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Charleston Harbor Deepening Awaits Approval from Congress

Charleston Harbor Deepening Awaits Approval from Congress

 

NOTE:  ANAMAR had the privilege of performing MPRSA Section 103 testing of the new work material to be dredged.  This consisted of sediment sampling and analysis, including physical, chemical, and biological (bioaccumulation, bioassay) testing.  Additionally, ANAMAR produced the NEPA document for the necessary expansion of the Charleston ODMDS.

Charleston Harbor is currently in the final pre-construction stage of the deepening process. Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy has signed off on a Record of Decision stating that Charleston has fulfilled all of the pre-construction requirements.  Charleston awaits authorization from Congress to move forward.

Check out this Dredging Today Article to learn more!

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Sediment Sampling: What Is a PONAR Grab Sampler?

 

The PONAR grab sampler is the main bottom sampling device used on vessels to study the composition of the bottom sediments of a lake or river.  The grab sampler provides a means to obtain a somewhat quantitative and undisturbed sample of the bottom material. It takes a bite of known surface area and penetration depth, provided that the bottom material is neither too hard or nor too soft. It is called a grab sampler because of the manner in which it obtains samples.

Early studies on Lake Michigan used oceanographic and freshwater grab samplers that were not satisfactory. Research scientists from the Great Lakes Research Division of the University of Michigan devised a new sampler, the PONAR grab sampler, that was first available for sale in 1966. The sampler is named after Great Lakes scientists, Charles E. Powers, Robert A. Ogle, Jr., Vincent E. Noble, John C. Ayers, and Andrew Robertson.

The PONAR grab sampler consists of two opposing semi-circular jaws that are normally held open by a trigger mechanism. The sampler is lowered to the bottom where contact with the bottom sets off the trigger and a strong spring snaps the jaws shut trapping a sample of the bottom inside. Fine copper screen covers the top of the jaws so that the trapped material will not wash out as the sampler is retrieved.

For the full article, including a description of how the bottom material is studied, go to http://www.gvsu.edu/wri/education/instructors-manual-bottom-sampling-31.htm.  

Source:  Excerpted from the Instructor’s Manual on Bottom Sampling and used with permission from Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI).  www.gvsu.edu/wri/education

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Expansion of the Jacksonville Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site Is Finalized

USACE Jacksonville and EPA Region 4 identified the need to either designate another Jacksonville ODMDS or expand the current 1‑square nautical mile (nmi2) site. ANAMAR was contracted in 2009 to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for this multi-year, multi-faceted site designation project. Congratulations to all the people who worked on this project! The final rule will go into effect on November 13 designating the new 4.56‑nmi2 area.

jax port

Jax Sampling pic 1 FILEminimizer

Jax Harbor sampling pic 3 FILEminimizer

 

Jax Sampling pic 1 FILEminimizer
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2014 Mouth of the Columbia River Deep Water Site and Shallow Water Site Monitoring Series, Part 2 of 4: Grab Sampling

Part 2 of our Oregon adventure series describes the grab sampling effort that was part of the June and October surveys.  During the two surveys the team collected benthic samples at 40 locations in and around the drop zones of the DWS .  During the October survey, the team collected sediment samples from 45 locations for physical and chemical analysis.  We used a Gray O’Hara modified box corer to collect samples at water depths ranging from 178 to 279 feet.

The objectives of the study were to:

  • Provide a physical characterization of the benthic habitat
  • Assess levels of chemicals of concern
  • Characterize the benthic invertebrate community

 

Michelle pic 1

Deploying the grab sampler. The ropes helped keep the sampler from swinging and ensured that it reached the water surface safely. The sampler weighed 600 lbs.

 

 

Michelle pic 2

Emptying a sample into a decontaminated stainless steel pan.

 

 

michelle pic 3

An intact sample in the box core.

 

 

michelle pic 4

Washing the benthic sample through a 0.5-mm-mesh sieve box.

 

 

michelle pic 5

The remaining material (organisms plus coarse sediment) was decanted into a jar and fixed with 10% buffered formalin solution.  Sample organisms were later taxonomically determined at the lab.

 

 

michelle pic 6

Homogenizing a sediment sample prior to containerizing in glass sample jars.

 

 

michelle pic 7

An unlucky Dungeness crab caught in the box corer. 

