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Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments (ARCS) Program

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US Environmental Protection Agency. 1994. ARCS Assessment Guidance Document. EPA 905-B94-002. Chicago, Ill.: Great Lakes National Program Office.

Submitted to:
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OCEANS AND COASTAL PROTECTION DIVISION
and
GREAT LAKES NATIONAL PROGRAM OFFICE

EPA Contract No. 68-C2-0134
Work Assignment No. 1-3
July 1994

Edited by:
PTI Environmental Services
15375 SE 30th Place, Suite 250
Bellevue, Washington 98007
(206) 643-9803

Under Contract to:
BATTELLE OCEAN SCIENCES
397 Washington Street
Duxbury, Massachusetts 02332
(617) 934-0571

 

Assessment Guidance Document

Abstract

This document provides guidance on procedures for assessing the nature and extent of sediment contamination as applied to areas in the Great Lakes region. The document was prepared by the Toxicity/Chemistry Work Group as part of the Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments (ARCS) Program, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO), in Chicago, Illinois.

Assessment of sediment contamination is intended to determine whether chemical concentrations in the sediments are sufficient to cause adverse effects on either aquatic organisms or organisms higher in the food chain, including humans. One of the main goals of the Toxicity/Chemistry Work Group was the selection of scientifically sound methods for assessing sediment quality. The selected sediment assessment methods were then applied in demonstration studies at several of the Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs).

The sediment assessment methods described in this document include an integration of physical, chemical, and biological information. Decisions regarding the possible need for sediment remediation could therefore be made on the basis of a preponderance of evidence.

The chapters of this guidance document focus on various topics related to the assessment of contaminated sediments. Included is guidance on the necessary elements of a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program, considerations for the conduct of field surveys, screening-level analyses (i.e., relatively rapid, low-cost tests to focus subsequent comprehensive analyses on the more contaminated sediments), chemical analyses, toxicity tests for assessing biological impacts, assessments of benthic invertebrate community structure, surveys of fish tumors and abnormalities, and data presentation and interpretation techniques. In addition to descriptions of the available options within each chapter, recommendations are made to guide the selection of appropriate sediment assessment methods, using the experience gained by the Toxicity/Chemistry Work Group to illustrate key issues. It is intended that the guidance on appropriate sediment assessment methods provided herein may be applied to other Great Lakes AOCs as they undergo investigation by Great Lakes Remedial Action Plan (RAP) personnel at the Federal, State, and local levels.

This report should be cited as follows:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1994. "ARCS Assessment Guidance Document." EPA-905-B94-002. Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL.


Table Of Contents 

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. QUALITY ASSURANCE AND QUALITY CONTROL
  3. SEDIMENT SAMPLING SURVEYS
  4. SCREENING-LEVEL ANALYSES
  5. CHEMICAL ANALYSES
  6. EVALUATION OF SEDIMENT TOXICITY
  7. ASSESSMENT OF BENTHIC INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY STRUCTURE
  8. FISH TUMORS AND ABNORMALITIES
  9. DATA PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION
  10. CONCLUSIONS

  11. REFERENCES

List of Figures


List of Tables


Acknowledgements

This report was prepared by the Toxicity/Chemistry Work Group as part of the Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments (ARCS) Program administered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) in Chicago, Illinois. Editing of individual chapters was performed by Mr. Rick Fox of GLNPO and PTI Environmental Services. Dr. Philippe Ross of The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina, and Mr. Rick Fox served as chairmen of the Toxicity/Chemistry Work Group. Mr. David Cowgill and Dr. Marc Tuchman of GLNPO served as the ARCS Program managers.

