Table of Contents
1. MISSION, AUTHORITY, AND SCOPE
3. MEMBERSHIP AND OFFICERS
INTERGOVERNMENTAL TASK FORCE ON MONITORING WATER QUALITY
Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data
Water Information Coordination Program
A. Mission: The mission is to develop and initiate implementation of a strategic plan to achieve effective collection, interpretation, and presentation of water-quality data to provide a basis for decision making. This requires implementing a framework to: integrate monitoring efforts, use resources more effectively, and obtain comparable data and consistent reporting of status and trends for water quality.
B. Authority: The Intergovernmental Task Force on Monitoring Water Quality (ITFM) is established under the Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data (IACWD) to review and evaluate water-quality monitoring activities and report to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Federal agencies, Congress, States, and others with recommendations for needed improvements to water-quality monitoring activities at the Federal, State, interstate, and local levels.
C. Scope: The scope of the ITFM includes water-quality monitoring and the resulting collection, management, and use of water-quality information for the purposes of: assessing status and trends, identifying emerging problems, developing and implementing management and regulatory programs, and evaluating program effectiveness and compliance.
A. To develop an intergovernmental framework for water-quality monitoring and assessment that will improve information on the ground- and surface-water quality of the Nation. The framework should: (1) define objectives and questions that need to be addressed by water-quality monitoring programs over the next decade, (2) identify the roles and responsibilities of Federal, State, interstate, and local entities that monitor water quality, (3) develop means to coordinate ongoing monitoring programs, (4) ensure that the information needs of emerging programs are met, and (5) determine mechanisms for evaluating and implementing appropriate new approaches and technologies into existing data collection activities. The ITFM should address the need for standards and the level of consistency in data collection necessary to produce compatible data.
B. To address the development and recommend application of environmental indicators and standard descriptors of aquatic conditions that agencies could use to: (1) report national, regional, and local water-quality status and trends and (2) measure progress towards achieving established water-quality goals. The ITFM also should recommend a process for improving such indicators over time.
C. To recommend linkages among information systems that would result in a nationwide water-information network that would provide access to and support of the sharing of the information holdings of Federal, State, local, and private organizations among both primary and secondary users. The recommendations should address quality assurance and quality control guidelines to foster the comparability and integrated use of data generated by multiple agencies.
D. To identify specific actions that Federal and State governments should implement, including the establishment of coordination mechanisms needed to carry out the recommendations. The recommendations should include estimated costs and options for funding improvements recommended by the ITFM.
E. Within 1 year, submit a report of recommendations to OMB based on a nationwide review and evaluation of water-quality monitoring activities.
F. Within 3 years, submit a final report to the IACWD documenting conclusions and recommendations.
A. The ITFM shall be chaired by a representative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Vice-chair shall be a representative of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
B. Membership on the ITFM shall be as follows:
One representative from an equal number of States from different geographical regions of the country. The State representatives shall be individuals with responsibility for water-quality monitoring operations. State representatives will be selected from a pool of nominees proposed by major interstate organizations. The Chair of the IACWD and the Chair of the ITFM will select the non-Federal participants from the pool of nominees in a way that assures geographic balance.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Chair)
- U.S. Geological Survey (Vice chair)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- National Park Service
- Tennessee Valley Authority
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- U.S. Department of Energy
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Office of Management and Budget
The membership may be increased to incorporate broader interests as the ITFM matures while maintaining the original principles of federal / state balance and diversity of interest and location to the extent practicable. Changes may be made with the concurrence of a majority of the membership.
C. The Office of Water Data Coordination (OWDC) will provide executive secretariat in support of the ITFM.
D. USGS regional and district offices and EPA regional offices will coordinate interagency activities related to the ITFM within their geographical areas of responsibility.
A. Meetings shall be called by the Chair or at the request of one or more members and shall be convened in facilities designated by the Chair in consultation with the members. A member may designate an alternate, who can fully represent the member's governmental organization, to attend when the member is not able. Meetings shall be held with sufficient frequency to ensure that the final report of the ITFM is submitted within 3 years.
B. The ITFM will establish an Executive Committee to provide assistance and advice to the Chair. The Executive Committee will be chaired by the ITFM Chair and its members will be the ITFM Vice-Chair, Task Group Chairs and Executive Secretaries, the IACWD Executive Secretary, and the ITFM Executive Secretary.
C. The ITFM may establish separate working groups to address specific topics. Participants on the working groups shall be representatives of Federal and State agencies with responsibility for water-quality monitoring operations. Working groups may arrange to obtain facts and information from experts, as needed, to draft their reports to the ITFM.
D. Decisions and recommendations of the working groups shall be by consensus of the members. If the members are unable to reach agreement, the issue and documentation of the differing views will be forwarded in a timely manner to the Chair of the ITFM. Similarly, if the members of the ITFM are unable to reach agreement, the issue will be forwarded to the IACWD for resolution.
E. The activities of the ITFM shall be coordinated with other Federal and non-Federal organizations, as needed, to inform them of the effort and to obtain information needed to complete the report. Close coordination will be maintained with monitoring activities in U.S. marine waters. The National Coastal Monitoring Act (Title V of the Marine Protection, Resources, and Sanctuaries Act) assigns responsibility for developing and implementing a national coastal monitoring program to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. As part of the intergovernmental effort, these agencies will lead aspects related to marine water-quality monitoring and the development of a strategy for such monitoring involving Federal, State, regional, local, and other coastal monitoring efforts. In recognition of the extensive involvement of private entities in water-quality monitoring, the ITFM may hold regional information exchange meetings and may conduct public fact-finding activities. Input from the general public and private entities also will be obtained through the Advisory Committee on Water Data for Public Use (ACWDPU).
F. The IACWD and the States will review and approve the ITFM report. Subsequently, the ACWDPU will review and comment on the report. The final report will be transmitted to agency heads, States, Congress, OMB, and others, as appropriate.
G. The final recommendations approved by the IACWD shall be submitted for ratification and implementation by the appropriate Federal and State agencies. If implementation of a recommendation is expected to be inconsistent with current Federal statutory or regulatory requirements, proposed changes in legislation or regulation will be included as part of the recommendations for consideration by the Administration and/or the Congress.
A. Agendas, minutes of meetings, and other documents shall be prepared by the OWDC ITFM coordinator and distributed to the Executive Secretary of the IACWD and ITFM members. Records of the ITFM and associated working group documents shall be maintained in the OWDC.
B. The ITFM shall submit a status report to the IACWD at the end of its first and second years of operation. The interim report shall include:
C. Documents for consideration by the IACWD and the ACWDPU shall be provided to the Executive Secretary of the IACWD for transmittal to the members.
- 1. accomplishments of the past year;
- 2. activities planned for the forthcoming year;
- 3. recommendations, a brief discussion of problems encountered, and other matters of interest; and
- 4. a list of the Chair, Vice-chair, and members of the ITFM and its working groups.
The report specified above is intended to be the primary product of the ITFM. Upon final approval of this report by the IACWD, the ITFM shall be terminated. However, permanent coordination mechanisms under the IACWD, already existing or created at the recommendation of the ITFM, shall carry out and monitor the tasks identified in the ITFM final report.
These terms of reference may be amended by affirmation of a majority of the membership with the concurrence of the Chair, Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data.
/s/ May 11, 1993
Philip Cohen, Chair Date
Interagency Advisory Committee On Water Data
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