 

 

michelle pic 8

The box corer stand also makes a nice throne.

 

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ANAMAR’s Work in Charleston Harbor Profiled in "Dredging Today"

ANAMAR’s Work in Charleston Harbor Profiled in "Dredging Today"

(Pictured above is the cooper marl we frequently encountered while collecting core samples)

The Charleston Harbor Federal Navigation Channel covers an area of approximately 14 square miles and is formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Maritime interests want the harbor channel deepened beyond 45 feet so the Port of Charleston can handle the larger container ships that will routinely call when the expanded Panama Canal opens in 2015. In response to this need to accommodate larger ships and increasing ship traffic, a feasibility study is being conducted for the Charleston Harbor Navigation Improvement Project to analyze and evaluate improvements to Charleston Harbor. The Post-45 feasibility study examines the economic benefits and environmental impacts of the deepening project and determines what depth would be recommended for construction. ANAMAR was contracted to conduct sediment evaluations to determine if the proposed dredge material is suitable for disposal in the Charleston Harbor ocean dredged material disposal site (ODMDS) and to help identify potential beneficial uses for dredged material such as habitat development, shore protection, or beach nourishment.

Charleston 103012 007 FILEminimizer

ANAMAR managed all sampling operations and worked closely with subcontractors to coordinate logistics. The sampling plan included collection of vibracore samples at 105 sites, plus grab samples at the reference station, and site water samples at three locations for elutriate preparation. Due to the size of the project, the sampling effort took nearly 4 weeks to complete and presented some unique challenges. Inclement weather caused by Tropical Storm Sandy followed 2 days later by a winter storm resulted in minor delays in sampling operations. This area also experiences six-foot tidal fluctuations resulting in very strong currents during incoming and outgoing tides; therefore, the sampling team had to plan daily sampling operations during workable currents (i.e., slack tides). Since sampling was taking place within the shipping channel and berthing areas, the captain maintained regular communication with the ships so that sampling would not interfere with shipping traffic. The physical composition of the sediment itself also proved to be challenging. Most of the sediment in the areas of interest was highly consolidated Cooper Marl, which was difficult to penetrate and to remove from the core barrel. A method was developed in the field to pressurize the core barrel using compressed air to extrude sample material from the barrel. This “on-the-fly” innovation helped the field effort stay on schedule.

PB050043 FILEminimizer

Coordinating sample delivery with the chemistry and bioassay laboratories to meet holding times while field operations were ongoing required multiple sample shipments due to holding times and the amount of time required to collect all the samples. It was necessary to run the bioaccumulation tests in two batches due to holding times and the laboratory space required for such a large number of samples. Close coordination with the laboratories and couriers was critical.

PB050052 FILEminimizer

ANAMAR succeeded in collecting all the required sample material and processed and shipped the material to the laboratories within holding times. ANAMAR reviewed and evaluated all the laboratory data and produced a report summarizing the results of the physical, chemical, and toxicological analysis of sediment, elutriate, water, and tissue samples of the proposed dredge material collected from the project area.

Below is a quotation from the news article: Dredging Today (July 2, 2015) "Post 45 Project Gets Funding"

"The Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project is the first project in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to go through the Corps’ new Civil Works Planning Process from start to finish.

This has enabled the Charleston District to reduce the initial study timeline of five to eight years down to less than four years, and reduce the initial study budget from $20 million to less than $12 million dollars. This project will serve as a model for Corps civil works projects around the world."

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Dredging Today Featured a Video from Jacksonville Port Authorities; “Building a Better Future: Deepening the St. Johns”

Dredging Today Featured a Video from Jacksonville Port Authorities; “Building a Better Future: Deepening the St. Johns”

The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) has created a video explaining exactly what ‘all the hype’ is about in America’s ports today. The video is geared specifically towards JAXPORT, but you can easily imagine how this could affect all U.S. ports. First and foremost, think of ongoing improvements to the Panama Canal: an additional set of locks (creating room for more ships to enter and exit the canal) and an increased ship size, or PANAMAX vessels. Now envision how it’s in America’s best interest to allow these larger ships to enter our ports. ANAMAR is honored to be involved in many of the necessary sampling efforts in major U.S. ports in preparation for handling the PANAMAX ships, and we are excited to watch the growth that’s occurring in our ports.  Check out the video to learn exactly what ‘all the hype’ is about! 

