Submitted to: American Chemical Society Symposium Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 20, 2004
Publication Date: April 20, 2004
Citation: Wauchope, R.D., Strickland, T.C., Locke, M.A. 2004. National needs, regional solutions: the development of site-specific assessments of pesticides in water resources. In: Nett, M.T, Locke, M.A., Pennington, D.A., editors. Water Quality Assessment in the Mississippi Delta, U.S. Govt. work. American Chemical Society Symposium. p. 251-263. Interpretive Summary: In the Fall of 2001 a Symposium Entitled "The Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Area (MD-MSEA)" was held at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Chicago. The MD-MSEA is a large collaborative project involving many agencies having the goal of assessing the water quality impacts of farming practices in "The Delta" and developing proved approaches---"Best Management Practices", or "BMP"'s which will decrease agricultural pollution and improve river and lake water quality in the area. We (the authors) were invited to write a synthesis paper as a response to the Symposium: to try to put the symposium in perspective with respect to current water quality regulation and the development of science needed to support that regulation. We outline the impact of the two most important legislative acts which impact on water quality regulation, and we argue that, although water quality issues are national issues politically(especially, human exposure to pollutants), intensive regional water quality research projects such as the MD-MSEA presented at this symposium are essential for progress because pollution is controlled by local, site-specific factors such as climate, pesticide usage, soils, and agricultural practice.
Technical Abstract: Pesticide risk assessment and registration are currently in a state of flux because of the efforts of the regulatory, environmental and agricultural community to come to terms with the Clean Water Act and the Food Quality Protection Act. Rulemaking, attempts at compliance, and measuring and remediating pollution all require new science to be developed, gaps in monitoring data to be recognized, and model prediction and extrapolation to be pushed up to and sometimes beyond the models inherent limits. In this context, this symposium has shown by example how much more can be accomplished, and how much more credible the outcome, when the uniqueness of specific regional nonpoint pollution dynamics are recognized at the outset. There is more to do however: the approaches used must be folded into a national structure that manages pesticide risks across regions, because, while ecosystem risk may be regulated locally, human risk is national and even global in structure.