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Consider submitting an abstract for the sediment session (Nov 2016): Science of Sediment Toxicity Testing: Method Advances, Interpreting Results and Use of Data in Ecological Risk Assessments

Posted By Teresa J. Norberg-King, Sunday, May 22, 2016

We are organizing a session "Science of Sediment Toxicity Testing: Method Advances, Interpreting Results and Use of Data in Ecological Risk Assessments".  

Conducting laboratory toxicity tests with field collected sediments remains a primary tool for retrospective assessment of potentially contaminated sites, but there is also an increasing use of spiked sediment testing for prospective risk assessment of pesticides and other commercial products. Various acute, short-term and chronic toxicity testing guidelines for freshwater (Chironomus, Hyalella) and marine (Leptocheirus) organisms are available. The guidelines have applicability for both prospective and retrospective risk assessment. Substantial progress has been made in improving the consistency, reproducibility and data quality of tests, substantial effort towards advancing these methods. Data interpretation and the establishment of causal relationships between exposure and effects are made challenging by the multitude of factors that influence bioavailability as well as non-contaminant related variables that may affect test organism performance (e.g., sediment grain size, type and quantity of organic carbon, feeding regimes, overlying water types and frequency, predators). If sediment toxicity data is to be used for prospective risk assessment of pesticides or other potential benthic contaminants, there is a need to establish definitive effect thresholds for species based on quantification of exposure in various matrices within test systems (i.e. sediment, pore water, and overlying water). However, quantification of highly hydrophobic chemicals in pore water can be analytically challenging. Therefore, alternatives for estimating exposure may be needed, such as the application of equilibrium partitioning theory. The goal of this session is to highlight applied and theoretical innovations associated with sediment toxicity testing, including but not limited to the topics above, to improve test performance, interpretation of study results, and reduce uncertainty in the application of sediment toxicity data for ecological risk assessment. 

Please contact me if you have any questions or want to discuss ideas for the session!  

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Presentation and Publication Opportunities

Posted By Tamara L. Sorell, Monday, March 07, 2016

Lisa Richman of MOE has proposed a session that she has asked me to co-chair on Monitoring to be held  at the next Battelle Sediments conference "Ninth International Conference on Remediation and Management of Contaminated Sediments" Jan.  2017 in New Orleans.

As more sites move into the remedial phase, appropriate monitoring to  assess endpoints and effectiveness is increasingly critical.  We invite everyone to consider submitting an abstract for this great conference.

In addition, in my capacity on the editorial board of Current Pollution Reports, I am  always seeking articles on sediments.   CPR  is a relatively new Springer journal and publishing is a wonderful opportunity to get your ideas and name out there.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any ideas for an article and I'll be happy to give you some specifics.

Finally let me know if anyone is planning to be in Nantes ( I will not be, regrettably)  Currently I do not know if we have an Advisory Group meeting set up (Stuart?) but I can look into it if there are a few of you who would like to meet up.  If you prefer to organize something something less formal you can use this blog to do it, and please do report back to the whole group on any outcomes.  

Thank you!

Tags:  Battelle; Current Pollution Reports (CPR) 

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Sediment Risk Management

Posted By Tamara L. Sorell, Friday, February 26, 2016

As we discussed late last year and at the SETAC meeting in Nov., we are kicking off a Work Group under the Sediment Advisory Group to address the risk management side of things.  A number  of you have previously  expressed an interest in this topic and have been already contacted via e-mail.   I will be sending this same post to the Ecological Risk Assessment AG (ERAAG) so I apologize for the duplication if you are subscribed to both.    

I’d like to get this moving and set up a call for March.  There are a variety of aspects we could pursue and I thought once we have a working team we can set up calls, webinars, and surveys to solidify our group objectives.


Possible topics:

·        Establishment of Remedial Action Objectives (qualitative)

·        Development of clean-up goals (quantitative)

·        Integration of risk into remedial alternative/technology evaluation

·        Attainment of long-term risk objectives

·        Establishment of monitoring objectives

·        Development and implementation of monitoring programs


Possible Work Group products:

·        Sponsor/organize SETAC Global meeting sessions and presentations

·        Coordinate or promote sessions with other organizations (SETAC chapters, Battelle sediments, SRA, SWMG, etc.,); in particular an ASTM Task Group for Sediment Corrective Action has kicked off.  I have joined this team and plan to participate remotely.  We should be aware of what they are doing and see if we can dovetail or integrate our activities. 

