United States
                      Environmental Protection
                             Off ice of Water
               Number 22
               Fall 1998
&EPA   Contaminated
                     Sediments   News
  JM3JD2. .  .

  2 Abyssal Seafloor
    Isolation of Contami-
    nated Sediments

  4 Regional

    Ottawa River, Ohio

    New York/New Jersey

  7 Participants Wanted
    for American
    Wetlands Month '99

  Q Researchers Use In
    Vitro Technique to
    Measure Bioavaila-
    bility of Sediment

 1 O Activities Timeline

 •| Q Creature Feature

 •^ ^ Announcements

    Dredged Material
    Management Plan Guidance

    1996 Annual Reporton
    Regional Monitoring Program
    for Trace Substances
 CSNews is produced by the EPA
 Office of Science and Technology
 (OST) to exchange information on
 contaminated sedimentsandto
 increase communication among
 interested parties. To obtain copies
 of this report orto contribute
 information, contact Jane Marshall
 Farris, EPA OST, mail code 4305,
 401 M Street S.W., Washington,
 DC 204BOat (202) 260-8897.

 To be added to the mailing list or
 to make changes to your address,
 please fax your request to Jane
 Marshall Farris at (202) 260-9830.
EPA's Contaminated Sediment
Management Strategy Published
     To address the ecological and human
      health risks that contaminated sedi-
      ment poses in many U.S. water-
sheds, the Agency has published EPA 's
Contaminated Sediment Management

Also available for review, through the  Of-
fice of Water Docket (202 260-3027), is
the Response to Public Comments Docu-

The Strategy is an EPA workplan describ-
ing actions the Agency believes are needed
to bring about consideration and reduction
of risks posed by contaminated sediments.
In it, EPA summarizes its understanding of
the extent and severity of sediment con-
tamination, including uncertainties about
the dimension of the problem and describes
the cross-program policy framework in
which EPA intends to promote consider-
ation and reduction of ecological and hu-
man health risks posed by sediment con-

The Strategy establishes four goals:

  1) To control sources of sediment con-
   tamination and prevent increases in
   the volume of contaminated sediment.

  2) To reduce the volume of existing (in-
   place) contaminated sediment.

  3) To ensure that sediment dredging and
   dredged material disposal are managed
   in an environmentally sound manner.

  4) To develop a range of scientifically
   sound sediment management tools for
   use in pollution prevention, source
    control, remediation and dredged mate-
    rial management.

EPA 's Contaminated Sediment Manage-
ment Strategy sets forth a plan to accom-
plish a number of key actions.

  • Agency programs will use consistent
   and scientifically sound sediment as-
   sessment methods in their prevention or
   remediation processes.

  • Agency programs will
   use the first National
   Sediment Quality Sur-
   vey Report to Con-
   gress (EPA 823-R-97-
   006) and future biennial
   updates to target chemi-
   cals and watersheds for fur-
   ther assessment, pollution preven-
   tion, and remediation.

  • Where watersheds are clean, EPA will
   prevent sediment contamination
   through point and nonpoint source con-
   trols, promoting best management
   practices, and by testing new pesticides
   and other chemicals to ensure that they
   will not contaminate sediment.

  • Where watersheds are being contami-
   nated, EPA will take appropriate action
   through its point and nonpoint source
   control programs to reduce or eliminate
   contaminant inputs.

  • Where watersheds are already contami-
   nated, EPA will develop risk manage-
   ment strategies and implement source
                    Continued on page 3

No. 22
Summer 1998
Artist's rendering
of the monitoring
scheme for
sediment disposal
in the Hatteras
Abyssal Plain
Study  of Abyssal Seaf loor Isolation of
Contaminated  Sediments Concluded
Recognizing the rapidly decreasing avail-
ability of disposal sites on land, in 1993
Congress directed the Department of De-
fense to assess the technical and scien-
tific feasibility of isolating contaminated
dredged material on the abyssal seafloor.
The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
conducted  and managed the assessment,
which was funded during its first year by
the Strategic Environmental Research and
Development Program and in the follow-
ing two years  by the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency. NRL carried
out the projects in collaboration with par-
ticipants from academic institutions and
industrial organizations.

The seafloor isolation concept is an at-
tractive management option for contami-
nated dredged material because, if abyssal
isolation is feasible and environmentally
sound,  air, land, or water supplies would
not be contaminated. The participants
concluded  that it is technically and envi-
ronmentally feasible. In ports where ship-
ping costs are high, abyssal seafloor iso-
lation is a cost-competitive strategy. They
also outlined the architecture of a system
to monitor conditions at the site and to
detect and measure possible leaks of con-
taminated m aterial.

