United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
Office of Water
Mail Code 4?05
Washington, DC 20460
EPA-823-N-95-001
January 1995
&ERA Water Quality
Criteria and
Standards
Newsletter
EPA SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD TO REVIEW
OW'S METHOD FOR ASSESSMENT OF
METALS CONTAMINATED SEDIMENTS
On January 4 & 5, 1995, the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) will be reviewing the
Office of Water's and the Office of Research and Development's "Equilibrium
Partitioning Approach to Predicting Metal
Bioavailability in Sediments and the Derivation of
Sediment Quality Criteria for Metals." The review
will focus on the application of Equilibrium
Partitioning Theory to five divalent cationic metals:
lead, nickel, copper, cadmium, and zinc. The
Equilibrium Partitioning Approach (Eq-P) was	fffc
originally developed and proposed to derive national jLJ
sediment quality criteria (SQC) for non-ionic	[	'
organic chemicals. The January review will present |
the Eq-P model as it applies to metals, the field and		
laboratory experiments and assessment conducted to
develop the approach and validate it, and several
approaches to deriving SQC for these metals. The
charge to the SAB is four fold:
1)	Can metals concentrations on a dry weight basis be used to establish a plausible
cause and effect relationship between metals concentrations and organism
response?
2)	Are the data presented (in the review) from lab, field, and colonization
experiments sufficient to demonstrate a plausible cause and effect link between
SEM-AVS and/or interstitial water metals concentrations to organism response?
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3)	Does the Subcommittee believe the technical basis for each of the four following
approaches to derive sediment quality criteria for the five metals is sufficiently
sound to proceed with criteria development?
>	AVS Criteria
>	Interstitial Water Criteria
>	AVS and Organic Carbon Criteria
>	AVS and Minimum Partition Coefficient Criteria
4)	Are there chemical or physical characteristics, other than organic carbon, that
significantly contribute to sediment metal bioavailability that should be
considered in order to derive criteria that address both no effect and effect
organism responses?
Are there biological or ecological factors that significantly contribute to sediment
metal bioavailability that should be considered in order to derive criteria that
address both no effect and effect organism responses?
The criteria that will be presented at the
review are lower bound criteria. That is,
they set the level below which no adverse
effects will be seen but do not predict at
what concentration effects will be seen.
If the criteria are exceeded, then further
study is needed to account for either the
effects seen or the lack of effect. The
criteria is lower bound because the initial
solid phase criteria is based on the
strongest binding phase, namely the Acid
Volatile Sulfide (AVS) in the sediment. If
sufficient AVS is present (that is, the
total simultaneously extracted metal is
equal to or less than the concentration of
acid volatile sulfide), then no effects are
expected. If the simultaneously
extractable metal exceeds the AVS, then
other binding phases become important. The next most important phase is organic
carbon. A partitioning model has been suggested that can be used to develop criteria.
It is analogous to the organic carbon normalized model used for the non-ionic organic
chemicals SQCs. It is uncertain at present whether any other solid phases need to be
considered.
It is recommended that the AVS analysis be conducted in combination with an
assessment of the sediments interstitial water. This is particularly true if AVS criteria
are not exceeded yet effects are seen. An interstitial water analysis will reveal if the
toxicity is due to something other than metals. Because interstitial water sampling is
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problematic it is not recommended to be used independently.
In addition to the SEM-AVS method and the Interstitial Water analysis, the review will
also present a combination of SEM-AVS and Organic Carbon normalization. After
some additional development it is anticipated that this approach will allow prediction of
those concentrations above which effects will be expected. The final approach presented
uses an analysis of the lowest possible partitioning coefficients which screens out those
sediments for which the metals concentrations would be too low to cause adverse effects.
Again, this lower bounds approach needs further development. For further
information, contact Mary Reiley, Health and Ecological Criteria Division, Mail Code
4304, 401 M St., S.W., Washington, DC 20460, (202) 260-9456, or FAX (202) 260-
ACTING DIRECTOR, STANDARDS DIRECTOR, HEALTH &
& APPLIED SCIENCE DIVISION ECOLOGICAL CRITERIA DIVISION
1036.
ELIZABETH SOUTHERLAND
MARGARET J. STASIKOWSKI
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WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
DAVID SABOCK
(202) 260-1315
NPR FOR NEW MEXICO
On October 18, 1994, EPA published a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) for
the State of New Mexico (59 Federal
Register 52496). This NPR was developed
to supersede an EPA disapproved
provision in the State's water quality
standards which allowed chemical-specific
analyses for priority toxic pollutants to be
superseded by biomonitoring results (i.e.,
whole effluent toxicity tests). Section
303(c)(2)(B) of the Clean Water Act
requires the application of numeric
criteria for priority toxic pollutants where
those pollutants could be reasonably
expected to interfere with the designated
uses of State waters. On
November 22, 1994, EPA held a public
hearing in Santa Fe to receive comments
on the proposed rule. New Mexico is
currently preparing to adopt necessary
revisions to address EPA's concerns. For
further information, contact Karen
Gourdine at (202) 260-1328).
WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
ACADEMY - 1995
Sessions of the "Water Quality Standards
Academy" have been scheduled in various
locations in FY 1995. The "Water
Quality Standards Academy" is a basic
introductory course designed for those
with less than 6 months experience with
the water quality standards and criteria
programs. Others may also benefit
including veterans of the water quality
standards and criteria programs who may
want a refresher course.
This is a
comprehensive
and highly
structured course,
consisting of 21
modules taught
over five days,
that will introduce
the student to all
aspects of the water quality standards and
criteria programs. This includes the
interpretation and application of the
water quality standards regulation (40
CFR Part 131), policies and program
guidance, the development of water
quality criteria and all other facets of the
program. The target audience consists of
State, Regional Office, Indian Tribal,
academic, environmental, public interest,
and industrial personnel. Locations and
dates for this year's Academies are:
Salt Lake City, Utah- January 23-27, 1995
Tampa, Florida- February 13-17, 1995
Schenectady, New York- March 27-31,
1995
Minneapolis, Minnesota- May 15-19, 1995
Potomac, Maryland- July 10-14, 1995
Two additional sessions are planned for
Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
Dates will be determined shortly. Early
registration is advised, but does not
guarantee selection for participation
because we do try to have representatives
of all shareholder groups in each academy
session. Registration information may be
obtained from: Water Quality Standards
Academy Coordinator at The Cadmus
Group, Inc. (703) 931-8700
WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
HANDBOOK UPDATED
The 1993 Water Quality Standards
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Handbook, Second Edition was updated in
FY 1994 to reflect EPA guidance that has
been released by EPA since 1993. Major
additions include: (1) guidance on the
derivation of site-specific water quality
criteria using the water effect ratio, (2)
the Office of Water Policy Statement on
metals, and (3) an interpretation of EPA's
antidegradation policy as it relates to
nonpoint sources. The 1994 Handbook is
currently at the printers and is expected
to be available in January 1995. The
Handbook will be distributed directly to
the EPA Regional offices, States and
Tribes. When available, limited free
copies will also be available from the EPA
Resource Center at (202) 260- 7786.
WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
REGULATION REVISION
CONTEMPLATED
SASD is considering undertaking a
revision of the water quality standards
program
regulation (40
CFR Part 131.) ^==	\
The current V
regulation was
published in 1983	v
and has not been
amended since,
except for the
addition of procedures for Indian Tribes
to assume administration of the water
quality standards program. Regional and
State experience in implementation of the
regulation has demonstrated several areas
where additional details or modifications
would be helpful to enable States and
EPA to implement the program more
effectively. We are currently planning
discussions with senior management on
potential areas to be addressed and what
procedures we would follow in soliciting
suggestions from the regulated
community. If initiated, this project will
take about three years to complete. For
further information, contact Dave Sabock
at (202) 260-1315.
RISK ASSESSMENT AND
MANAGEMENT BRANCH
THOMAS ARMIT AGE
(202) 260-5388
NATIONAL SEDIMENT
CONTAMINANT POINT SOURCE
INVENTORY
An integral component of the U.S. EPA's
Office of Water's Contaminated Sediment
Management Strategy is the identification
of sources of sediment contaminants in the
U.S. EPA has recently developed a
national inventory of sediment
contaminant discharges from municipal,
federal, and industrial point sources and
analyzed these releases to identify and
rank chemicals, geographic areas, and
industries of concern based on their
potential to cause sediment contamination
problems.
Over 22,000 individual records of point
source releases (TRI and PCS) of 118
different chemicals are included in the
analysis. Approximately 930 individual
watersheds and 46 distinct industrial
categories are represented. With respect
to loading, toxicity and fate characteristics
(relative hazard or HAZREL), the results
indicate that pesticides, metals, and
halogenated organics have the most
potential for impacting sediment quality
nation-wide. Some sediment contaminants
of concern, particularly metals, are
released nation-wide, whereas others, such
as chlordane and heptachlor, are released
from relatively few facilities. The
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geographic regions receiving the greatest
hazard-weighted point source releases are
California, lower Mississippi, Mid-
Atlantic, Great Lakes and Texas Gulf
hydrologic regions. Watersheds in
Regions 4 and 6 pose the greatest
potential risk to human health and
aquatic life from point source releases of
sediment contaminants. The industrial
categories producing the greatest volume
of hazard-weighted releases include
Publicly Owned Treatment Works
(POTWs), organic chemical
manufacturers, pulp and paper mills, and
metal and machinery products.
The data from this
study will be used
in conjunction
with sediment
quality data from
the National
Sediment
Inventory to
identify the potential magnitude of
contaminated sediment problems in the
nation's freshwater and estuarine
ecosystems, identifying locations for
further sediment testing, selecting
chemicals and industries that may require
additional regulation, and selecting
facilities for possible enforcement action.
