New England Chapter of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA-NE)

List of BRAG/SRA-NE Officers

SRA-NE February Seminar

Joint Meeting with the LSPA

Improvement in Correlation Between Chemistry and Toxicity Using the 28-Day Sediment Toxicity Test

Dr. Ken Finkelstein

and

MassDEP’s Technical Update on Sediment Toxicity Testing

Tom Angus

Thursday, 9 February 2006

Westin Hotel, Waltham
70 Third Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02451
Phone (781) 290-5600

6:00–8:00 PM


Improvement in Correlation Between Chemistry and Toxicity Using the 28-Day Sediment Toxicity Test

Dr. Ken Finkelstein
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Office of Response and Restoration
Boston, MA

Summary: Acute (typically 10-day) toxicity tests have often been used for evaluating sediment toxicity at contaminated sites. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed Effects Range Low (ERL) and Effects Range Median (ERM) benchmarks for screening contaminated sediment. This talk will examine whether the ERM quotient accurately predicts toxicity and whether the relationship between ERM quotients and toxicity varies among test species. The talk will also answer the questions of whether test duration influences the relationship between toxicity and the ERM and whether the 10-day or 28-day tests are a better predictor of toxicity. These questions will be answered through an analysis of sediment toxicity testing data gathered from a number of sources. This work was important in the development of MassDEP’s technical update on sediment toxicity testing.

Biography: Dr. Ken Finkelstein is an environmental scientist and has worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for eighteen years. Ken is a member of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration and serves as a natural resource trustee and technical expert for both ecological risk assessments and natural resource damage assessments. Ken is also an adjunct professor of the Biology Department at Suffolk University and teaches courses in environmental science and oceanography annually. Ken received his Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, his Master of Science degree from the University of South Carolina, and his Doctorate from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary.

MassDEP’s Technical Update on Sediment Toxicity Testing

Tom Angus
Mass DEP Office of Research and Standards
Boston, MA

Summary: MassDEP recently prepared a technical update on sediment toxicity testing. DEP has had concerns that 10-day sediment toxicity test results do not correlate well with contaminant levels at sites. The technical updates recommends chronic duration sediment toxicity tests using EPA test protocols that include test endpoints of mortality, growth, and reproduction. This technical update provides recommendations for toxicity tests at a site based on the size of the contaminated area and the levels of contamination. This technical update was prepared with input from a technical workgroup of ecological risk assessors representing consulting companies, a testing laboratory, and other regulatory agencies.

Biography: Tom Angus has worked for Massachusetts DEP’s Office of Research and Standards for five years. He reviews ecological risk assessments and writes policy and guidance for conducting ecological risk assessments. Prior to his work at DEP, Tom was a consultant for ten years, conducting ecological risk assessments in more than half the states in the U.S., for clients such as Fortune 500 companies, state environmental agencies, and federal agencies such as USEPA, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Tom has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Tufts University and Master’s of Science Degree from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. In addition to his current job at DEP, Tom is pursuing a PhD in the Department of Environmental, Earth, and, Ocean Sciences at UMass-Boston.