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(IP01) Summary of Sediment Quality Guidelines for Organic Compounds Used in North America.
Blanchet, Richard*,1, 1 Gradient Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
ABSTRACT- Because of the complex nature of sediments, there is no general consensus on the methodology to assess potential impacts associated with contaminants in sediment. With the exception of the State of Washington, which has promulgated Sediment Management Standards for metals and organic compounds in marine and estuarine sediments (WAC 173-204), sediment quality standards have not been developed at this time by most national, state or provincial environmental agencies. Instead, many regulatory agencies rely on narrative guidelines regarding sediment/erosion control for the protection of water quality. For those agencies using sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) in the interim, these agencies rely on SQGs derived from various national and international sediment databases as proposed sediment quality standards. These include Effects Range-Low, Effects Range-Median, and Ontario Ministry of Environment Freshwater Sediment values. Although the SQGs can provide a readily available source of sediment quality standards, the specific applicability of the SQGs to a particular geographical region is uncertain, due to differences in geography (e.g., temperature, salinity, geological formation), and differences in species composition and sensitivity, and pollutant bioavailability. Because SQGs vary in conservatism and ability to correctly predict when the concentration of a chemical in a sediment sample is toxic or nontoxic, SQGs can vary by an order of magnitude or more (e.g., 0.6 to 61 mg/kg for dieldrin in freshwater sediment, 21.6 to 840 mg/kg for total PCBs in marine sediment). This poster presents a survey of the SQGs for organic compounds currently in use in the United States and Canada as well as a discussion of the advantages and limitations associated with each of the approaches used to derive these SQGs.
Key words: sediment quality guidelines, organic compounds, North America
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