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Environ Res ; 195: 110862, 2021 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33581087


BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported environmental disparities regarding exposure to concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Public health implications of environmental justice from the intensive livestock industry are of great concern in North Carolina (NC), USA, a state with a large number and extensive history of CAFOs. OBJECTIVES: We examined disparities by exposure to CAFOs using several environmental justice metrics and considering potentially vulnerable subpopulations. METHODS: We obtained data on permitted animal facilities from NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Using ZIP code level variables from the 2010 Census, we evaluated environmental disparities by eight environmental justice metrics (i.e., percentage of Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black, or Hispanic; percentage living below the poverty level; median household income; percentage with education less than high school diploma; racial residential isolation (RI) for Non-Hispanic Black; and educational residential isolation (ERI) for population without college degree). We applied two approaches to assign CAFOs exposure for each ZIP code: (1) a count method based on the number of CAFOs within ZIP code; and (2) a buffer method based on the area-weighted number of CAFOs using a 15 km buffer. RESULTS: Spatial distributions of CAFOs exposure generally showed similar patterns between the two exposure methods. However, some ZIP codes had different estimated CAFOs exposure for the different approaches, with higher exposure when using the buffer method. Our findings indicate that CAFOs are located disproportionately in communities with higher percentage of minorities and in low-income communities. Distributions of environmental justice metrics generally showed similar patterns for both exposure methods, however starker disparities were observed using a buffer method. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings of the disproportionate location of CAFOs provide evidence of environmental disparities with respect to race and socioeconomic status in NC and have implications for future studies of environmental and health impacts of CAFOs.

J Environ Manage ; 280: 111710, 2021 Feb 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33308931


Reducing harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, situated between the United States and Canada, requires implementing best management practices to decrease nutrient loading from upstream sources. Bi-national water quality targets have been set for total and dissolved phosphorus loads, with the ultimate goal of reaching these targets in 9-out-of-10 years. Row crop agriculture dominates the land use in the Western Lake Erie Basin thus requiring efforts to mitigate nutrient loads from agricultural systems. To determine the types and extent of agricultural management practices needed to reach the water quality goals, we used five independently developed Soil and Water Assessment Tool models to evaluate the effects of 18 management scenarios over a 10-year period on nutrient export. Guidance from a stakeholder group was provided throughout the project, and resulted in improved data, development of realistic scenarios, and expanded outreach. Subsurface placement of phosphorus fertilizers, cover crops, riparian buffers, and wetlands were among the most effective management options. But, only in one realistic scenario did a majority (3/5) of the models predict that the total phosphorus loading target would be met in 9-out-of-10 years. Further, the dissolved phosphorus loading target was predicted to meet the 9-out-of-10-year goal by only one model and only in three scenarios. In all scenarios evaluated, the 9-out-of-10-year goal was not met based on the average of model predictions. Ensemble modeling revealed general agreement about the effects of several practices although some scenarios resulted in a wide range of uncertainty. Overall, our results demonstrate that there are multiple pathways to approach the established water quality goals, but greater adoption rates of practices than those tested here will likely be needed to attain the management targets.

Monitoramento Ambiental , Lagos , Agricultura , Canadá , Eutrofização , Fósforo/análise , Qualidade da Água
J Environ Manage ; 279: 111803, 2021 Feb 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33341725


Coastal eutrophication is a leading cause of degraded water quality around the world. Identifying the sources and their relative contributions to impaired downstream water quality is an important step in developing management plans to address water quality concerns. Recent mass-balance studies of Total Phosphorus (TP) loads of the Maumee River watershed highlight the considerable phosphorus contributions of non-point sources, including agricultural sources, degrading regional downstream water quality. This analysis builds upon these mass-balance studies by using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool to simulate the movement of phosphorus from manure, inorganic fertilizer, point sources, and soil sources, and respective loads of TP and Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP). This yields a more explicit estimation of source contribution from the watershed. Model simulations indicate that inorganic fertilizers contribute a greater proportion of TP (45% compared to 8%) and DRP (58% compared to 12%) discharged from the watershed than manure sources in the March-July period, the season driving harmful algal blooms. Although inorganic fertilizers contributed a greater mass of TP and DRP than manure sources, the two sources had similar average delivery fractions of TP (2.7% for inorganic fertilizers vs. 3.0% for manure sources) as well as DRP (0.7% for inorganic fertilizers vs. 1.2% for manure sources). Point sources contributed similar proportions of TP (5%) and DRP (12%) discharged in March-July as manure sources. Soil sources of phosphorus contributed over 40% of the March-July TP load and 20% of the March-July DRP load from the watershed to Lake Erie. Reductions of manures and inorganic fertilizers corresponded to a greater proportion of phosphorus delivered from soil sources of phosphorus, indicating that legacy phosphorus in soils may need to be a focus of management efforts to reach nutrient load reduction goals. In agricultural watersheds aground the world, including the Maumee River watershed, upstream nutrient management should not focus solely on an individual nutrient source; rather a comprehensive approach involving numerous sources should be undertaken.

