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PM09 Sediment Quality Assessment Cases
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(PM147) Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxin, Furan, And Biphenyl Contamination in Hackensack River, Passaic River, and Upper Newark Bay Sediments (Part 3 Of 5).

Wenning, R1, Martello, L1, Von Burg, A1, Pekala, J1, Leitman, P2, Sorensen, M2, 1 ENVIRON International Corporation, Emeryville, CA, USA2 ENVIRON International Corporation, Atlanta, GA, USA

ABSTRACT- This is the third 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 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs) and biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in 47 surficial and 27 deep sediment samples collected from four locations in the Newark Bay estuary: (1) the lower Hackensack River (HR), (2) the lower Passaic River (PR), (3) Newark Bay (NB) near the Port of NY/NJ and, (4) north of the Pulaski Skyway Bridge (PSB) in the Hackensack River. The results were compared to historical data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Storet Database and used in an ecological risk assessment. Dioxin TEQs were calculated using World Health Organization fish toxicity equivalency factors (TEFs). In surficial sediments, PCDD/F toxicity effects quotients (TEQs) and coplanar PCB TEQs ranged from 5.2 to 1,498 pg/g dw and 0.02 to 8 pg/g dw, respectively. Mean total PCB concentrations in the HR were approximately 550,000 pg/g dw in surficial sediments and 540,000 pg/g dw in buried sediments (6 inches to 4 feet). The PCDD/F profile in HR sediments was similar to the profile observed in sediments from PR, and consistent with profiles derived from historical data reported in the estuary. PCDD/F TEQs exceeded the Apparent Effects Threshold benchmark (3.6 pg/g) established by the State of Washington in nearly all sediments, with concentrations ranging up to approximately 1,500 pg/g in surficial sediments and up to 2,855 pg/g in buried sediments in HR. The results of sediment toxicity testing, bioaccumulation testing, and infaunal surveys conducted at each of the four locations indicated comparable toxicity and diminished infaunal conditions. Total PCB concentrations in worm tissue from bioaccumulation tests were below the USEPA 113 ppb benchmark for ocean disposal of dredged material.

Key words: Newark Bay, PCBs, Dioxins, Hackensack River


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