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(P662) A Triad Study for Assessing the Ecological Effects of an Oil Refinery Effluent in the Delaware River.
Hall, LW*,1, Burton, DT1, Anderson, RD1, Turley, SD1, Alden, RW2, 1 Wye Research & Education Center, University of Maryland, Queenstown, MD, USA2 University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA
ABSTRACT- The goal of this study was to use the sediment quality triad approach - benthic community assessments, sediment contaminant analysis and sediment toxicity tests - for assessing the potential impact of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from an oil refinery effluent on aquatic biota in the Delaware River. A total of 15 sites with five replicates per site were sampled during the spring and summer of 2001. All three types of triad parameters were evaluated on each replicate sample at each site. Benthic communities were classified as either non-degraded (met goal) or degraded using structural parameters in a multimetric index. The following classes of chemicals were evaluated: PAHs for parent and isomer specific 2-6 ring compounds from the Western States Petroleum Association list; standard EPA pesticides and PCBs, bulk metals including SEM/AVS, and pore water parameters. Twenty-eight day survival, growth and reproduction tests with the amphipods, Leptocheirus plumulosus and Hyalella azteca were also conducted. Statistically significant relationships were found between the benthic index and both chemical contaminants and sediment toxicity endpoints. For all sites sampled over the two seasons, at least one chemical contaminant exceeded a Sediment Toxicity Guideline such as an ERL. All three types of triad parameters suggested impairment at three of the 15 sites sampled. Possible chemical stressors causing this impairment were PAHs, pesticides, and metals. Two of the triad parameters suggested impairment at three sites and only one triad parameter (chemical contaminants) suggested impairment at nine sites.
Key words: sediment quality triad, PAHs, benthos, sediment toxicity tests
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