Suitable Disposal Site  Found
Material should be placed in as few sites
as possible, ideally only one, to minimize
the affected area. This is a major con-
straint. Introducing dredged material,
with its high organic content, into the
abyssal environment can be expected to
alter the local geochemical and biological
conditions for hundreds and possibly
thousands of years.

After extensive analysis of oceano-
graphic, meteorologic, geologic, and eco-
nomic constraints, the project team iden-
tified a suitable area in the Hatteras
Abyssal Plain, about 1,600 km (992 mi.)
south of Boston and 1,100 km (620 mi.)
east of Jacksonville.
                                                   OXYGEN, WATER VELOCITY,
                                                   WATER TEMPERATURE,
                                                   WATER SALINITY,
                                                   HEAVY METALS  SELECTIVELY,
                                                   ORGANICS SELECTIVELY
                  ALL OF MOORED
                  SENSOR SUFTE
                  PLUS SEAFLOOR
                       'Y/ '  \ \
                                                                   ~ WASTE APRON _"   i^

During its first year, the project deter-
mined that the optimal means of trans-
porting material to the site would be large
bags made of synthetic fabric that holds
400-800 cubic meters of material. Barges
would haul the containers from a dredg-
ing site to the ocean isolation site, where
they would be released to fall freely to the
abyssal seafloor. Container walls and
seams would be strong enough not to tear
during release from the barge and the
subsequent 5,000-meter descent and im-
pact on the abyssal seafloor.

Only one probable pathway for contami-
nants to enter the productive surface eco-
system was identified: the eggs of certain
abyssal fish. However, the quantity of
transport would be negligible.

Monitoring System Designed
In the last year, the project has identified
several types of sensors and platforms
that could be used to monitor the isolation
site for possible leakage. The monitoring
system architecture was formulated (see
the drawing on page 2) to deploy, oper-
ate, maintain, and retrieve data from the
sensor suite. This was challenging due to
the levels of measurement sensitivity and
the stability required in the high pressures
and low temperatures of the abyssal re-

For  More Information
Findings of Years One and Two address-
ing the engineering system and environ-
mental consequences of such a contami-

STRATEGY Continued from page 1

Copies of EPA 's Contaminated Sediment
Management Strategy (document number
EPA-823-R-98-001) are available from:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
National Center for Environmental Publi-
cations and Information
11029 Kenwood Road., Building 5
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45242.

Copies may be ordered by phone at (800)
490-9198; by fax at (513) 489-8695; or
on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/
ncepihom/orderpub.html. The  Strategy
can be viewed or downloaded  from the
Office of Science and Technology's home
page, at http://www.epa.gov/ost/cs/.
nated dredged material management con-
cept are available in NRL reports and
conference proceedings; peer-reviewed
papers are in publication. Findings of
Year Three will soon be published in NRL

For more information, contact Philip Va-
lent of the Naval Research Laboratory at
(228) 688-4650, by fax at (228) 688-
4093, or by e-mail at phil.valent@
Ordering the Proceedings of the
1996 National Sediment
Bioaccumulation Conference

The proceedings of the National Sediment
Bioaccumulation Conference sponsored by
EPA's Office of Science and Technology
(OST) and Office of Research and Devel-
opment in September 1996 are now avail-
able from EPA. The document number is

To order a copy, contact:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
National Center for Environmental Publi-
  cations and Information
P.O. Box 42419
Cincinnati, OH 45242

Copies may be ordered by phone at (800)
490-9198; by fax at (513) 489-8695; or
on the Internet at www.epa.gov/ncepihom/

The document can be viewed or down-
loaded from OST's home page at

Questions about the proceedings may be
directed to OST at (202) 260-7055.
                                                                                            No. 22
                                                                                       Summer 1998\

No. 22
Summer 1998
                  EPA Great Lakes National Program Office
                  Ottawa  River, Ohio: Contaminated
                  Sediment Remediation  Project Completed
                  Concentrations of polychlorinated biphe-
                  nyls (PCBs) in the sediment of a former
                  tributary to the Ottawa River in Toledo,
                  Ohio are less than 10 parts per million
                  (ppm) following completion of a $5 mil-
                  lion remediation project in May.

