Contaminated Sediments Program
Table of Contents
- Dredging in the Great Lakes
- Purpose & authority for manual
- Applicability of manual
- Manual development and status
- Dredged material regulation
- What's in it?
- Downloading the manual
- Ask questions
- News update
Great Lakes Dredged Material Testing & Evaluation Manual
Great Lakes Dredged Material Testing & Evaluation Manual - What's In It?Download the Manual
The Great Lakes Dredged Material Testing & Evaluation Manual is available to view or download as set of .pdf files. Pertinent information on the manual and appendices are provided below. Note that a few figures are not yet available in digital form.
- Main Text (PDF 343Kb, 73pps)
- Appendix A - List of acronyms and abbreviations
- Appendix B - Glossary of terms
- Appendix C - Information for Tier
1 and Tier 2 evaluations
(PDF 149Kb, 82pps)
- Appendix D - Sediment sampling
& handling guidance
(PDF 177Kb, 43pps)
- Appendix E - Quality assurance
(PDF 162Kb, 72pps)
- Appendix F - Methods for chemical
and physical analysis
(PDF 1.49Mb, 564pps)
- Appendix G - Procedures for
(PDF 926 Kb, 242pps)
The main text (50 pages) begins with background information on dredged material management regulations, and the role of testing and evaluation in decision making. The bulk of the main text is dedicated to an explanation of the tiered approach for testing dredged material, points at which decisions can be made, and examples of how to apply the manual. Appendices A and B are simply lists of acronyms and definitions of terms used in the manual and other Appendices. Appendices C provides references and other information needed for Tier 1 and 2 analysis. Appendix D provides general guidance on sampling and handling procedures suitable for use in collecting dredged material from Great Lakes sites. Appendix E provides general guidance on quality assurance, and minimum QA requirements for dredged material testing and evaluation in accordance with this manual. Appendix F provides detailed analytical procedures for physical and chemical analysis of dredged material and water/elutriate samples. Appendix G provides detailed analytical procedures for three elutriate-phase toxicity tests, two whole sediment toxicity tests, and one bioacculuation test.
The manual utilizes a tiered approach for testing and evaluation, which is consistent with the national manuals developed for testing dredged material proposed for discharge in inland waters (USEPA/USACE, 1998) and ocean disposal (USEPA/USACE, 1991). This tiered approach is also generally consistent with the "Guidelines for project evaluation" developed by the International Joint Commission for the Great Lakes (IJC 1982).
The objective of the tiered testing approach is to make optimal use of resources in
generating the information necessary to make a contaminant determination, using an
integrated chemical, physical, and biological approach. To achieve this objective, the
procedures in this manual are arranged in a series of tiers with increasing levels of
intensity. The initial tier uses available information that may be sufficient for
completing the evaluation in some cases. Evaluation at successive tiers requires
information from tests of increasing sophistication and cost.
The most logical and cost efficient approach is to enter Tier 1 and proceed as far as necessary to make a determination. There are two possible conclusions that can be made at each of the first three tiers:
- available information is not sufficient to make a contaminant determination, or
- available information is sufficient to make a contaminant determination.
Where information is sufficient (conclusion 1), one of the following determinations may be reached:
- the proposed discharge will not have unsuitable, adverse, contaminant-related impacts, or
- the proposed discharge will have unsuitable, adverse, contaminant-related impacts
Tier 1 compiles existing information about the potential for contamination in the proposed dredged material. Disposal operations that are excluded from testing or have historic data sufficient for the contaminant determination may proceed to a determination without additional testing. The manual identifies sources of historical sediment data, lists industries and activities associated with sediment contamination, and provides examples of cases where testing is and is not needed.
Tier 2 evaluates the potential impacts of the proposed discharge on water column and benthic environments using sediment physical and chemical data collected for this tier, and applied with computer models to project worst-case conditions for water quality impacts and bioaccumulation. The manual provides detailed guidance on acceptable analytical procedures for physical and chemical analysis of the parameters shown below. Based on the results of Tier 2 evaluations, additional testing may be reduced or eliminated.
|Arsenic||Total organic carbon (TOC)|
|Cadmium||Total volatile solids (TVS)|
|Lead||Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH)|
|Mercury||Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)|
Tier 3 evaluates the potential impacts of the proposed discharge on water column and benthic environments using effects-based biological testing. The manual presents recommended procedures for biological-effects tests developed specifically for use in the Great Lakes Basin. The features of these tests are summarized below. Not all tests endpoints have been approved for Tier 3 application.
|Species||Medium||Endpoint(s)||Test Duration (days)|
|Daphnia magna||Elutriate||Survival/Survival and reproduction||2/21|
|Ceriodaphnia dubia||Elutriate||Survival/Survival and Reproduction||2/7|
|Pimephales promelas||Elutriate||Survival/Survival and Growth||4/7|
|Chironomus tentans||Sediment||Survival and Growth||10|
|Hyalella azteca||Sediment||Survival and Growth||10|
Tier 4 is only entered if the information provided by Tiers 1 through 3 is not sufficient to make a contaminant determination. The procedures used in Tier 4 are keyed to site specific issues not resolved by the standardized procedures of earlier tiers. It is intended that very few situations will require a Tier 4 evaluation.
With this tiered testing structure, it is not necessary to obtain data for all tiers to make a contaminant determination. It may also not be necessary to conduct every test described within a given tier to have sufficient information for a determination. The underlying philosophy is that only that data necessary for a determination should be acquired.