State and tribal surface water quality standards are subject to U.S.
EPA approval when they seek to adopt U.S. EPA’s 304(a) criteria
recommendations. Under the Endangered Species Act, U.S. EPA
must consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National
Marine Fisheries Service to demonstrate that any such federal
agency approvals will not adversely affect the health or habitat of
federally- listed threatened or endangered species. Since these
consultations were often redundant at the state and tribal level, the
federal agencies agreed in 2001 to conduct national level consultations
of 304(a) criteria impacts on federally- listed species.
GLEC researchers fulfi ll a unique and critical role in this national
effort by conducting biological evaluations that evaluate the effect
of recommended water column concentrations of NPDES-regulated
chemicals on federally-listed aquatic and aquatic-dependent species.
For each biological evaluation, GLEC utilizes a standard risk
assessment paradigm, employing the following steps in assessing
risk to aquatic life from exposure to contaminants: 1) a review of
pertinent toxicity data, 2) the presentation and analysis of the toxicity
data, 3) an in-depth toxicity assessment, 4) an exposure assessment,
and 5) a risk characterization. The risk assessment paradigm
is applied to the assessment of effects to federally-listed species
as well as to any designated critical habitat. Each of the tasks are
conducted according to the procedures and scientific
guidance described in 50 CFR part 402.
Illinois Cave Amphipod
Contact: Tyler Linton, Principal Research Scientist
Click to Email 614-487-1040