                  The  project was the result of a partner-
                  ship between the City of Toledo, the Ohio
                  Environmental Protection Agency
                  (OEPA), the U.S. Environmental Protec-
                  tion Agency, and GenCorp, Inc. To help
                  "jump start" the effort and demonstrate
                  the effectiveness and efficiency of a part-
                  nership  approach to addressing sediment
                  contamination, U.S. EPA's Great Lakes
                  National Program Office awarded a
                  $500,000 grant to OEPA. An additional
                  $140,000 came from an OEPA solid
                  waste settlement with the City of Toledo,
                  and approximately $4,500,000 came from

                  Part  of Maumee Area of Concern
                  The Ottawa River flows into Maumee
A back hoe excavates  Bay in Lake Erie's western Basin and is
contaminated sediment part of the Maumee River Area of Con-
"in the dry" behind a  cern.  The remediated tributary is 975 feet
coffer dam built across iong  and 90 feet wide. It is located about
an Ottawa River      five miles upstream from Maumee Bay.
PCB concentrations in the tributary had
ranged up to 74,000 ppm, and fish found
in the vicinity contained PCBs at concen-
trations over 500 ppm. A consumption
advisory for eating fish taken from any-
where in the Ottawa River, issued by the
Ohio Department of Health, remains in ef-

The PCBs came from a variety of
sources. The primary source was an in-
dustrial facility bordering the tributary and
formerly owned by GenCorp. The facility
used a heat exchange fluid that contained
PCBs, and some of the PCB fluid entered
the tributary. Several landfills near the
tributary are also suspected sources of
PCBs. Two are being remediated under
the Superfund Accelerated Cleanup

Assessment and Clean Up
Prior to remediation, a comprehensive as-
sessment and characterization program
delineated the boundaries of the PCB-con-
taminated sediment. Then, several reme-
dial options were investigated.

The chosen option called for a sheet pile
coffer dam to isolate the tributary
hydraulicly from the Ottawa River's main
stem. Once the dam was in place, water
was pumped and treated on site, and
about 8,000 cubic yards of contaminated
sediment were removed. The sediment
was transported to a Michigan landfill li-
censed under the Toxic  Substances Con-
trol Act. An estimated 56,000 pounds of
PCBs were removed. The excavation was
conducted "in the dry" to minimize any
potential impacts due to resuspension of
the highly contaminated sediments.

After the project was finished, the tribu-
tary was backfilled with 5 to 10 feet of
clean clay, and a new swale was con-
structed about 100 yards to the west. The
                    Continued on page 5

EPA Region 2

Program EvaluatesTechnologies to Treat Contaminated
Sediments from New York/New Jersey Harbor

                                         ing sediments from New York/New Jer-
                                         sey Harbor. As a result, a multicultural
                                         team was formed. It included representa-
                                         tives of government, industry,
                                         academia, and the general public. The
                                         WRDA Program is the responsibility
                                         of EPA Region 2 and the U.S. Army
                                         Corps of Engineer's New York
                                         District.  The Department of
                                         Energy's Brookhaven National
                                         Laboratory is the technical project

                                         The program has progressed
                                         through demonstrations of various
                                         technologies at the bench and pilot
                                         scales and is now moving toward the
                                         construction of commercial-scale facili-
                                         ties. This step-wise procedure has re-
                                         duced the number of participants through
                                         specific selection criteria, including tech-
                                         nical performance, demonstration costs,
                                         public-private cost sharing, beneficial re-
                                         use of treated material, and corporate
                                         evaluations of the business potential for
                                         sediment decontamination.

                                         Federal funding available under WRDA
                                         provides assistance to the commercializa-
                                         tion process, but the private sector will
                                         provide the capital needed for facility
                                         construction  and operation. The program
                                         participants believe this type  of coopera-
                                         tive approach will be useful in the New
                                         York and New Jersey region—and may
                                         have features of interest to other U.S.
                                         ports that must dispose of contaminated

                                         Dumping Options Dwindle
                                         Stricter regulations have reduced the
                                         amount of dredged material considered
                                         suitable for dumping in the coastal Atlan-
                                         tic Ocean, thus creating an operational
                                         crisis for the New York/New Jersey Har-
                                         bor. On September 29, 1997, EPA de-
                                         designated and terminated the dredged
                                         material ocean disposal site and simulta-
                                         neously designed the Historic Area
                                         Remediation Site (HARS). The HARS can
                                         receive only dredged material suitable for

                                                              Continued on page 6
                                                                                            No. 22
                                                                                       Summer 1998\
More than 400 million cubic yards of
sediments are dredged from U.S. water-
ways each year, and close to 60 million
cubic yards are disposed of in the ocean.
The need to protect the environment from
the undesirable effects of sediment dredg-
ing and disposal is gaining increased at-
tention from the public and  government

The handling of contaminated sediments
in the Port of New York/New Jersey ex-
emplifies this problem. Each year, be-
tween 4 million and 7 million cubic yards
of sediment must be dredged there to per-
mit safe navigation and commerce. That
sediment contains contaminants that are
among the highest concentrations in the
country. Heavy metals, chlorinated pesti-
cides, polynuclear aromatic hydrocar-
bons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and di-
oxins/furan are the major contaminants of
concern.  Several contaminants detected
in the sediments and in fish  and shellfish
have resulted in fishing advisories.

