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ENDANGERED SPECIES SENSITIVITY AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT
Mayer Jr., F L. ENDANGERED SPECIES SENSITIVITY AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT. Presented at U.S. EPA Science Forum 2002: Meeting the Challenges, Washington, D. C, May 1-2, 2002.
he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service share a common responsibility for the protection of our nation's aquatic species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The EPA, under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and the Clean Water Act (CWA) assesses risk to aquatic species, and it has been assumed that these processes are also protective of endangered species. Until recently, little
or no toxicological data existed to determine if endangered species were more sensitive to chemicals than other species, and if present laws adequately protected endangered species.
EPA needed tools to predict acute and chronic effects on endangered species without physically testing them, and thereby insure their adequate protection. EPA's Gulf Ecology Division (ORD/NHEERL) and Offices of Water, Pesticide Programs, and Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the University of Missouri have collaborated in conducting toxicological tests for 18 endangered species
(17 fish and 1 toad) and 3 common fish species with 5 chemicals representing a broad range of modes of action. The endangered species were found to be no more sensitive to chemicals than non-endangered species. Two WindowsO-based software programs have been developed for acute and chronic toxicity extrapolations from commonly tested species to endangered ones: Interspecies Correlation Estimation (ICE) and Acute to Chronic Estimation (ACE). These programs will assist EPA in carrying out its mandates under ESA,
FIFRA, TSCA, and CWA for the protection and recovery of endangered species without physically testing them.