Federal Register notice: Ocean acidification and marine pH water quality criteria

Environmental Protection Agency

DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice of data availability (NODA).


This NODA provides interested parties with information submitted to EPA on ocean acidification and solicits additional pertinent data or information that may be useful in addressing this issue. In addition, EPA is notifying the public of its intent to review the current aquatic life criterion for marine pH to determine if a revision is warranted to protect the marine designated uses of States and Territories pursuant to Section 304(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act. The NODA also solicits additional scientific information and data, as well as ideas for effective strategies for Federal, State, and local officials to address the impacts of ocean acidification. This information can then be used as the basis for a broader discussion of ocean acidification and marine impacts. EPA also requests information pertaining to monitoring marine pH and implementation of pH water quality standards.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 15, 2009.


I. General Information
A. Does This Action Apply to Me?

1. This information may be useful to scientists involved in studying mechanisms of carbon dioxide absorption, conversion, and retention in marine waters as well as those studying the effects of the formation of carbonic acids and lowered pH on altered carbon cycles and carbonate structures necessary to aquatic life.

2. This information may be useful to Federal, State, Tribal, and Territorial managers of water quality programs.

3. This information may be useful to ocean and coastal managers.

B. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

Information submitted in response to this NODA should address the nature and characteristics of altered carbon chemistry in marine waters, including changes in pH and biological calcification processes. It should also address the significance of potential modification to the national marine pH criterion for State and Federal Water Programs authorized by the Clean Water Act. EPA is soliciting additional scientific information, data and ideas for effective strategies for Federal, State, and local officials to use to address the potential impacts of ocean acidification. Specifically:

1. EPA is soliciting technical information on measurement of ocean acidification in marine coastal waters, including:

a. Technological advances in rapid, continuous, or remote measurement of pH;

b. Longterm empirical pH data and carbon chemistry measurements, especially those that may demonstrate ocean acidification;

c. Empirical data to demonstrate spatial and temporal variability of pH in nearcoastal waters;

d. Methods to statistically evaluate variability of pH in near coastal waters;

e. Other approaches (e.g., carbon chemistry), methods and indicators that could reflect ocean acidification.

Federal register, 15 April 2009. More information.

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