A Team Approach
The Water Resources Development Act
(WRDA) of 1992 (section 405 C) and
1996 (section 226) mandated a demon-
stration of the feasibility of decontaminat-

Ottawa River continued from page 4

former tributary was graded and reseeded
with a native wetlands seed mix.

The remediation will have positive short-
and long-term impacts on the Ottawa
River, Maumee Bay, and Lake Erie. The
cleanup has removed a major source of
PCB contamination in the Ottawa River,
and a significant source of contamination
to Maumee Bay and Lake Erie.

Fish  and sediments in the Ottawa River
will continue to be evaluated to monitor
the reduction of exposure as a result of
these remedial efforts.

For  More Information
Additional information on this project is
available from Marc Tuchman, Sediment
Team Leader, Great Lakes National Pro-
gram Office, at (312) 353-1369 (e-mail:

No. 22
Summer 1998

                   use as "Material for Remediation," de-
                   fined as "uncontaminated dredged mate-
                   rial (i.e., dredged material that meets cur-
                   rent Category I standards and will not
                   cause significant undesirable effects, in-
                   cluding those caused by bioaccumu-

                   Current proposed solutions to the port's
                   dredged material disposal problem in-

                     • Continued unrestricted ocean disposal
                       of uncontaminated material to the

                     • The use of confined disposal facilities
                       (both upland facilities and contain-
                       ment islands).

                     • Subaqueous borrow pits.

                     • Processing/treatment of contaminated

                   A complete solution to the dredging prob-
                   lem will likely include a combination of
                   many, or all, of these alternatives.

                   Decontamination is one component of the
                   overall dredged material management
                   strategy. It can reduce the magnitude of
                   the contamination, and may provide a
                   treated product that can be sold for reuse,
                   thus simplifying disposal and possibly re-
                   ducing the overall cost of treatment.

                   Seeking Economic Alternatives
                   Goals of the WRDA Program include
                   demonstrating sediment decontamination
                   technologies and creating a treatment
                   train capable of annually processing as
                   much as 500,000 cubic yards of contami-
                   nated sediment. This treatment train in-
                   cludes sediment assessment (3-D sedi-
                   ment visualization), dredging, materials
                   handling, decontamination and beneficial
                   reuse of the  post-treated material.

                   Bench- and pilot-scale tests of various
                   technologies were completed in Decem-
                   ber 1996. The  technologies included ther-
                   mal destruction and desorption processes,
                   stabilization/solidification, sediment wash-
                   ing, advanced  chemical treatments, sol-
                   vent extraction methods, and manufac-
                   tured soil production. The development of
                                          an overall conceptual plan for implement-
                                          ing a large-scale facility is underway.

                                          Various contaminants are present at a
                                          wide range of concentrations in material
                                          dredged from the New  York/New Jersey
                                          Harbor. This fact necessitated the devel-
                                          opment of several types of decontamina-
                                          tion technologies to provide comprehen-
                                          sive treatment. In each  case, the
                                          processed materials have beneficial uses
                                          and can be sold to offset a portion of the
                                          decontamination costs.

                                          In 1998, the WRDA Program is focusing
                                          on a system of low- to  high-temperature
                                          technologies that can accommodate a
                                          range of sediment contamination. These
                                          approaches include a sediment washing
                                          method developed by BioGenesis Enter-
                                          prises, Inc., a high-temperature process
                                          developed by the  Institute of Gas Tech-
                                          nology (IGT) to destroy organic com-
                                          pounds and bind metals into a
                                          cementitious matrix, and a Westinghouse
                                          plasma-arc vitrification process. Work
                                          also is being done on manufactured soil
                                          production; the  U.S. Army Corp of Engi-
                                          neers Waterways Experiment Station is
                                          using untreated sediment  for that pur-
                                          pose, and BioGenesis is looking at using
                                          treated sediment from the harbor.

                                          Beneficial  Uses
                                          The material dredged from the New
                                          York/New Jersey Harbor  consists mainly
                                          of fine-grained silt and  clay, and is unsuit-
                                          able for use as structural fill directly after
                                          treatment. Because treatment destroys
                                          naturally occurring organic material as
                                          well as organic  contaminants, the treated
                                          material typically is not a  useful growth
                                          substrate. However, the treated material
                                          can be mixed with other material to make
                                          a variety of useful products, including
                                          potting soil, top soil, and daily landfill
                                          cover. It also can be used in wetlands and
                                          habitat restoration, and  in the restoration
                                          or filling of underwater areas.