The next phase of the overall source
inventory project will be an evaluation of
non-point sources of sediment
contaminants. The results of this effort
are described in a report called "The
National Sediment Contaminant Point
Source Inventory: Analysis of Release
Data for 1992." The information will be
included in a WRDA mandated Report to
Congress expected to be released in
Spring 1995. For more information on
the National Sediment Contaminant Point
Source Inventory, contact Catherine Fox
at (202) 260-1327.
CRITFC EXPOSURE STUDY
IHHl
The Columbia
River Inter-Tribal
Fish Commission
(CRITFC)
Exposure Study is
an multi-phase
study being
sponsored by EPA
to assess exposure
to environmental contaminants from fish
consumption in four Native American
Tribes (Nez Perce, Warm Springs,
Umatilla, and Yakama). The first phase
of the study was designed to determine
fish consumption patterns among the four
member tribes of CRITFC. This phase
has been completed. The results of work
conducted during the first phase are
available in a technical report released in
October 1994 entitled "A Fish
Consumption Survey of the Umatilla, Nez
Perce, Yakama, and Warm Springs
Tribes of the Columbia River Basin."
The second phase will involve collection of
fish tissue at 13 sites for analysis of
contaminants. Tissue will be collected
from resident and anadromous fish
species consumed by tribal members and
caught from tribal fisheries in the
Columbia River Basin. Planning for the
second phase is underway. A conference
was held in Portland, OR in October 1994
to design the sampling and analysis
program for the second phase of the
study. Thirty people representing 3
federal agencies (EPA, USF&WS, USGS),
environmental and health agencies from 2
states (Oregon and Washington), and the
tribes attended the conference. A study
design was completed in early December
that is available for distribution. For
further information, contact Leanne Stahl
at (202) 260-7055.
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REGIONAL TRAINING SESSIONS
SASD conducted its first-ever training on
our Guidance For Assessing Chemical
Contaminant Data For Use in Fish
Advisories. Each training session lasted a
day and a half and
covered EPA's
recommendations
contained in its
first two guidance
documents:
Volume 1 :
Sampling and
Analysis and
Volume 2: Risk
Assessment and
Fish Consumption Limits. To encourage
greater state participation, each training
session was scheduled at the end of the
Multi-region Water Quality
Standards/Criteria meetings .
The first session was held in Seattle,
Washington on December 1 and 2.
Approximately fifty people attended from
states, tribes, consultants, etc. The
second session was held in Chicago on
December 8 and 9 and was attended by
approximately forty people (despite the
snow and colder weather). Rick
Hoffmann was in charge of the training
and facilitated the discussions about the
development of the guidance and EPA
policy decisions. Our contractors, Pat
Cunningham (RTI) and Julie Wormser
(Abt) gave detailed presentations of
Volumes 1 and 2, respectively. Many of
the state representatives from both
regions complimented the guidance and
the training. Several attendees said that
these are the types of "tools" that EPA
should provide to state agencies. The
sessions also generated valuable
suggestions for future guidance "updates."
For further information, contact Rick
Hoffmann at (202) 260-0642.
EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT BRANCH
RUSSELL KINERSON
(202) 260-1330
REGIONAL TMDL WORKSHOPS
The Watershed Modeling Section of
SASD, along with the Watershed Branch
of OWOW, has just finished sponsoring a
series of TMDL technical workshops
throughout the country. These workshops
were designed to provide technical and
programmatic support for Regional,
State, and local government personnel
responsible for developing and
implementing TMDLs. Topics included:
hands-on computer modeling for point
source, nonpoint source, and watershed
loading, technical discussions of
bioaccumulation, bioavailability of metals,
monitoring in support of TMDLs;
regional case studies; and highlights of the
HQ technical support program's efforts to
make TMDL models more user friendly.
The workshops were very well received
and should lead to a better understanding
of the TMDL process and therefore to
higher quality TMDLs. For further
information, contact Marge Coombs at
(202) 260-9821.
ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT
ROBERT APRIL
(202) 260-0658
SEDIMENT CONTAMINANT
BIOAVAILABILITY PROGRAM
UPDATE
Draft Sediment Quality Criteria for Non-
ionic Organics: The public comments for
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the draft proposed criteria have been
compiled, sorted, and are in the response
to comments process. A comments
responspe document is anticipated to be
completed in the late Spring and revisions
to the criteria documents themselves soon
afterwards.
User's Guide: A multi-program/multi-
region work group has been formed to
develop a one-stop-guide to user's of the
criteria that will provide both sampling
and technical guidance on using the
criteria and direction on implementing the
criteria in different programs. The
participating programs include: Water,
Superfund, RCRA, Dredging, Pesticides
and Toxic Substances. Contact: Mary
Reiley, Sediment Contaminant
Bioavailability Program, Mail Code 4304,
401 M Street, S.W., Washington, DC,
(202) 260-9546, FAX (202) 260-1036.
x/EPA
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