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CLU-IN Studio
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Ecological Revitalization Resources at Various Federal Agencies
Sponsored by: EPA Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation
Original Time/Date of Presentation:

November 27, 2007, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, EST (18:00-20:00 GMT)

Presentation Overview:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI) produces various resources on ecological revitalization for EPA site managers, state agency site managers, consultants, and others interested in restoring disturbed sites. These resources include fact sheets (see www.cluin.org/ecorevitalization) and Internet seminars on ecological revitalization (see archived seminars on http://www.cluin.org/live/archive.cfm). In an effort to provide information on various ecological revitalization resources available at federal agencies, OSRTI is sponsoring this Internet seminar. In this Internet seminar, resources available through federal agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be discussed.

  1. NOAA's Role in Ecological Revitalization within the Superfund Program - Presented by Tom Brosnan, NOAA and Ken Finklestein, NOAA

    The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) assigns two types of liabilities to a responsible party: cleanup and restoration. Congress recognized that the most efficient way of resolving these liabilities on behalf of the public was for EPA and the trustees to closely coordinate their activities and to use their combined efforts and tools, in a unified governmental effort, to maximize cleanup, protection, and restoration. To implement this vision, NOAA, as a trustee for the public's coastal natural resources, places a technical liaison within most EPA regional offices to integrate the remedial, damage assessment, and restoration/mitigation processes at many CERCLA sites. NOAA staff work with EPA to achieve protective remedies, reduce or eliminate residual natural resource injuries as part of the cleanup, and achieve restoration as part of a global settlement for remediation and restoration with responsible parties. NOAA's remedy-related work is funded in part under a national EPA-NOAA Interagency Agreement. NOAA applies its research, technical, and resource management experience in evaluating contaminant levels in coastal environments, contaminant effects on species and habitats, ecological risks associated with waste sites, and strategies for the remediation and mitigation of contaminated sites. All of this is provided to the Remedial Project Manager as part of the notification/coordination section of CERCLA 104. NOAA may choose to provide technical assistance to EPA at sites other than CERCLA (e.g. sites under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or RCRA) where an injury may occur to coastal natural resources that requires a comprehensive and sometimes technically challenging remedy.

    As part of the planning for remedial ecological enhancements, EPA made use of NOAA's Damage Assessment Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP) at the Atlas Tack Superfund site in Fairhaven, MA. NOAA contributed to the development of the sediment remedial goals, the wetland removal plan, and assisted in designing the wetland mitigation resulting in ecological enhancements at no additional cost to EPA.

    In summary, NOAA can (1) help the EPA regional offices evaluate natural resource concerns at hazardous waste sites, (2) improve coordination with federal, state, and tribal natural resource trustee agencies under CERCLA, and (3) use the regional representative as a liaison between NOAA and EPA for CERCLA-related trustee activities and provide a multidisciplinary team for research and technical support throughout the cleanup and mitigation/restoration process.

  2. BLM - National Native Plant Materials Development Program - Presented by Mary Byrne, BLM

    Nearly one-third of the U.S. is federal land, including over 650 million acres of national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and BLM public land. In 1999, the American landscape suffered a brutal wildfire season. In addition, native plant materials needed to rehabilitate the land were not available. In response to this situation, the U.S. Congress directed BLM and U.S. Forest Service to develop a long-term program to manage and supply native plant materials for various federal land management restoration needs, and recommended that the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA), a consortium of 10 federal agencies and over 260 non-federal partners lead this effort (www.nps.gov/plants/). This Congressional direction led to the formation of the National Native Plant Materials Development Program (NNPMDP). The need for native plant materials continues to grow - this year alone about 8.5 million acres have burned in the U.S. One of NNPMGP's projects is known as "Seeds of Success" is coordinated by BLM and involves collection of native seeds for restoration and rehabilitation. To date, seeds for nearly 2,000 species have been collected under this program and are available to native plant researchers. Researchers develop germination protocols and pre-varietal crops for these seeds. The material then becomes available for commercial growers to sell back to the federal land managing agencies.

  3. The USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) Plant Materials Program - Presented by Chris Miller, NRCS

    The USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program is a nationwide network of 27 Plant Materials Centers and 17 Plant Materials Specialists, based in ecologically distinct service areas. Together, these centers and specialists seek out plants and state-of-the-art technology to restore critical habitats, mitigate environmental concerns, and sustain healthy natural resources. NRCS Plant Materials Centers evaluate plants for specific conservation traits, select top performers, and make these materials available to the public through commercial growers as improved conservation plant releases. Plant Materials Specialists develop innovative ways for land managers to use and manage a variety of conservation plants. These specialists also relay information about new plant releases and offer on-the-ground assistance with conservation plantings.

Plant Materials Centers Locations
Plant Materials Centers Locations
Presenters: Instructor: Moderator:
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