Assessment of sediment contamination at Great Lakes Areas of Concern: the ARCS Program Toxicity-Chemistry Work Group strategy

Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Health
By: , and 

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Abstract

In response to a mandate in Section 118(c)(3) of the Water Quality Act of 1987, a program called Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments (ARCS) was established. Four technical work groups were formed. This paper details the research strategy of the Toxicity-Chemistry Work Group.

The Work Group's general objectives are to develop survey methods and to map the degree of contamination and toxicity in bottom sediments at three study areas, which will serve as guidance for future surveys at other locations. A related objective is to use the data base that will be generated to calculate sediment quality concentrations by several methods. The information needed to achieve these goals will be collected in a series of field surveys at three areas: Saginaw Bay (MI), Grand Calumet River (IN), and Buffalo River (NY). Assessments of the extent of contamination and potential adverse effects of contaminants in sediment at each of these locations will be conducted by collecting samples for physical characterization, toxicity testing, mutagenicity testing, chemical analyses, and fish bioaccumulation assays. Fish populations will be assessed for tumors and external abnormalities, and benthic community structure will be analyzed. A mapping approach will use low-cost indicator parameters at a large number of stations, and will extrapolate by correlation from traditional chemical and biological studies at a smaller number of locations. Sediment toxicity testing includes elutriate, pore water and whole sediment bioassays in a three-tiered framework. In addition to the regular series of toxicity tests at primary mater stations, some stations are selected for a more extensive suite of tests.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Assessment of sediment contamination at Great Lakes Areas of Concern: the ARCS Program Toxicity-Chemistry Work Group strategy
Series title Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Health
DOI 10.1007/BF00044715
Volume 1
Issue 3
Year Published 1992
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 8 p.
First page 193
Last page 200