Forest Service, EPA Agree to Increase Coordination on Water Quality
The U.S. Forest Service and EPA have agreed on new steps designed to improve water quality on national forests and grasslands.
On Sept. 28, Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimbell and EPA Assistant
Administrator for Water Benjamin Grumbles signed a memorandum of
agreement that enables both agencies to increase coordinated efforts to
manage, protect and restore the health of the nation's water resources.
"This agreement highlights the benefits that can be created when
federal agencies acknowledge a shared vision and come together to work
toward a common goal," Kimbell said. "By combining the organizational
strengths and capabilities of the Forest Service with EPA's Office of
Water, we are leveraging the best assets of both agencies to improve
water quality on national forest lands."
"Healthy forests need clean water, and clean water needs healthy
forests," Grumbles said. "This EPA-Forest Service agreement is a
blueprint for protecting America's watersheds on national forests and
More than 60 million Americans get their water from sources on the
national forests in addition to municipal water supplies. Watersheds
play an important role in supporting aquatic species and biodiversity
and provide recreational opportunities to millions of visitors each
year. Data shows that approximately 8 percent of all water quality
impairments nationally are located on National Forest System lands.
Leading causes of these impairments include elevated temperatures,
excess sediment and habitat modification.
This agreement identifies areas in which the U.S. Forest Service and
EPA will increase coordination of activities and cooperation with
states, territories and tribes to address water quality impairments on
National Forest System lands and accelerate attainment of water quality
More information can be found at www.fs.fed.us/biology and www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl.