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DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF PROTOCOLS FOR EVALUATION OF OIL SPILL BIOREMEDIATION (RESEARCH BRIEF)
Lepo, J. E. AND C R. Cripe. DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF PROTOCOLS FOR EVALUATION OF OIL SPILL BIOREMEDIATION (RESEARCH BRIEF). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research, Gulf Ecology Division, Gulf Breeze, FL, EPA/600/S-97/007, 1998.
The major focus of this project was the development of efficacy protocols for Tier III open-water and beach scenarios, as well as environmental safety protocols for these, plus the marsh environmental and Tier II.
Protocols were developed and evaluated to assess the efficacy and environmental safety of commercial oil spill bioremediation agents (CBAs). Test systems that simulate oil slicks on open water or oiled sandy beaches were used to test the effectiveness of CBAs. Gravimetric and gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analytes (e.g., selected n-alkanes, isoprenoids, and aromatic compounds) were used to provide efficacy endpoints for comparing CBA-treated test systems with untreated control systems. The test systems, and protocols for their use, were evaluated using a variety of CBAs. Aquatic chronic estimator toxicology tests provided information on the environmental risks posed by the bioremediation agent as well as by the effluent from CBA-treated test systems. Selected CBAs produced only minimal losses of analytes in the open-water test system after 7 days and somewhat greater losses from the beach test system after 28 days. Degradation of certain oil components was enhanced by a positive control that consisted of selected oil-degrading bacteria and nutrients. The environmental safety protocols were also tested with a variety of CBAs; their intrinsic toxicity was relatively low (>75ppm), and effluent exiting open-water test systems in which CBA and oil were allowed to interact was toxic for only one out of six products. A variety of research topics related to the development of CBA test system protocols were also investigated.