·        White papers

·        Journal articles

·        Technical guidance (probably a bit ambitious)

·        Workshops

·        What else?

Tags:  clean-up  remediation  risk  sediment 

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SEDAG Going Forward

Posted By Tamara L. Sorell, Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy New Year from SETAC Sediment Advisory Group!  It’s time to start thinking about activities and ideas for 2016.  As most of you know, we have several working groups under the SEDAG umbrella.  We are planning a new Risk Management (Remediation) working group (information about that will be sent separately). 

Normally we meet at the annual SETAC North America and Europe meetings.  Should we be sponsoring activities at local Chapter meetings?  Holding periodic calls?  Sponsoring webinars?  Please post any ideas for other groups or activities.  Thank you!

Tags:  2016 

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SEDAG Meeting at SLC

Posted By Paul K. Sibley, Monday, October 26, 2015
Dear SEDAGers;

SETAC Salt Lake City is less than a week away. For those of you who plan to attend the meeting, this is a reminder that the SEDAG meeting will be held Wednesday from 7:00 to 8:30 in Room 251F. The agenda for the meeting is listed below. I look forward to seeing you there!

Paul Sibley


1) Brief update on the years activities - Paul Sibley
2) The spiked sediment initiative (update and focus) - Steve Bay
3) Discussion on the new Sediment Management Workgroup - Tamara Sorell
4) Harmonization of freshwater sediment toxicity methods - Chris Ingersoll
5) New SEDAG chair needed and new SEDAG steering committee members needed
6) Session announcements for SETAC Europe and call for sessions for SETAC 2016 in Orlando.
7) Other?

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Call for abstracts SETAC Europe: Future challenges for the effect and risk assessment of plant protection products with respect to sediment organisms

Posted By Trudy Watson-Leung, Friday, October 09, 2015

Dear SEDAG Colleagues;

 It is my pleasure to invite you to submit an abstract for a platform and/or poster presentation in the session on Future challenges for the effect and risk assessment of plant protection products with respect to sediment organisms at the next SETAC Europe Annual Meeting in Nantes, France, 22-26 May 2016. You will find the session summary attached to this message.

 The session will be chaired by:

 Daniel Faber - Bayer CropScience AG

Paul Sibley - University of Guelph

Theo Brock - Alterra Wageningen

Hank Krueger - Wildlife International


Please note that the call for abstracts will be open 5 October 2015 and the deadline for submission will be November 25, 2015.

 Thanks in advance for your interest. We hope to see you at the SETAC Europe 2016 Annual Meeting in Nantes!"


 Daniel, Hank, Theo, and Paul

 Attached Files:

Tags:  2015  Nantes  SETAC-EU 

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SEDAG and ASTM E50.47: Meetings at Salt Lake City

Posted By Trudy Watson-Leung, Wednesday, October 07, 2015

1) SEDAG meeting: Wednesday November 4, 2015 from 7 to 8:30 am in Room 251F in the Conference Center. Topics to be discussed will include the SEDAG activities to develop a spiked-sediment toxicity database and SEDAG activities to harmonized freshwater sediment toxicity methods.

2) ASTM Subcommittee E50.47 on Biological Effects and Fate:  Tuesday November 3, 2015,  7 to 8:30 am in Room 251F in the Conference Center (see attached draft agenda).  A primary discussion topic during the E50.47 meeting will be draft revisions to USEPA 2000 and ASTM E1706 dealing with methods for conducting sediment toxicity tests with freshwater invertebrates (including refined reproductive methods for amphipods and midges and new ASTM methods for freshwater mussels).


Download File (DOC)

Tags:  2015  ASTM  meeting  Salt Lake City  SETAC-NA 

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"Toxicity Testing in Sediments – Bioassays As Link Between Chemistry and Complex Benthic Community Testing for Sediment Quality Assessment": Session at the next SETAC EU Conference

Posted By Trudy Watson-Leung, Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Members of the SETAC Sediment Advisory Group (SEDAG):

Please consider submitting an abstract for the session: "Toxicity Testing in Sediments – Bioassays As Link Between Chemistry and Complex Benthic Community Testing for Sediment Quality Assessment“ (TOPIC: ET-Aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicology) at the SETAC Europe Conference May 22 to 26, 2016 in Nantes, France. 

Abstracts are due by November 25, 2015.

Ute Feiler ( and Sebastian Höss  (


Download File (PDF)

Tags:  2015  Nantes  SETAC-EU 

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Iron in Sediments

Posted By Trudy Watson-Leung, Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, September 16, 2015

An inquiry about what research is being done on iron in sediments was posed to the Science Advisory Group listserve and it seemed like a valid question to pose to the Sediment Advisory Group as well.  Some of the responses that have been recieved so far are below.  I hope this information will be useful to some of you and if you have anything to add please reply to this blog.    


From Thomas Seal from FDEP Water Quality Assessment Program:

The Florida Depart of Environmental Protection's Watershed Monitoring program has hundreds of iron results from lake sediments throughout the state, collected from both large and small lakes for over ten years now.  We use the element iron, as well as aluminum, to normalize our trace metal data, thus ruling out those samples that are naturally higher in trace metals due to their higher clay (hence Al and sometimes Fe) content. 


The freshwater sediment normalization tool is available at this website....


The freshwater sediment normalization tool was developed for FDEP under contract with a private dredging and engineering firm in Jacksonville, Taylor Engineering.  But the employee who mainly developed it (Dr. Steven Schropp) worked for FDEP in the early 1990s before he was hired by Taylor.  We have a companion tool for the state’s estuarine sediments (Windom and Schropp 1988) , but to develop that tool we did not collect iron data, only aluminum.


If you want to see the FDEP iron data, please contact Thomas Seal ( or Aisa Ceric.


From Ed Swain of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency:

 We surveyed over 100 shallow freshwater systems in Minnesota, and measured iron both in porewater and bulk sediment for our study on how sulfate is converted into hydrogen sulfide, which can be toxic to wild rice.  Our interest is in the iron that is available to detoxify porewater sulfide through precipitation of relatively insoluble FeS compounds.  So, rather than quantify sediment iron with a strong acid digestion, we estimated redox-active iron by a 30-minute extraction with relatively weak HCl (0.5 N).  We modeled the net conversion of sulfate in surface water into porewater sulfide via structural equation modeling, which found that conversion of sulfate to sulfide is limited by sediment TOC, presumably because sulfate-reducing bacteria are limited by the availability of organic matter.  The net concentration of sulfide in porewater is then controlled by the availability of redox-active iron in the bulk sediment (we found that the concentration of porewater iron had little predictive power; porewater iron is less than 1% of the redox-active iron in the bulk sediment).


Our draft proposal for protecting wild rice from excess sulfate can be found at:


From Tom H. Gries, NEP QA Coordinator for the Environmental Assessment Program:

I did a quick search of Ecology's EIM database.  There are 1000's of records associated with analyses of iron in samples of both freshwater and marine/estuarine sediments.

Records may reflect slightly different matrices (e.g., stormwater sediments) or methods.  And I noticed different units of measure.  But they're readily available:


From Steven Bay of the Toxicology Department Southern California Coastal Water Research Project:

We include iron in our analyte list for our regional monitoring program and thus have hundreds of data points for southern California marine and estuarine waters.  We have used the data previously to develop regression relationships to normalize other metal concentrations to account for natural background.  Haven't done any spiked toxicity studies with iron.



Tags:  discussion  iron 

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Invitation to Participate on Spiked Sediment Toxicity Database Working Group

Posted By Trudy Watson-Leung, Monday, June 29, 2015

SEDAG Members:

 SEDAG has initiated a project to develop an open access and collaborative database of toxicity data from test using chemical-spiked sediment.  We had some initial discussions regarding this project at the November 2014 Vancouver SEDAG meeting and several SEDAG members expressed interest in participating in the effort (either to develop the database structure or to contribute content).  

I would like to continue this process and work with interested members to develop a draft version of this database over the next few months.  We are planning to hold a series of web meetings/conference calls over the next two months to develop this idea into a product for review by SEDAG at a future meeting.  

If you would like to participate in these meetings to develop the design, please send me an email with your contact information by Friday, July 3.  

I will then follow up with the respondents to schedule an initial  2-hour web meeting in mid-July.  This first meeting will discuss the scope of the project and identify a process/schedule for moving forward.

 Please send you responses directly to me at by July 3.

 Thanks for your support of this project,



Steven Bay

Prinicipal Scientist, Toxicology Department

Southern California Coastal Water Research Project
3535 Harbor Blvd, Suite 110

Costa Mesa, CA  92626

Phone: 714-755-3204

Fax: 714-755-3299

Tags:  spiked sediment  working group 

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