that  we're fac-
 ing in  the future  is  the issue  of
.growth, ajfthe things weve done in
 jfyg past are going to be wiped out if
 we do  not figuie out how to deal
 ' J         t   j!  J.  t    ,    " r *
t with our  expanding population in
,<     ^^^^antw rP^Ion- "^? need to
 look at policy options We  want to
 keep agricultuie in our area, but it is
 becoming niorea ancLrnofe difficult
f We need  to get^the message out to
 our urban people that on an acre per
 racre basis, agriculture is less poEut-
 ing than suburbia We have to worry
 in the future  about  accountability If
 ^  te*   w       s.              '
 we say we're going  to do something,
 we need to be able to demonstrate
 that we did it, and  we've got to  do
 better at  how we  count, how we
 track progress how we measure and
 repoit on that progiess  And it's a
 major problem
   "WeVe adopted a watershed man-
 agement approach and our gover-
 nors last yeai  set a new pokey goal
 for the  Chesapeake Bay to actually
 hjwe.put in place nutrient i eduction
 pound numbers for the major tnbu-
, jaries of the  Bay  We've just em-
 barked  on a  piocess of developing
 .watershed plans that will tell us how
 w,e aie( going to reach the specific
 tributary nutrient reduction numbeis
 by"the year 2000"

      Fian Flamgan,
      4thancefor the Chesapeake Bay
phasis for us. If the standards, permits, and
inspection model is overkill and relying ex-
clusively on education and exhortation is un-
certain and slow, what other approaches as-
sure that enterprises and  individuals  take
  Finally, we're looking at ways to creatively
address the affordability question, including
making broader use of market mechanisms,
such as nutrient trading.
  In addition to the new alliances and  part-
nerships being formed, there  are  other op-
portunities for redirecting our collective ef-
forts and resources toward more effective
                                         approaches to achieving clean water and im-
                                         proved ecosystems.
                                           For 40 years farmers have been guided by
                                         a U.S. agricultural policy, and advances in
                                         science and  technology, that has  rewarded
                                         production over other societal values. Over
                                         this period, improved farming practices have
                                         boosted agricultural productivity  per work
                                         hour at twice the rate of that for manufactur-
                                         ing. Now we have excess productive capaci-
                                         ty, a  decline in export of our agricultural
                                         products along with degraded ecosystems
                                         and impaired surface and groundwaters.
                                           The last two farm bills have recognized
                                                                                               JULY-AUGUST 1993 ,  265