                                          The blended cement produced by the IGT
                                          high-temperature  Cement Lock™ Tech-
                                          nology exceeds the American Society for
                                          Testing and Materials requirements for
                                          Portland cement. It can be used in con-
                                          crete for general construction applica-

Anticipated Commercial Operation
The large-scale treatment facilities that
will meet the WRDA treatment goal are
expected to become operational in 12 to
30 months. But before they begin operat-
ing, they must obtain state and local per-
mits. The permit process for sediment
washing should be relatively straightfor-
ward, since there  are no gaseous
sidestreams, and contaminants found  in a
liquid side stream can be removed by
standard water processing techniques.
The high-temperature process, however,
will require comprehensive air permits.

Environmentally safe decontamination
technologies also must be economically
viable. Currently,  dredged material is  sta-
bilized with fly ash and used for con-
struction material  and cover at several lo-
cations in New Jersey. The total  cost of
dredging, stabilization, and disposal
ranges from $40 to $50  per cubic yard.
Current disposal costs in the Newark  Bay
confined disposal  facility are about $35
per cubic yard.

WRDA Program managers  are confident
that costs of sediment washing and ce-
ment production will be competitive—at
or below $35 per  cubic yard—when full-
scale operation is  underway.

For More Information
More information is available from Eric
A. Stern of EPA Region 2, 290 Broad-
way, New York, NY 10007-1866. His
phone number is (212) 637-3806, and his
e-mail address is stern.eric@epamail.epa.
Editor's Note: This article is  based on the
 paper  "Maintaining Access  to America's
 Intermodal  Ports/Technologies for Decon-
 tamination  of Dredged Sediment: New
 York/New Jersey Harbor,"  by Eric A Stern,
  EPA Region 2;  Keith W. Jones, Brookhaven
  National Laboratory; Kerwin Donato,  U.S.
  Army Corps of Engineers - New York
  District; John  D. Pauling,  P.E., and John
  G. Sontag, Jr., P.E., Roy  F. Weston, Inc.;
   Nicholas  L. Clesceri, Rensselaer Poly-
                  technic  Institute;
                       Michael C.
                       Services,  Inc.;
                       and Charles  L.
                       Wilde, BioGenesis
                       Enterprises,  Inc.
Participants Wanted for
American Wetlands Month '99

Problem-solving workshops on such is-
sues as how to work with developers,
school projects, and other local and na-
tional wetlands concerns will dominate
next spring's American Wetlands Month

"Talking heads are out, sharing experi-
ences and ideas are in. The American
Wetlands Month Conferences give par-
ticipants  a chance to learn how local part-
nerships between businesses and environ-
mentalists can spawn innovative solutions
that are a win-win  for communities and
the environment," says Chris Novak, ex-
ecutive director of the Terrene Institute,
which is  sponsoring the conferences.

Conference Locations
Conferences will be held in four "Com-
munities  Working for Wetlands" from
coast to coast next year.

The first  conference will be held in New
Orleans, Louisiana on February 18-20.
The second will be in San Francisco, Cali-
fornia on March  18-20, and the third in
Indianapolis, Indiana on April 8-10. The
fourth and final conference will kick off
American Wetlands Month when it is held
in Andover, Massachusetts on May 6-8.

Hands-on, Interactive  Activities
Conference participants will actually
"Work for Wetlands" on the Saturday of
each conference, helping local groups
with wetland projects. Optional field trips
and workshops—A Wetlands Primer,
Working with Corporate Partners, Land-
scaping Wetlands—will precede the con-
ferences. The final reception will recog-
nize local community leaders  and groups
active in  wetlands conservation.

For  More  Information
AWM '99 Communities Working for Wet-
lands is cosponsored by federal agen-
cies, private corporations, and groups.

More information is available from
the Terrene Institute, 4 Herbert
Street, Alexandria, VA 22305; (703)
548-5473; fax on demand (800) 813-
1925; www.terrene, org;
terrinst(S)aol. com.
                                                                                               No. 22
                                                                                          Summer 1998\

              No. 22
              Summer 1998
Figure 1. Proportion of sediment-
associated benzo[a]pyrene extractable
by digestive fluid q/'Arenicola
brasiliensis. Each of the six sediments
tested is denoted by a two-letter
UC  Berkeley  Researchers  Use In  Vitro
Technique  to   Measure  Bioavailability  of
Sediment-Associated   Contaminants
        SS   AR   RR   CO  BB
Researchers at the University of Califor-
nia at Berkeley are using in vitro digestive
fluid extraction to measure sediment-
bound contaminant bioavailability. The
original description of the technique
(Mayer et al., 1997) and further develop-
ment (Weston and Mayer, 1998a; 1998b)
have shown the approach provides a
measure of the bioavailability of sediment
contaminants in a wide variety of risk as-
sessment scenarios and can be used to
study the basic mechanisms of how or-
ganisms accumulate contaminants from