Contributors to this report included:

Chapter 1.
Rick Fox, USEPA, GLNPO, Chicago, Illinois
Peter Landrum, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Lawrence McCrone, PTI Environmental Services, Bellevue, Washington

Chapter 2.
Brian Schumacher, USEPA, Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory, Las Vegas, Nevada
Rick Fox, USEPA, GLNPO, Chicago, Illinois
J.C. Filkins, USEPA, Environmental Research Laboratory, Large Lakes Research Station, Grosse Ile, Michigan
Bob Barrick, PTI Environmental Services, Bellevue, Washington

Chapter 3.
V.E. Smith and S.G. Rood, AScI Corporation, Dearborn, Michigan

Chapter 4.
J.E. Rathbun, L.L. Huellmantel, M. Tracy, and K.A. Ahlgren, AScI Corporation, Dearborn, Michigan

Chapter 5.
Eric Crecelius, Brenda Lasorsa, Lisa Lefkovitz, Battelle, Pacific Northwest Division, Marine Sciences Laboratory, Sequim, Washington
Peter Landrum, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Bob Barrick, PTI Environmental Services, Bellevue, Washington

Chapter 6.
G. Allen Burton, Jr., Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio
Christopher G. Ingersoll, National Biological Survey, Columbia, Missouri

Chapter 7.
Timothy Canfield, National Biological Survey, Columbia, Missouri
Thomas La Point, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
Michael Swift, University of Minnesota, Monticello, Minnesota

Chapter 8.
Mary Ellen Mueller, National Biological Survey, Washington, DC
Michael Mac, National Biological Survey, Office of Research Support, Washington, DC

Chapter 9.
S.G. Rood and V.E. Smith, AScI Corporation, Dearborn, Michigan
J.C. Filkins, USEPA, Environmental Research Laboratory, Large Lakes and Rivers Research Branch, Grosse Ile, Michigan
Mark L. Wildhaber and C.J. Schmitt, National Biological Survey, Columbia, Missouri

Chapter 10.
Lawrence McCrone, PTI Environmental Services, Bellevue, Washington

This report was edited and produced by PTI Environmental Services for Battelle Ocean Sciences under USEPA Contract No. 68-C2-0134.


Acronyms and Abbreviations

AET - apparent effects threshold
ANOVA - analysis of variance
AOC - Area of Concern
ARCS - Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments
ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials
AVS - acid-volatile sulfide
AWQC - ambient water quality criteria
CAB - cellulose acetate butyrate
the Corps - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
CRM - certified reference material
CVAA - cold vapor atomic absorption
CVAF - cold vapor atomic fluorescence
DBC - dibutylchlorendate
DCB - decachlorobiphenyl
DGPS - differential global positioning system
DQO - data quality objective
ECD - electron capture detection
ER-L - effects range-low
ER-M - effects range-median
FID - flame ionization detection
GC/MS - gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
GFAA - graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy
GIS - geographic information system
GLNPO - Great Lakes National Program Office
GMP - geologic modeling program
GPC - gel permeation chromatography
GPS - global positioning system
HPLC - high-pressure liquid chromatography
HRMS - high-resolution mass spectrometry
HSI - hepatosomatic index
ICP/AES - inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy
ICP/MS - inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
IDL - instrument detection limit
IUPAC - International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

ICP/AES - inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy
ICP/MS - inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
IDL - instrument detection limit
IUPAC - International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
LaMP - Lakewide Management Plan
LLRS - Large Lakes Research Station
LOQ - limit of quantification
MDL - method detection limit
MQO - measurement quality objective
NFCRC - National Fisheries Contaminant Research Center
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOEL - no-observed-effect-level
OCN - octachloronaphthalene
%RSD - percent relative standard deviation
PAH - polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon
PCA - principal component analysis
PCB - polychlorinated biphenyl
PCDD - polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin
PCDF - polychlorinated dibenzofuran
PEL - probable effects level
QA/QC - quality assurance and quality control
QAMP - quality assurance management plan
QAPP - quality assurance project plan
RAP - Remedial Action Plan (for Great Lakes AOCs)
RPD - relative percent difference
RRF - relative response factor
SIM - selected ion monitoring
SQV - sediment quality value
SRM - standard reference material
TBT - tributyltin
TCDD - 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin
TCMX - tetrachloro-m-xylene
TDL - target detection limit
TEL - threshold effects level
TIE - toxicity identification evaluation
TLC - thin-layer chromatography
TOC - total organic carbon
TPH - total petroleum hydrocarbon
U.S. NIST - U.S. National Institute of Standards Technology
USEPA - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
USGS - U.S. Geological Survey
XRF - x-ray fluorescence


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