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PM09 Sediment Quality Assessment Cases
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(PM144) Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Contamination in Hackensack River, Passaic River, and Upper Newark Bay Sediments (Part 2 Of 5).

Sorenson, M2, Wenning, R1, Martello, L1, Von Burg, A1, Pekala, J1, Leitman, P2, 2 ENVIRON International Corporation, Atlanta, GA, USA1 ENVIRON International Corporation, Emeryville, CA, USA

ABSTRACT- This is the second of five papers describing the results of an investigation of the levels and risks posed by chemicals in sediments in the lower Hackensack River. The concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in 47 surficial and 23 deep sediment samples collected from four locations in the Newark Bay estuary: (1) in the lower Hackensack River (HR), (2) in the lower Passaic River (PR), (3) in Newark Bay (NB) near the Port of NY/NJ and, (4) north of the Pulaski Skyway Bridge (PSB) in the Hackensack River. In general, PAH concentrations in surficial sediments were significantly higher at the PSB site than the other three locations. Furthermore, PAH concentrations were generally higher in HR sediments than in PR sediments. Every PAH analyzed occurred at higher concentrations in buried sediment samples collected from cores to a depth of approximately 10 ft than in surficial samples; the results were significantly greater in core samples for 10 of the 18 PAHs tested (p < 0.05). Comparisons of the sediment results to available New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sediment quality benchmarks indicated a greater number of exceedances of benchmark values in PSB and HR sediments than NB and PR sediments, which suggests a higher potential for PAH-induced adverse effects to aquatic biota in the HR then elsewhere in the estuary. Sediment toxicity testing, bioaccumulation testing, and infaunal survey results conducted at the four estuary locations indicated comparable toxicity and diminished infaunal conditions. The results of N. virens tissue analysis from bioaccumulation tests found elevated levels of several PAHs, particularly fluoranthene and pyrene, at each location. No significant accumulation of PAHs was found in M. nasuta tissue.

Key words: Newark Bay, PAHs, Hackensack River, Passaic River


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