When a deposit-feeding organism ingests
sediment, the chemistry of the gut envi-
ronment determines if the associated con-
taminants can be  desorbed from the par-
ticles and are available for dietary
absorption. The researchers mimic this
process in vitro, by incubating the sedi-
ments of concern in digestive fluid and
expressing bioavailability as the percent-
age of contaminant solubilized in those

The approach presumes that the contami-
nant extractable by digestive fluid is im-
plicitly a far better indicator of the
bioavailable fraction than that extractable
by the strong acids or exotic organic sol-
       vents typically used in a chemical
       analysis. Chemical extraction
       methods are generally designed to
       recover the total, rather than the
       bioavailable, contaminant. Some
       proposed  selective extractions
       (for example, a weak  acid extrac-
       tion for trace metals) purport to
       quantify the bioavail-able fraction,
       but none have been generally ac-
       cepted or broadly adopted. The
       digestive  fluid technique is essen-
       tially a chemical extraction, but
       with a biologically relevant ex-

       Biological methods such as toxic-
       ity or bioaccumulation testing are
       currently  used widely  to measure
       bioavailability, yet interpretation
of the results can be confounded by fac-
tors unrelated to bioavailability. For ex-
ample, toxicity can also be a function of
the organism's prior acclimation or adap-
tation. Bioaccumulation as a measure of
bioavailability is confounded by behaviors
affecting exposure (such as feeding and
respiration rates) as well as metabolism of
the contaminant of interest.

Because of its large size and the amount
of digestive fluid that can be recovered,
the polychaete Arenicola brasiliensis has
been a source of digestive fluid for most
of the UC Berkeley researchers' work.
They have used this fluid to extract sedi-
ments from throughout California con-
taminated with polycyclic aromatic hy-
drocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs), or trace metals. Their
results have included the following obser-

  •  Gut fluid pH of a wide variety of in-
    vertebrates is near neutral. That
    raises questions about the biological
    relevance of the strong acid extrac-
    tions used in traditional chemical
    analyses for metals.

  •  Much of the contaminant extractable
    by traditional chemical means is not
    extractable in digestive fluid. When
    six California sediments were spiked
    with PAHs, only 12 to 50 percent of
    the PAHs were solubilized in an in
    vitro digestive fluid extraction (Figure
    1). Thus, any  assessment based on
    total PAHs would have overestimated
    the risk posed by these sediments by
    a factor of two to eight.

  •  In vitro contaminant extraction is
    similar to that obtained in vivo. Al-
    lowing intact A. brasiliensis to feed
    on contaminated sediments and then
    analyzing the PAH content of their
    gut fluids produced very similar re-
    sults to dissecting digestive fluid
    from unexposed A. brasiliensis and
    doing the extractions in vitro.

  • Digestive fluid extraction gives re-
    sults similar to other traditional
    bioavaila-bility measures using whole
    animal exposures.

  • The extractability of PAH in digestive
    fluid is highly dependent upon the or-
    ganic carbon  content of the sediment.
    Organic carbon is widely recognized
    as an important determinant of bio-
    availability, so it is encouraging that
    its influence is apparent in in vitro ex-
    tractions as well.

  • Extraction efficiency is concentration
    dependent.  The more contaminated a
    sediment is, the greater the propor-
    tion of contaminant that is
    bioavailable. This result is not unex-
    pected, but it has never been tested
    by other bioavailability studies.

  • Extending the researchers' work to
    include species representing several
    phyla clearly shows that bioavaila-
    bility is a concept that depends upon
    the exposed species (Figure 2). The
    digestive fluid of some species is ca-
    pable of extracting an order-of-mag-
    nitude more contaminant from in-
    gested sediment than is the fluid from
    other species.

  • The approach can be used to test the
    effect of sediment holding time or
    conditions (such as freezing) on the
    bioavailability of sediment-bound
    contaminants. For example, when a
    sediment was spiked with PAHs and
    immediately extracted by digestive
    fluid, 70 percent of the PAHs was
    solubilized. Holding the sediment for
    three weeks cut the  extractable pro-
    portion to 35 percent.  Sediment aging
    has been shown to decrease
    bioavailability in a number of other
    bioaccumulation and microbial degra-
    dation studies as well.