 

 

 

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ANAMAR's Recent Work Profiled in International Dredging Review

ANAMAR's Recent Work Profiled in International Dredging Review

ANAMAR’s recent work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–Jacksonville District to sample Jacksonville Harbor has been profiled in International Dredging Review.  The project is part of the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening, one of the five major ports mentioned in President Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” initiative from 2012.  Check out the International Dredging Review news article to learn more!

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Understanding the Linkage between Harmful Algae Blooms and Bird Deaths

Understanding the Linkage between Harmful Algae Blooms and Bird Deaths

In 2007, hundreds of migratory birds were mysteriously found stranded or dead in Monterey Bay, California.  This was the beginning of a quest that brought together specialists who helped discover the link between algae blooms and bird strandings. A red tide caused by a type of marine plankton called Akashiwo sanguinea had been occurring during this massive bird mortality event in Monterey Bay, but researchers were finding it hard to link the two events and identify the actual culprit until tests were performed on an abundant substance found throughout the bay area--sea foam. Tests performed on the foam determined that the algae was in fact nontoxic, but the foam created by the churning of decaying organisms was impairing the water repellency of the birds’ feathers (similar to the effect detergent would have on them) and allowing the underlying skin to be exposed, thus leading to hypothermia.

Because of research following events such as the 2007 incident in Monterey Bay, many organizations and government agencies now understand the significance of monitoring our ocean currents and algae blooms in real time, which in turn will hopefully lead to better mitigation of future scenarios. You can read more about the Monterey Bay study at PLOS One, an online research journal.

Sources:

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/seafoam.html

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/weeklynews/mar09/algalfoam.html

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004550

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Sampling Control Site Stations

SERIM Excerpt

Note: This blog is an excerpt from EPA/USACE’s Southeast Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM) concerning sampling control site stations.

4.4   Sampling Control Site Stations

Control sediment should be used in all bioassay and bioaccumulation tests.  Control sediment is distinguished from the reference sediment because it is selected to provide optimum conditions for the organisms.  Control samples are used to determine the general health of the test organisms during the bioassay and bioaccumulation tests, and to evaluate test protocols as part of the laboratory QA/QC program.  The coordinates of the control site or source of the control sediment should be documented in the SAP and approved by the appropriate USACE SAD district and EPA Region 4 prior to collection.

  • Control sediment shall be defined as:  "A natural sediment essentially free of contaminants and compatible with the biological needs of the test organisms such that the sediment has no discernible influences on responses being measured in the tests" (1991 Green Book, Section 1).
  • Control sediment is used in the whole-sediment bioassay tests to assess the overall health of the test species.  The average control test species mortality should not exceed 10% [30% for the zooplankton in the elutriate toxicity tests (see Appendix L)].  In the event these levels are exceeded, testing may need to be repeated.
  • The control sediment tests are not usually compared to the proposed dredged material as part of the analysis to determine whether sediments are suitable for ocean disposal.

Citation:

USEPA/USACE.  2008.  Southeast Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM) for Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of the Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in South­eastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast Waters. EPA 904-B-08-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, GA. http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/oceans/documents/SERIM_Final_August 2008.pdf

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ANAMAR Crew Completes Assessment of the Columbia River ODMDS

ANAMAR Crew Completes Assessment of the Columbia River ODMDS

ANAMAR scientists have been working off the coast of Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River monitoring the chemical, physical, and biological aspects of an ocean dredged material disposal site (ODMDS). Part of the goal for this project was to calculate the health and abundance of epifauna and infauna in the area, including an important species, the Dungeness crab.

Pictured is the crew preparing crab traps.

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The EPA Entering Public Comment Period for new Clean Power Plan

The EPA Entering Public Comment Period for new Clean Power Plan

EPA has won a ruling in the Supreme Court on proposing emission guidelines for greenhouse gases emitted by fossil-fuel-fired electric generating units. Although there are limits at power plants for pollutants such as arsenic and mercury, there are no national limits on carbon emissions. On June 2, 2014, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, EPA proposed a Clean Power Plan to cut these emissions. According to EPA’s website, power plants account for one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Within the power sector, the plan is predicted to cut back the emissions by 30% from 2005 levels. The plan will also cut pollutants that cause soot and smog by more than 25% by 2030. According to the website, the plan estimates the public health benefits to be worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in savings by the year 2030.  Included is the prevention of 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children. The plan is also predicted to shrink power bills by 8% by 2030. During the week of July 28, 2014, EPA will hold four public hearings on the proposed Clean Power Plan in Atlanta, GA; Denver, CO; Pittsburgh, PA; and Washington, DC.

