The Great Lakes National Program Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiated the Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments (ARCS) program to address concerns of environmental degradation at 43 Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes. In our first report (Passino-Reader et al. 1992), we developed a generic approach for baseline hazard evaluation of aquatic life in the Great Lakes Areas of Concern. In this report, we demonstrate the application of the generic approach to the Buffalo River (New York) Area of Concern. Using available historical data on residues in sediments, water, and biota, we evaluated exposure for 41 contaminants from the Buffalo River for eight taxa of fish and invertebrates representing the major trophic levels in the Buffalo River. By comparing exposure concentrations with reference toxicities, we calculated risk to the eight receptor organisms for typical and worst cases of exposure to the 41 contaminants. For mixtures of the contaminants present at the Buffalo River, primarily metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, we compared sediment concentrations with effects range-low (EL-R) values as reference values for toxicity of mixtures to estimate risk to aquatic biota.
Additional publication details
Baseline risk assessment for aquatic life for the Buffalo River, New York, Area of Concern
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office