Potential Applications
The in vitro digestive fluid extraction
technique provides an intuitively attractive
method to quantify contaminant bioavail-
ability to aquatic organisms. It has obvi-
ous utility in any application where quan-
tification of the bioavailable, rather than
total, contaminant is desirable and when
ingestion of contaminated  sediments is a
potential route of contaminant
bioaccumu-lation. The approach has the
ecological relevance of biologically based
methods to measure bioavailability, such
as bioaccumulation testing, but without
some of the complications such as me-
tabolism of the compound of in-

Since the technique does not re-
quire exposure of whole animals,
sediments can be evaluated even
when conditions are unsuitable
for long-term animal exposure
(for example, anaerobic  condi-
tions or hypersaline environ-
ments). The approach holds great
promise in studying the funda-
mental mechanisms of bioaccu-
mulation, in establishing the ef-
fect of laboratory manipulations
of sediment on bioavailability, and
in ecological risk assessment of
contaminated aquatic sediments.

For More Information
For more information, contact
Donald Weston, University of
California, 1301 S. 46th St., Bldg.
112, Richmond, CA 94804; (510)
231-5626; dweston@
uclink4 .berkeley. edu

Literature Cited
Mayer, L.M., Z. Chen, R.H.
   Findlay, J. Fang, S. Sampson,
   R.F.L.  Self,  P.A. Jumars, C.
   Quetel and O.F.X. Donard.
   1996. Bioavailability of sedi-
   mentary contaminants subject to de-
   posit-feeder digestion. Environ. Sci.
   Technol.  30:2641-2645.

Weston, D.P. and L.M. Mayer.  1998a. In
   vitro digestive fluid extraction as a
   measure of the bioavailability of sedi-
   ment-associated polycyclic aromatic
   hydrocarbons: sources of variation and
   implications for partitioning models.
   Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 17:820-829.

Weston, D.P. and L.M. Mayer.  1998b.
   Comparison of in vitro digestive fluid
   extraction and traditional in vivo ap-
   proaches  as measures of polycyclic
   aromatic hydrocarbon bioavailability
   from sediments. Environ. Toxicol.
   Chem.  17:830-840.
                                                                                                No. 22
                                                                                           Summer 1998\
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Figure 2.  Proportion of zinc and
benzo[a]pyrene extractable from a
single sediment using the digestive
fluids of five invertebrate species. A
sea-water extraction is shown for

            No. 22
            Summer 1998
CSN Activitio
3 I'imolino
^ — i
jQ I
    (reatur« like me form IMhaped burrowi in
    tttuaritt, wit manhei, and other shallow
    environment* where the water \\ quiet and
    the floor ii joft Oo you know what I am?
                              November 15-19, 1998
                              Annual Conference on Water Resources,
                              sponsored by the American Water Re-
                              sources Association, in Point Clear, AL,
                              POC:  703-904-1225

                              November 15-19, 1998
                              19th Annual Meeting of Society of
                              Environmental Toxicology  and Chemistry
                              (SETAC), theme: The Natural Connection:
                              Environmental Integrity and Human
                              Health, in Charlotte,  NC. POC:
                              setac@setac.org  http://www.setac.org

                              November 16, 1998
                              Stakeholders Forum  of the Great Lakes
                              Binational Toxics Strategy, sponsored by
                              USEPA and Environment Canada, in
                              Chicago, IL. POC: bnsstake@ross-

                              November 16-18, 1998
                              National Pollution Prevention Roundtable
                              Meeting, in Hot Springs, AR.  POC:

                              November 16-18, 1998
                              Brownfields '98, sponsored by USEPA et
                              al., in Los Angeles, CA. POC: 877-838-
                                  November  17-18, 1998
                                  Fall Meeting of Aquatic
                                  Nuisance Species Task Force,
                                  U.S. Army  Engineers Water-
                                  ways Experiment Station,
                                  Vicksburg,  MS.  POC: Bob
                                  Peoples   703-358-2025
                                  robert_peop les@fws.gov
a i
                        j.0 LUJOM
Bn| e Sj
                                  November  17-19, 1998
                                  Midwest Natural Resources
                                  Group Roundtable and
                                  Meeting, in Lake Geneva, Wl.