EPA is now holding a public comment period. All public comments on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule must be received by October 16, 2014. Directions for how to comment on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule can be found here.

The Federal Register contains a copy of EPA’s Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule and can be found here.

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Port Aransas Sampling Expected to Begin Tomorrow

Port Aransas Sampling Expected to Begin Tomorrow

 

ANAMAR’s sampling team, Terry Cake and Manager Michelle Rau, is in Corpus Christi Bay area and will start sampling operations tomorrow. The sampling will be performed at the federally maintained Corpus Christi Ship Channel and the offshore ocean dredged material disposal site (ODMDS). Good luck to the sampling crew!

 

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ANAMAR Awarded Contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District

ANAMAR Awarded Contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District has awarded ANAMAR a contract to perform environmental services for the collection and analysis of water and sediment samples.  The sampling will be performed at the federally maintained Corpus Christi Ship Channel and the offshore ocean dredged material disposal site (ODMDS).

The purpose of the testing is to evaluate shoal material prior to maintenance of the channel to determine whether unacceptable impacts would result from dredging operations.  The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA) prohibits placement of material into the ocean that would unreasonably degrade or endanger human health or the marine environment.

USACE-Galveston District employs an environmental management framework to provide structure and accountability within its business processes to help enhance and expand the positive impacts of its mission while reducing, mitigating, or eliminating potential negative impacts.

Work is expected to begin in May 2014.

 

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Data Reporting for Chemical Testing

(Excerpted from the Southeastern Regional Implementation Manual [SERIM])

 

7.3   Data Reporting for Chemical Testing

All chemical data should be summarized and presented in tabular format. Additionally, all laboratory data should be provided in the Testing Report (see Appendix D) and in electronic tabular format (e.g., spreadsheet, delineated text file). Analytical data reported by the laboratories [with National Environmental Laboratory Association Conference (NELAC) standard qualifiers] must be included in the appendix section of the report.

PCB congeners should be reported as individual congeners as well as total PCBs. Total PCBs should be reported as EPA Region 4 PCBs and as NOAA PCBs. EPA Region 4 PCBs represents the sum of all the PCBs listed in Table 5-6. NOAA PCBs represents the sum of the PCB congeners identified by an asterisk in Table 5-6 and are calculated by the following equation:

              cem. testing photo 1(NOAA, 1989)           [Eq. 7-1]

In addition to the individual PAHs, total PAHs should also be provided as total low molecular weight (LMW) PAHs and total high molecular weight (HMW) PAHs, as described in Table 5-5.

Organotin must be reported as the individual compounds and total organotin. Total organotin should be reported on a tin basis as follows:

chem. testing photo 2[Eq. 7-2]

Refer to Section 5.2 for information on reporting data to the TDLs and LRLs. All data should be certified to be accurate by the analytical laboratory or by a third-party data validator.

Source:

USEPA/USACE. 2008. Southeast Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM) for Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of the Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in Southeastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast Waters. EPA 904-B-08-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, GA.

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Sampling Reference Stations

Sampling Reference Stations

Excerpted from the Southeastern Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM)

4.3 Sampling Reference Stations

For dredged material evaluations for ocean disposal, the test results from proposed dredging site samples are compared to test results from appropriate reference site sediments. Reference sediment is defined as “A sediment, substantially free of contaminants, that is as similar to the grain size of the dredged material and the sediment at the disposal site as practical, and reflects conditions that would exist in the vicinity of the disposal site had no dredged-material disposal ever occurred, but had all other influences on sediment condition taken place” (1991 Green Book, Section 3.1.2). Reference sediment sampling stations are selected to simulate conditions at the proposed disposal site in the absence of past dredged material disposal. Reference sediments must be collected for each evaluation. Results from previous evaluations are not acceptable. Test organisms should be selected to minimize sensitivity to possible sediment grain size differences among the reference site, the control site, and the proposed dredging site.

