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Environmental Assessment

Methods/Indicators for Determining When Metals Are the Cause of Biological Impairments of Rivers and Streams: Species Sensitivity Distributions and Chronic Exposure-Response Relationships from Laboratory Data

Notice

This final report details the methodology for statistical analysis of data on metals toxicity to aquatic organisms and application of analysis results to Stressor Identification. There are 12 appendices which accompany the report to provide source data along with graphical and tabular output.

Due to the size and complexity of these appendices - they are not coded for accessibility. If you need help with these attachments, please phone 513-569-7598 or email the NCEA Technical Information Unit (TIU) of Cincinnati for assistance.

Report Information

This final report describes an analysis of data on the toxicity of metals to aquatic organisms in laboratory toxicity tests and how to apply this information in a Stressor Identification Assessment. Results are provided in the form of species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) and concentration-response relationships for individual aquatic species.

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Glenn W. Suter
  • by phone at:   513-569-7808
  • by fax at:   513-569-7475
  • by email at:  suter.glenn@epa.gov

Background

Picture showing bright orange color in this stream due to ferric (FeII) hydroxide precipitates from acid mine drainage Over a thousand water bodies in the United States are listed by states as biologically impaired. For many of these, the cause of the impairment is also reported as unknown. Before an appropriate management action can be formulated, the cause of the biological impairment must be determined. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Stressor Identification Process (U.S. EPA, 2000) is a formal method for identifying causes of such impairments. Defensible causal analyses require knowledge of the mechanisms, symptoms, and stressor-response relationships for various specific stressors as well as the ability to use that knowledge to draw appropriate conclusions.

This report provides information on the effects of metals on laboratory animals which may be used in the strength-of-evidence step of the Stressor Identification (SI) Process to help determine whether metals contribute to biological impairments.

History/Chronology

Mar 2005External review of the draft document.
July 2005Completion of the final document.
Jan 2008EPA releases the final document.
TBDElectronic SSD and Exposure Response Library loaded to CADDIS

Next Steps

This is the Final report.

Additional Information

This report is also referenced in the Listing Metals as a Candidate Cause section of the CADDIS Web site. The CADDIS website includes an electronic indexed gallery of SSDs and source data along with an SSD Generator spreadsheet that can be used to reanalyze the data. The chronic concentration-response relationships included in this report are also provided as an electronic indexed gallery with source data that can be reanalyzed using the CADStat.

Citation

U.S. EPA. Methods/Indicators for Determining When Metals Are the Cause of Biological Impairments of Rivers and Streams: Species Sensitivity Distributions and Chronic Exposure-Response Relationships from Laboratory Data. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/X-05/027, 2005.

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