                                  November  19-20, 1998
                                  14th Annual Conference of
                                  the Center for Environmental
                                  Information, Inc, Climate
                                  Change and New York State:
                                  Gaining the Competitive Edge,
                                  in Albany, New York. POC:
                                  (716)  262-2870
December 7-8, 1998
Natural Attenuation '98,
sponsored by IBC,  in Pasa-
dena, CA. POC:
                                                                December 7-9, 1998
                                                                Environmental Biotechnologies & Site
                                                                Remediation Technologies, sponsored by
                                                                Institute of Gas Technology, in Orlando,
                                                                FL. POC: robertsr@igt.org

                                                                December 9-10, 1998
                                                                Great Lakes GIS Online Workshop,
                                                                sponsored by the Great Lakes Commis-
                                                                sion, in Chicago, IL. POC: Julie
                                                                Wagemakers,  734-665-9135,

                                                                December 15-17, 1998
                                                                2nd Annual Partners for Smart Growth
                                                                Conference, sponsored by USEPA and the
                                                                Urban Land Institute, in Austin, TX. POC:

                              January 11-15, 1999
                              28th Dredging Engineering Short Course,
                              sponsored by Center for Dredging Studies,
                              in College Station, TX.  POC: j-

                              January 20-22, 1999
                              Workshop on Dredged Material Manage-
                              ment and State Coastal Zone Management
                              Programs, sponsored by the Coastal
                              States Organization, NOAA, and the
                              National Dredging Team, in New Orleans,
                              LA. POC: Tony MacDonald at CSO,

                              January 21, 1999
                              Regulation and Remedial Technologies
                              Pertaining to Contaminated Sediments,
                              sponsored by Federation of Environmental
                              Technologists, in Milwaukee, Wl. POC:
                                                                       March 21-25, 1999
                                                                       217th National Meeting, American
                                                                       Chemical Society, in Anaheim, CA. CALL
                                                                       FOR PAPERS until  November 1, 1998.
                                                                       POC: lipnick.robert@epamail.epa.gov
                                                                       April 11-14, 1999
                                                                       National Conference on Environmental
                                                                       Decision Making, sponsored by NOEDR,
                                                                       in Knoxville, TN.  POC: www.ncedr.org

April 26-30, 1999
Ninth International Zebra Mussel and
Aquatic Nuisance Species Conference,
hosted by the University of Minnesota Sea
Grant Program,  in Duluth, MN. CALL
FOR ABSTRACTS until September 25,
1998.  POC: Elizabeth Muckle-Jeffs, 800-
868-8776  or www.zebraconf.org/
May 10-14,  1999
WEFTEC Latin America '99 in conjunction
with The 20th Brazilian Congress on
Sanitary and  Environmental Engineering,
co- sponsored by Water Environment
Federation (WEF) and Associa, o
Brasileira de Engenharia Sanit ria e
Ambiental  (ABES), in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil. POC: http://www.wef.org, e-mail:
confinfo@wef.org, phone: 703-684-

May 2-5, 1999
A National Town Meeting, sponsored by
President's Council on Sustainable
Development and Global Environment &
Technology Foundation, in Detroit, Ml and
other locations.  POC: N.M.@getf.org  or
May 17-18,  1999
Semi-Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes
Commission, in Montreal, Quebec. POC:
Contact: Mike Donahue, 734-665-9135,

May 19, 1999
40th Anniversary Celebration and Sympo-
sium on the Great Lakes- St. Lawrence
Seaway System, in Montreal, Quebec.
POC: Mike Donahue, 734-665-9135,

May 20-21,  1999
1 3th International Great Lakes-St.
Lawrence Mayors' Conference, in
Montreal, Quebec. POC:  Steve Thorp,
734-665-9135,  sthorp@glc.org

May 19-22,  1999
1999 Canadian Coastal Conference, in
Victoria, BC. POC: www.vgivision.com/
                                                                                           No. 22
                                                                                      Summer 1998\
Dredged Material Management
Plan Guidance Published

The National Dredging Team announces
the availability of Guidance for Local
Planning Groups & Development of
Dredged Material Management Plans.

An interagency group of federal agencies
involved in dredged material management
activities, the National Dredging Team is-
sued this guidance to provide a frame-
work to (1) assist in the formation of Lo-
cal Planning Groups; (2) establish a
planning process; and (3) develop and
implement dredged m aterial m anagement

If you have any questions, please contact
Sharon Lin, Environmental Engineer,
Oceans and Coastal Protection Division,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
401 M St. S.W. (4504F), Washington,
D.C. 20460. Tel: (202) 260-5129; e-mail:

1996 Annual Report on Regional
Monitoring  Program for Trace

The San Francisco Estuary Institute's
1996 Annual Report is available for distri-
bution. The cost is $25 ($15 for nonprofit
organizations), payable by check or money
order made out to the Regional Monitoring

To order a copy of the report, send your
payment and your name, organization, ad-
dress, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail
address to:

  Gabriele Marek
  San Francisco Estuary Institute
  1325 South 46th Street
  Richmond, CA 94804

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