Using historical reference sites and EPA Region 4 studies of reference areas, EPA Region 4 has identified preferred reference sites for each ODMDS for various grain size distributions. These sites are identified in Appendix K. One or more of these sites may be used and should be selected based on the grain size of the proposed dredged material. These reference areas shall be utilized. Alternative reference sites will be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Reference sediments may be collected from (1) a single reference-sediment sampling location; or (2) from a number of approved locations. Reference samples may be composited and tested according to guidance provided in Chapter 8 of the 1991 Green Book.

Replicate sediment samples should be collected at the reference site(s) using an appropriate collection device [see Table 5 for the EPA QA/QC Guidance (EPA, 1995)]. In most cases, a grab sample is adequate for reference sediment stations. Replicates may be composited into a single sample [see Chapter 8 of the 1991 Green Book or Chapter 4 of EPA (2001b) for guidance]. The collected sediment should be of sufficient quantity to conduct all required testing. A minimum of three replicate sediment samples from the reference site(s) should be collected for all testing [i.e., three grabs at one site or one grab at three sites or any other combination for a minimum of three grabs].

Citation: USEPA/USACE. 2008. Southeast Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM) for Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of the Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in South­eastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast Waters. EPA 904-B-08-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, GA. http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/oceans/documents/SERIM_Final_August 2008.pdf

 

 

 

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NOAA Publishes Data Collected from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig exploded and started leaking oil 5,000 feet below the ocean’s surface in the Gulf of Mexico. A process known as a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) was set in motion under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. With the combined help of many federal and state agencies, private industries, and academic institutions, years’ worth of data have been collected and the analytical chemistry results from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have finally been made available to the public.

Here is a link to the site where you can find those results:

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/deepwaterhorizon/specialcollections.html

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Data Reporting for Field Collection Activities & Physical Testing

Data Reporting for Field Collection Activities & Physical Testing

(Excerpted from the Southeastern Regional Implementation Manual [SERIM])

Following sampling and testing, data reporting and statistical analysis of the results are necessary to determine the suitability of the proposed dredged material for ocean disposal. Coordination with the USACE SAD district and EPA Region 4 while analyzing the samples and reviewing the test data is recommended. Complete documentation of all laboratory data and statistical analyses must be supplied to the USACE SAD district. The following information supplements Section 13.0 of the 1991 Green Book.

7.1   Data Reporting for Field Collection Activities

General sample collection techniques for sediment and water collection must be documented. The report should include descriptions of positioning equipment, decontamination procedures, in situ measurements, sample processing procedures, compositing schemes, and any problems encountered during field collection activities. Dredged material management units should be provided on a map along with all sediment and water sampling locations. All original field sheets and core logs (if applicable) must be included as an appendix. Photographic documentation of sediment samples is recommended.

A table summarizing all sample collection information should be provided with the following information: sample ID, sampling date and time, coordinates (NAD 83), water depth, depth of water sample(s) collected, core depth (if used), identification of any compositing of samples, in situ measurements, sample description, general observations, tide cycle, and analyses to be conducted.

7.2   Data Reporting for Physical Testing

All physical data should be summarized and presented in tabular format with the following column headings, at a minimum, for each analyzed sample: soil description, % grain size information, % solids, soil classification, and specific gravity.

For physical data, the percentages of each size class (Table 5-1) should be reported as well as the USCS classification. In addition to reporting the percentages of each size class, the applicant must graph the cumulative frequency percentages using the USACE Engineering (ENG) Form 2087 or a similar form (Figure 7‑1). These forms should be included in the report or as a report appendix.

Particle size distribution report FILEminimizer

            Figure 7-1. Sediment Grain Size Gradation Graph/Form

Source:

USEPA/USACE. 2008. SoutheastRegional Implementation Manual (SERIM) for Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of the Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in Southeastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast Waters. EPA 904-B-08-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, GA.

 

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Dredging and the Disposal of Dredged Material

Dredging and the Disposal of Dredged Material

The video above is an ANAMAR production presented by Paul Berman, ANAMAR’s Quality Assurance/Quality Control Officer, explaining some of the purposes and processes related to dredging. The information below is an excerpt from the Southeastern Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM) explaining further details of the steps that are taken to minimize the impact of dredged material disposal.

