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Dam Removal: Sediment Quality Evaluation and Impact Assessment

Tom Augspurger and Sara Ward U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service P.O. Box 33726 Raleigh, NC 27636-3726 tom_augspurger@fws.gov Phone: 919/856-4520 x.21 sara_ward@fws.gov 919/856-4520 x.30

http://nc-es.fws.gov/ecotox
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Some questions at dam sites


Is there a basis for concern at this site? Do we need to sample sediments? If so, what to analyze? How do I interpret results? Will others accept that interpretation? Will I get the information I need to make a decision? Where can I get help?
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Objectives
1. Describe a framework for evaluating sediments at dam removal sites 2. Compile existing information to gauge the extent of any sediment quality concerns 3. Identify triggers for determining whether additional effort is needed 4. Become familiar with helpful resources
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Need for a framework


1. Reservoirs act as sediment catchments 2. Create environment favoring deposition 3. Fine grain sediments have a high affinity for contaminant accumulation 4. ACS estimates >63,000 chemicals in use TSCA Inventory lists >70,000 chemicals that can be commercially produced you cant test for everything (but you want to thoroughly assess any important issues )
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Need for a framework (cont.)


5. Sediment pollutants can be a concern for toxicity, bioaccumulation, water quality, etc 6. There are water quality regulations and standards to consider e.g., CWA 404 and 401 7. Interagency guidance in NC notes need to address contaminated sediments 8. Analyses are costly and there is uncertainty as to how results will be evaluated
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Need for a framework (concluded)


However most states (including NC) have no regulations dictating the approach to evaluate potential sediment pollution at dam removal sites
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Good sources of guidance


USEPA and USACE. 1998. Evaluation of dredged material proposed for discharge in waters of the U.S. Testing Manual. EPA-823-B-98-004, Office of Water, Washington, DC.
http://www.epa.gov/OST/itm/ITM/

http://www.cerc.usgs.gov/pubs/sedtox/ VolumeI.pdf

General Framework
Start with tier 1 assessment (use existing info to assess the potential for a contaminated sediment concern) Proceed in a step-wise fashion only to the extent necessary to address the site
tier 2 (surface water and sediment chemistry), tier 3 (toxicity and bioaccumulation testing) tier 4 (case-specific lab and field testing)

Get stakeholder input


establish a priori the triggers for next tier provide draft tier reports for stakeholder review so that group learns together and data collection is efficient

Tier 1
Start with existing info to assess the potential a) lack of pollutant sources = low need for aggressive site characterization b) likewise, any sampling should be guided by specific issues from this review

Contents of Tier 1 Assessment


1. Introduction 2. Sources of contamination 3. Pathways of contaminant transport 4. Chemical / physical nature of sediments (behind dam and downstream) 5. Contaminants of concern / Areas of concern 6. Summary / Recommendations

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1. Introduction
Purpose of review (tech assistance / regulatory) Overview of dam / reservoir of interest:
Age of structure Height of structure Upstream dams Landuses Sensitive resources / known issues of concern
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2. Sources of Contamination
Potential sources of contamination include: urban and agricultural runoff industrial and municipal wastewater discharges riparian fill spills of oil or chemicals releases from landfills or hazardous waste sites mineral extraction / refinement practices, etc. Existing and historic
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Background Info Sources


Databases (federal and NC examples)
National Priorities List (Superfund Sites) Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites Old Landfills Active Solid Waste Permits CERCLIS Sites (known and suspected waste sites) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Sites National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Sites Sewage Sludge Land Application Sites Registered Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Toxics Release Inventory Underground Storage Tanks
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Background Info Sources (cont)


Interviews with water quality regulators, reservoir owners / operators, land managers File review Water quality and landuse reports / data Site recon
5 4.5 Total Phosphorus (mg/l as P) 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 1993

1995

1998

2001

2004

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Contents of Tier 1 Assessment


1. Introduction 2. Sources of contamination 3. Pathways of contaminant transport 4. Chemical / physical nature of sediments (behind dam and downstream) 5. Contaminants of concern / Areas of concern 6. Summary / Recommendations

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3. Pathways 4. Nature of sediments


Factors influencing contaminant fate: groundwater flow direction, impoundment bathymetry, flows, soil types, sediment particle size, OM content, shoaling areas, sediment deposition rates

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5. Contaminants of concern
From lists of sources like thiscan get listings of pollutants by source type:
Road run-off = PAHs, metals Textile manufacturers = metals Paper mills = metals, dioxins Metal finishing = metals, PCBs
USEPA .1997. Incidence and Severity of Sediment Contamination in Surface Waters of the United States: Volume 3: National Sediment Contaminant Point Source Inventory. EPA-823R97008 EPA17

5. Contaminants of concern
If you have data, can evaluate against: Water quality standards Federal water quality criteria Sediment quality guidelines and standards (none in NC, but other models to consider)
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Concentration-Based Screening Values


Concentrations in sediment that are associated with an adverse biological response
Toxicity (lethality / disease) Bioaccumulation Altered benthic community structure

Sources:
Ingersoll CG, Dillon T, Biddinger RG, editors. 1997. Ecological Risk Assessment of Contaminated Sediment. SETAC Press, Pensacola, FL. MacDonald DD, Ingersoll CG, Berger TA. 2000. Development and evaluation of consensusbased sediment quality guidelines for freshwater ecosystems. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 39: 20-31. USEPA. 2000. Prediction of sediment toxicity using consensus-based freshwater sediment quality guidelines. EPA 905/R-00/007, Chicago, IL. 19

Other screening values


USEPA Eco SSLs soil quality screening numbers
http://www.epa.gov/ecotox/ecossl/

USEPA R4 Ecological Screening Values


http://www.epa.gov/Region4/waste/ots/ ecolbul.htm#ecoscreen

NCDENR DWM Inactive Hazardous Sites Branch Soil Remediation Goals


http://www.wastenotnc.org/soiltable.pdf
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Contents of Tier 1 Assessment


1. Introduction 2. Sources of contamination 3. Pathways of contaminant transport 4. Chemical / physical nature of sediments (behind dam and downstream) 5. Contaminants of concern / Areas of concern 6. Summary / Recommendations

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6. Summary / Recommendations
What was done How it was done What was learned Where to go from herewill almost always include some level of sampling (tier 2), so include a draft sampling design Circulate draft and final through stakeholders
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Tier 2 - Testing
Sampling plan needs to include:
What, How many, Where, How, and When PLUS: Use of competent field crew and certified lab (Who) QA/QC Plan (How well) Proposed screening values as triggers for tier 3 versus done (Why)

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McDonald et al. consensus values


Geometric means of available values Lower bound Threshold Effect Concentration (TEC) = toxic to sensitive benthic organisms Upper bound Probable Effect Concentration (PEC) = toxic to most benthic organisms
Increasing Concentration
Presumed Toxic

PEC
Possibly Toxic

TEC
Presumed Nontoxic

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Example: Dillsboro Reservoir sediments

http://www.fws.gov/raleigh/pdfs/DillsboroReportFinal.pdf
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Dillsboro Reservoir sediments

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Dillsboro Reservoir sediments

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General Framework Revisited


Tier 1 (review / evaluate existing information) Tier 2 (surface water and sediment chemistry), Tier 3 (toxicity and bioaccumulation testing), Tier 4 (case-specific lab and field testing)

Work to the extent necessary to address the site With stakeholder input on triggers
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Questions?

http://nc-es.fws.gov/ecotox

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