November 2010 Update Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

Save The Date - March 8, 2011 - Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working
Group will meet in Portland, OR. Agenda topics include: update on OR
DEQ Human Health Criteria and proposed plans for the WA CWA Water
Quality Standard Triennial Review; report on pharmaceutical, mercury and
other take back programs around the region; a presentation from Upper
Columbia United Tribes on policy issues on toxics reduction; a report
out on the findings of the USGS Municipal Wastewater Monitoring Study
and early results on the OR Senate Bill 737 monitoring; and update on
the Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group monitoring and
research work; and an update on WA Ecology work to revise fish
consumption rates for clean up sites. More information will be
forthcoming. We plan to offer this meeting as a Webinar again so stayed
tuned for details and registration information.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group met in Boise, ID, on
November 4th to exchange information on Columbia River/Snake River Basin
and Idaho work efforts. Conversations included updates on Action Plan,
USGS monitoring work, ID DEQ work toxics reduction work efforts, and ID
Agriculture pesticide reduction and collection work efforts. The
meeting was held in Boise to engage people in the Working Group who have
not been able to attend meetings in other parts of the Basin. It was
proposed that two working group meetings be held in Idaho yearly and
future meetings are proposed to be held in Lewiston and Pocotella.

Dennis McLerran, EPA Region 10 Regional Administrator, highlighted the
Columbia River Toxics Reduction Action Plan in his key note
presentation, November 16, Lake Roosevelt Forum 2010 Conference,
Spokane, WA - Dennis discussed his personal connection to the Columbia
River Basin, having been raised in eastern WA, and his executive
commitment to lead the implementation of the Action Plan. Thank you,

Lyndal Johnson, 2010 Columbia River Hero - Lyndal Johnson, NOAA
Northwest Fisheries Science Center, was awarded the 2010 Columbia River
Hero Award at the September 2010 Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working
Group Meeting in Goldendale, WA, for her dedication, hard work and
technical expertise in scientific research to highlight problems with
toxics in the Columbia River. Lyndal is the Reproductive Toxicology
team lead at the Science Center and has over 25 years of experience
studying chemical contaminants and the effects on fish. She is
currently involved with several studies within the Columbia River and
was a primary contributor for the report "Water Quality and Salmon
Sampling Report" in collaboration with the Lower Columbia River Estuary
Partnership and the US Geological Survey. We are thankful for Lyndal's
hard work over the years and are proud to honor her with this award.

Recent Studies which may be of interest:
An evaluation of mercury concentrations in three brands of canned tuna
This study was conducted to examine the amount of mercury present in three different brands of canned tuna. One brand
had significantly more mercury than the other two, and 55% of all tuna tested was above the EPA safety level for human
consumption (0.5 ppm). In addition, 5% of the tuna exceeded the action level established by the FDA (1.0 ppm). Based on
these results and according to the EPA reference dose of 0.1 microg/kg body weight per day and a mean mercury value of
0.619 ppm, a 25-kg child may consume one meal (75 g) of canned chunk white tuna only once every 18.6 days.
Gerstenberger, S. L., A. Martinson, and J.L. Kramer. (2010). tuna. Environ Toxicol Chem 29(2): 237–242.

January 2010, By Matthew C. Jones and Beth Graves, Senior Project
Managers, Environmental Council of the States
The ECOS Cross-Media Committee (CMC), working with the ECOS Emerging
Contaminants Work Group under a cooperative agreement with U.S. EPA’s
Office of the Chief Financial Officer, has led discussions among states
on issues and concerns related to emerging contaminants and associated
state environmental agency activities. The ECOS CMC has developed a set
of recommendations on how federal agencies can support state activities.
The committee also has prepared seven state case studies briefly
highlighting some states’ experiences and activities related to emerging
contaminants. These case studies are intended to be useful for sharing
among interested parties at state and federal agencies and the general

Interesting Press on the Action Plan: Marten Law News - No. 232 •
October 8, 2010
EPA Releases Plan to Reduce Toxics in Columbia River Basin, By Jeff Kray
U.S. EPA has issued a comprehensive plan to reduce toxic pollution in
the Columbia River Basin. The plan tilts toward new monitoring and
research programs, but also calls for more stringent water quality
standards and more restrictions on water discharges, as well as greater
attention to toxics in air emissions and contaminated site cleanups. EPA
and a working group developed the Columbia River Basin Toxics Reduction
Action Plan (“Action Plan”) as a follow-up to the Columbia River Basin
State of the River Report for Toxics (“Report”) issued in January 2009.
The Action Plan presents a five-year blueprint, including five
initiatives and 61 actions for reducing human and ecosystem exposure to
toxics in the Columbia River Basin. The proposed actions range from
tighter pollution control standards and more stormwater controls to
toxics-free certification programs and increased education. What the
Action Plan does not address are the funding sources for many of its