Lagos , Fósforo , Agricultura , Monitoramento Ambiental , Fósforo/análise , Rios , Qualidade da Água
Sci Total Environ ; : 143487, 2020 Nov 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33218797


In response to increased harmful algal blooms (HABs), hypoxia, and nearshore algae growth in Lake Erie, the United States and Canada agreed to phosphorus load reduction targets. While the load targets were guided by an ensemble of models, none of them considered the effects of climate change. Some watershed models developed to guide load reduction strategies have simulated climate effects, but without extending the resulting loads or their uncertainties to HAB projections. In this study, we integrated an ensemble of four climate models, three watershed models, and four HAB models. Nutrient loads and HAB predictions were generated for historical (1985-1999), current (2002-2017), and mid-21st-century (2051-2065) periods. For the current and historical periods, modeled loads and HABs are comparable to observations but exhibit less interannual variability. Our results show that climate impacts on watershed processes are likely to lead to reductions in future loading, assuming land use and watershed management practices are unchanged. This reduction in load should help reduce the magnitude of future HABs, although increases in lake temperature could mitigate that decrease. Using Monte-Carlo analysis to attribute sources of uncertainty from this cascade of models, we show that the uncertainty associated with each model is significant, and that improvements in all three are needed to build confidence in future projections.

Sci Total Environ ; : 143039, 2020 Oct 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33158527


Waterbodies around the world experience problems associated with elevated phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) loads. While vital for ecosystem functioning, when present in excess amounts these nutrients can impair water quality and create symptoms of eutrophication, including harmful algal blooms. Under a changing climate, nutrient loads are likely to change. While climate models can serve as inputs to watershed models, the climate models often do not adequately represent the distribution of observed data, generating uncertainties that can be addressed to some degree with bias correction. However, the impacts of bias correction on nutrient models are not well understood. This study compares 4 univariate and 3 multivariate bias correction methods, which correct precipitation and temperature variables from 4 climate models in the historical (1980-1999) and mid-century future (2046-2065) time periods. These variables served as inputs to a calibrated Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model of Lake Erie's Maumee River watershed. We compared the performance of SWAT outputs driven with climate model outputs that were bias-corrected (BC) and not bias-corrected (no-BC) for dissolved reactive P, total P, and total N. Results based on graphical comparisons and goodness of fit metrics showed that the choice of BC method impacts both the direction of change and magnitude of nutrient loads and hydrological processes. While the Delta method performed best, it should be used with caution since it considers historical variable relationships as the basis for predictions, which may not hold true under future climate. Quantile Delta Mapping (QDM) and Multivariate Bias Correction N-dimensional probability density function transform (MBCn) BC methods also performed well and work well for non-stationary climate scenarios. Furthermore, results suggest that February-July cumulative load in the Maumee basin is likely to decrease in the mid-century as runoff and snowfall decrease, and evapotranspiration increases with warming temperatures.

Environ Sci Technol ; 54(12): 7194-7204, 2020 06 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32476410


Hurricanes that damage lives and property can also impact pollutant sources and trigger poor water quality. Yet, these water quality impacts that affect both human and natural communities are difficult to quantify. We developed an operational remote sensing-based hurricane flood extent mapping method, examined potential water quality implications of two "500-year" hurricanes in 2016 and 2018, and identified options to increase social-ecological resilience in North Carolina. Flooding detected with synthetic aperture radar (>91% accuracy) extended beyond state-mapped hazard zones. Furthermore, the legal floodplain underestimated impacts for communities with higher proportions of older adults, disabilities, unemployment, and mobile homes, as well as for headwater streams with restricted elevation gradients. Pollution sources were repeatedly affected, including ∼55% of wastewater treatment plant capacity and swine operations that generate ∼500 M tons/y manure. We identified ∼4.8 million km2 for possible forest and wetland conservation and ∼1.7 million km2 for restoration or altered management opportunities. The results suggest that current hazard mapping is inadequate for resilience planning; increased storm frequency and intensity necessitate modification of design standards, land-use policies, and infrastructure operation. Implementation of interventions can be guided by a greater understanding of social-ecological vulnerabilities within hazard and exposure areas.

Tempestades Ciclônicas , Inundações , Idoso , Animais , Humanos , North Carolina , Rios , Suínos , Qualidade da Água