     /"T^HK politics of balancing
  11  	"     biological protection
	,	;.  JL  with the nejds of soci-
ety for  food, fiber, energy, and" in-
dustrial production long have Fo-
cused  On water  availability and
quality. So its no wonder that when
the first Findings of pesticide concen-
        In gi6urid  and surface v\aei
     ;* reported, tfie reguiatoiy re-
sponse  was to set allowable limits or
Or  maximum contaminant  level
^MCO and dtpend on enforcement
programs to  keep  dungs under con-
trol, Irs a 198<5  report to Congress,
yjl i    I I  I 1 D  J    h    im  m m   I   T  m m
EPA >Wted that  die large  portion ot
tl)q Cation's  water quality  nioblems
\vere attributable-to pollution from
nonpWm sources
   I'm gf.id to say that progress has
been made  The groundwater and
surface water monitoring data ineii-
cates progress  in preventing non-
pfiint source contamination I think
Sow? impoitant policy"questions"
liuve l>eeri answered that conttibute
to the improvements vve aie seeing^
  *It Iia.s been  recogni?cd  that set-
ting art  MCL does not in itself fead"*to*
   **                           fmm m
a solution 'Hie  MCL mi^ht be a tai-
ga for  cleanup^ but it  does not give
guidance on  how to av oid a problem
In the first place Programs are need-
ed to address specific practices.
   "oil  and vvatei  management pro-
grams  have been  implemented
under  three key federal statutes,
Over 10 states  have EPA-approved
nonpoint souice  protection  plans
The  1990 farm bill's  conserv ation
compliance  program  will affect 35
                                         million acres (98 percent of the high-
                                         ly erodible  land) by, 1995, Ground-.
                                         water protection programs  require
                                         state  management plans "foaadress
                                         proper use an  resource protection.
                                            These progiams aie pioving to be
                                         effective Fiona an agncultuialcheim-
                                         cal perspective, it has been recog-
                                         nized that  while some situations re
                                                     OK 5  **i $,. *{~*i ft%tiW*T^^
                                         quiie a chemical-specific approach,
                                         most of the pesticide ground "or suP
                                                     *       &    ~ ^K, f  ^f~
                                         face water contamination issues are
                                         not  caused by winch  chemical is
                                         used but rather by how and where  it
                                         is used   *                    "
                                        1   mm    IM muttrn mi *mm ma tw nWtaiawsw.. Mfts"S5W> t^a^miaity,
                                            I have two recommendations mat
                                         I believe will fuither enhance die tf
                                         fectivenest. of this practices" ap-
                                         proach  Afst continue woik orT &
                                         state-by-state Sasis* to estaSlish* effec-
                                         tive^ state p'estKide^ma'nagemenf
                                         plans These plans  should have the
                                         V         . t               rti- 
                                         objective of pi eventing or mmimiz
                                         ing the  nsk of movement of agncul
                                         "turafcEermcaTs ^^jj^jg'-I^J^?"
                                         face waters.
                                            "As a manufacturei of pesticides^*"
                                         we favor solutions that are voluntary
                                               i    tfc *WM me   M ^SS|SW ^ MM* m*m
                                         based on sound technical knowl
                                         edge, and can be failored* "t5*1rjee*site'
                                                               "   '
                                          specific  situation  One
                                          tion is the adoption of
                                          best manag*emenrpractices that ad-
                                          dress die entire environmental situa
                                          tion for  a specific farm  Such mea
                                          sures include  selection  of fanning
                                          piactiees that  minimize  runoff and
                                          soil eiosion foi  that specific farm
                                          field with senous considferation of
                                          conservation tillage methods, selec_
                                          tion of  pesticides and   fertilizeis
  based oln soil/crop nutuent assess   t
	nlejit and integrated vegetation arid .. |
  pest management;, application meth-  *
  /~\/-lc tV\at-  minimi'?^ rvffcif^ mi"tx;fm*nt
   -a^sii^a-^Mr^t i (4 [ n ^Wltef vHfci ff-< 1 {&ifr*t n^^^^^-.^-.^^
      ods that minimize offsite.
      applied, use of buffer aieas and fillet  _
      ships mtegiated managementTjfant-
      rnal  as well as human wastes, prop"'"
      er well construction, "and pesticide
       ,.._,      ^JZSL JMJfaA   *K           !. w-t* *Bri|
      load and mixing piactiees that mini-
     * mjze. tKe'pbtential foi gioundwaTef
         Second, education and training
       TOgiamslhat assist chemical users'
      n*piopei*storage, "handling, mB3hg7
      applicaHon* afTa container cleaning
      and disposal methods the edtka
      tlonal materials offeied by the Na
      tional AgnculfuiarChemicals AssocT  j
      aubn's Alliance for a "Clean' RiiraF"

     ^TSnviionment aie excellent and have
      been pioven effective Also, there is
      an* opportunity for Industry to wolk*   '
      coopeiatively with state training and  ^
     "certiflcaticH piogiams**" *"  "   "** **~
       -i!All of these steps require a coop-
      eration between"chemical manufac ^\
      turers, users  the govemrrient, and
  *~* ^menni^*diepuFjTic"*in "order to^re
   *"*" ally "work "Focusing on piactiees jn'J**
      "ecfueation combined with specific* "
      chemical plans where needed is an
      effective *ap"pioach  to  nonpoTnT" A
      souice control of agricultural ehemi   ~
      cals  It can accomplish both goals
      food pioduction and environmental
        Robe>tL Harness,
        Monsanto Company
                              and promoted an increasing role for conser-
                              vation in the way we handle our agricultural
                              business. It  is logical to expect this trend to
                              continue and increase with the 1995  farm
                              bill. Public interest and investment in Ameri-
                              can agriculture  is substantial. Net farm in-
                              come last year was approximately $40 billion,
                              $20 billion of which was public monies$17
                              billion  in farm payments/price supports and
                              $3 billion in services from state and federal
                              agencies. This presents a powerful tool with
                              which  to shape  farming practices in a more
                              environmentally  sound manner.
                                As I  have mentioned previously, the reau-
                              thorization of the Clean Water Act will also
                              present opportunities for shaping solutions to
                              the problems of agricultural runoff, the de-
struction of ecosystems and wildlife habitat,
as well as improving the monitoring of our
nation's  waters. But we must  be  very
thoughtful and inclusive as we design our so:
lutions. One person's  incentive may be an-
other's regulation  as in the example of
swampbuster, or in the case of the agricultur-
al community's  reaction to the Section 404
  We have much to gain from each  other,
from  our collective  knowledge and experi-
ences, and our  interest in shaping a  future
that considers all of  our needsa strong
rural  and farm economy, good quality sur-
face and  groundwater that can be used for
the purposes we want it, and healthy ecosys-
tems with a diverse wildlife population.    Q