Sampling Reference Stations

Excerpted from the Southeastern Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM)

4.3 Sampling Reference Stations

For dredged material evaluations for ocean disposal, the test results from proposed dredging site samples are compared to test results from appropriate reference site sediments. Reference sediment is defined as “A sediment, substantially free of contaminants, that is as similar to the grain size of the dredged material and the sediment at the disposal site as practical, and reflects conditions that would exist in the vicinity of the disposal site had no dredged-material disposal ever occurred, but had all other influences on sediment condition taken place” (1991 Green Book, Section 3.1.2). Reference sediment sampling stations are selected to simulate conditions at the proposed disposal site in the absence of past dredged material disposal. Reference sediments must be collected for each evaluation. Results from previous evaluations are not acceptable. Test organisms should be selected to minimize sensitivity to possible sediment grain size differences among the reference site, the control site, and the proposed dredging site.

Using historical reference sites and EPA Region 4 studies of reference areas, EPA Region 4 has identified preferred reference sites for each ODMDS for various grain size distributions. These sites are identified in Appendix K. One or more of these sites may be used and should be selected based on the grain size of the proposed dredged material. These reference areas shall be utilized. Alternative reference sites will be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Reference sediments may be collected from (1) a single reference-sediment sampling location; or (2) from a number of approved locations. Reference samples may be composited and tested according to guidance provided in Chapter 8 of the 1991 Green Book.

Replicate sediment samples should be collected at the reference site(s) using an appropriate collection device [see Table 5 for the EPA QA/QC Guidance (EPA, 1995)]. In most cases, a grab sample is adequate for reference sediment stations. Replicates may be composited into a single sample [see Chapter 8 of the 1991 Green Book or Chapter 4 of EPA (2001b) for guidance]. The collected sediment should be of sufficient quantity to conduct all required testing. A minimum of three replicate sediment samples from the reference site(s) should be collected for all testing [i.e., three grabs at one site or one grab at three sites or any other combination for a minimum of three grabs].

Citation: USEPA/USACE. 2008. Southeast Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM) for Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of the Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in South­eastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast Waters. EPA 904-B-08-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, GA. http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/oceans/documents/SERIM_Final_August 2008.pdf

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Word from the Field: Oregon ODMDS Sampling

Word from the Field: Oregon ODMDS Sampling

 

Congratulations to the ANAMAR crew working on the Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites off the Oregon coast. They completed sampling eight stations in and around the Chetco ODMDS yesterday and are collecting samples from the Coquille site today. While sampling, the crew spotted a grey whale and witnessed some picturesque fog rolling through.

Pictured above is the box corer the crew used to collect samples from the Chetco ODMDS, and below is a photo of the Oregon fog.

michportlpic2 FILEminimizer

 

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Data Reporting: Treatment of Outliers

Excerpted from the Southeastern Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM)

 7.4 Data Reporting and Statistics for Bioassay and Bioaccumulation Testing

 7.4.1 Definition and Treatment of Outliers

In most biological testing, some data points will be either much smaller or much larger then would be reasonably expected. Intuitively, outliers can be thought of as individual observations that are "far away" from the rest of the data. Outliers can be the result of faulty data, erroneous procedures, or invalid assumptions regarding the underlying distribution of all the data points that could potentially be sampled. In practice, a small number of outliers can be expected from a large number of samples including those that follow a normal distribution. Several techniques are available for outlier detection. Tests that involve hypothesis testing on data assumed to be normally distributed include Grubb's test, Rosner's test, and Dixon's test. The main advantage of using one of these formal statistical procedures is the ability to limit the risk of falsely flagging a valid data point as an "outlier".

When suspecting that a data point might be an outlier during the statistical analysis of bioassay and bioaccumulation data, the analysis should be performed twice, once with the suspected outlier and again without it. Both results should be reported and an explanation of why the outlier is believed to deserve exclusion or inclusion with the analysis should be presented. Such an explanation should not rely solely on the fact that some statistical test detected the outlier. In general, the more environmentally conservative approach should be utilized.

Citation: USEPA/USACE. 2008. Southeast Regional Implementation Manual (SERIM) for Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of the Ocean Disposal of Dredged Material in South­eastern U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast Waters. EPA 904-B-08-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, GA. http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/oceans/documents/SERIM_Final_August 2008.pdf

 

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