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ENVIRO-NEWS  January 1998

ENVIRO-NEWS January 1998

Subject:

The Incidence and Severity of Sediment Contamination (fwd)

From:

Joseph Makuch <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 15 Jan 1998 14:22:57 -0500 (EST)

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (112 lines)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 15:04:54 -0500 (EST)
Forwarded from <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: The Incidence and Severity of Sediment Contamination

[Federal Register: January 14, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 9)]
[Notices]               
[Page 2237-2238]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr14ja98-72]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-5949-9]

 
The Incidence and Severity of Sediment Contamination in Surface 
Waters of the United States

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability of report to Congress.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announces the 
public availability of a report to Congress, The Incidence and Severity 
of Sediment Contamination in Surface Waters of the United States. This 
report to Congress is required by the Water Resources Development Act 
of 1992. 

Section 501(b)(4) of the Act defines contaminated sediment as 
``sediment containing chemical substances in excess of appropriate 
geochemical, toxicological or sediment quality criteria or measures; or 
otherwise considered to pose a threat to human health or the 
environment''. Section 503(a)(1) of the Act requires USEPA to compile 
existing information on the quantity, chemical and physical 
composition, and geographic location of pollutants in aquatic sediment, 
including the probable source of such pollutants and identification of 
those sediments which are contaminated. Section 503(a)(2) of the Act 
requires the Administrator of USEPA to report to Congress the findings, 
conclusions, and recommendations of the survey required under section 
503(a)(1), including recommendations for actions necessary to prevent 
contamination of aquatic

[[Page 2238]]

sediments and to control sources of contamination.

    The full report to Congress comprises three currently available 
volumes, and one volume in preparation. Volume 1: National Sediment 
Quality Survey is a screening analysis to qualitatively assess the 
probability of associated adverse human or ecological effects at 
sampling stations based on a weight of evidence evaluation. Volume 2: 
Data Summary for Areas of Probable Concern (APC) includes sampling 
station location maps and chemical and biological summary data for APC 
watersheds. Volume 3: National Sediment Contaminant Point Source 
Inventory is a screening analysis to identify probable point source 
contributors of sediment pollutants. Volume 4: National Sediment 
Contaminant Nonpoint Source Inventory is a screening analysis to 
identify probable nonpoint source contributors of sediment pollutants 
(in preparation).

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of Incidence and Severity of Sediment 
Contamination in Surface Waters of the United States (Volume 1 EPA 
document number EPA 823-R-97-006; Volume 2 EPA document number EPA 823-
R-97-007; Volume 3 EPA document number EPA 823-R-97-008) should be sent 
to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for 
Environmental Publications and Information, 11029 Kenwood Road, 
Building 5, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242; telephone: 513-891-6561, fax: 513-
891-6685.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas M. Armitage or F. James 
Keating, Risk Assessment and Management Branch, Office of Science and 
Technology, Mail Code 4305, 401 M Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20460; 
telephone 202-260-7301.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Incidence and Severity of Sediment 
Contamination in Surface Waters of the United States describes the 
accumulation of chemical contaminants in river, lake, ocean, and 
estuary bottoms and includes a screening assessment of the potential 
for associated adverse effects to human and environmental health. 

EPA studied available data from 65% of the 2,111 watersheds in the 
continental U.S. and identified 96 watersheds that contain ``areas of 
probable concern''. In portions of these watersheds, environmental 
conditions may be unsuitable for bottom dwelling creatures, and fish 
that live in these waters may contain chemicals at levels unsafe for 
regular consumption. Areas of probable concern are located in regions 
affected by urban and agricultural runoff, municipal and industrial 
waste discharge, and other pollution sources. EPA recommends that 
resource managers fully examine the risks to human health and the 
environment in these watersheds. Authorities should take steps to 
ensure that major pollution sources are effectively controlled and that 
plans are in place to improve sediment conditions and to support long-
term health goals.

    Dated: January 8, 1998.
Robert Perciasepe,
Assistant Administrator for Office of Water.
[FR Doc. 98-940 Filed 1-13-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P




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