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Health and Environmental Effects Research

GED Researcher Receives OST Award

Jim Hagy, research ecologist at NHEERL’s Gulf Ecology Division Ecosystem Dynamics and Effects Branch, recently received a Partner-of-OST (the Office of Water’s [OW’s] Office of Science and Technology) Award. Dr. Hagy was recognized for his outstanding leadership, creative thinking and problem solving, and exceptional technical support to OST in ongoing efforts to develop defensible approaches for the derivation of numeric nutrient criteria for Florida’s streams and estuaries, including the innovative approach to ensure that waters upstream provide the necessary protection of downstream waters.

Dr. Hagy was a principal author of several technical sections of the Preamble and Technical Support Document that supported EPA’s November 2010 rulemaking for Florida’s lakes and flowing waters and the upcoming Phase II rulemaking for Florida’s estuaries, coastal waters, and southern inland flowing waters. He also was the principal author of key technical sections of the Methods and Approaches for Deriving Numeric Criteria for Nitrogen/Phosphorus Pollution in Florida’s Estuaries, Coastal Waters, and Southern Inland Flowing Waters, which underwent peer review by the Agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) in December 2010. Dr. Hagy provided valuable technical assistance to the Office of Water by presenting two of the most important sections of this document to the SAB: (1) the development of numeric nutrient criteria in estuaries (2) and downstream protective values.

Dr. Hagy led the development of a scientifically defensible approach to ensure that numeric criteria in streams would provide for the attainment and maintenance of the water quality standards in downstream estuarine receiving waters and in development of Nutrient Watershed Regions―a classification approach for streams criteria. He ensured the use of the best available science and data related to downstream waters and found that the instream nutrient criteria EPA was proposing might not be sufficiently stringent to ensure protection of aquatic life in certain downstream estuaries. Accordingly, EPA proposed an equation that he developed to be used to adjust instream total nitrogen criteria for streams to ensure protection of such estuaries.

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