Detailed Presentation Abstract Schedule

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Author / Presenter: David Leeder
Affiliation: Hutchinson Environmental Sciences
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 8:20 – 8:40
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Passive samplers are becoming more widely used to detect low-level hydrocarbons and/or integrate fluctuating hydrocarbon concentrations. Successful study designs must consider the limits of the samplers in the environments that they are deployed in, approaches that demonstrate sufficient conservatism and appropriate quality assurance measures. Hutchinson Environmental Sciences has conducted four multi-year studies of low-level natural gas products in rivers and tributaries in northeastern British Columbia gas fields. We have used passive samplers to measure benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX), petroleum hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in dynamic mountain rivers. From our experience I will share: ?X The site conditions and regulator concerns that made passive samplers preferable; ?X Key aspects to consider in passive sampler surface water study designs; ?X How site-effects were differentiated from background conditions; ?X Examples of sampler deployment and recovery methods; ?X Lessons learned from field complications; and ?X Measures of success. This talk is geared towards those wishing to learn more about the practicalities of deploying passive samplers in surface water.

Author / Presenter: Jeff Roberts
Affiliation: SiREM
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 8:40 – 9:00
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Passive sampling devices (PSDs) present many advantages over conventional sample collection methods for quantifying hydrophobic organic compound (HOC) availability in sediment, soil, surface water and stormwater in terms of cost and data quality. PSDs provide data to estimate contaminant bioavailability and toxicity to environmental receptors that is more accurate than conventional grab or mechanically-extracted samples, as it quantifies freely-dissolved contaminants. This presentation will highlight examples where PSDs have been used in the laboratory and in the field to make decisions on site investigation and remediation, as well as additional techniques and advancements to simplify and improve sampling and lower costs. In terms of site investigation, we will demonstrate how we used a rapid (2-week) passive sampling deployment to evaluate PCB and PAH availability and risks at an active shipyard. A remedial treatability example will highlight the use of PSDs to evaluate the effectiveness of different levels of activated carbon, using the results to optimize the remedy and save costs by avoiding excess carbon use. In a third example, we highlight the ex situ application of PSDs to evaluate the digestive availability of benzo(a)pyrene in soils contaminated with clay targets, using the results to derive an alternate human health risk-based cleanup levels that account for the low availability of clay target-associated benzo(a)pyrene. Additionally, the presentation will review our recent advances in deploying samplers without the use of scuba divers, optimizing ex situ passive sampling with small sediment and soil samples, and the evaluation of new analytes.

Author / Presenter: Heather Lord
Affiliation: Maxxam Analytics
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 9:00 – 9:20
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Passive sampling is gaining significant interest as either a stand-alone or companion method for monitoring a range of environmental contaminants in the field. Some of the advantages identified by users include simplified field work, data free from bias of sediments and colloids, time integrated data and often significantly lower detection limits. These benefits make the technology an ideal tool for evaluating contaminant concentrations in support of ecotoxicity studies and site risk assessments. Several different technologies are gaining acceptance in North America for passive sampling deployments. This presentation will describe the different technologies commonly used for determination of petroleum hydrocarbons and other non-polar contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pentachlorobiphenyls and volatile solvents. Key considerations will be described for selecting the appropriate device(s) for a given site, recommended lab methods for processing the devices after deployment and appropriate approaches for performing the necessary data analysis. Finally a comparison of typical data sets from the different technologies will be discussed in relation to each other and to similar data from both conventional chemical analysis approaches and other measures of toxicity and bioaccumulation.

Author / Presenter: Sarah Hughes
Affiliation: Shell Oil Company
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 9:20 – 9:40
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) employs animal testing for the hazard assessment of chemicals and products, research and development testing, and effluent discharge compliance. 84% of ~102,000 of the vertebrate organisms used in 2015 were fish employed in whole effluent toxicity (WET) tests for product stewardship and regulatory compliance applications. Of this, 30 % of Shell’s global fish use in 2015 was from its Canadian operations. In an effort to decrease the dependence on vertebrate testing for compliance, Shell is proactively seeking non-vertebrate (alternative) testing approaches to trial as potential replacements for traditional vertebrate methods currently used for WET testing. To identify potential alternative methods, an extensive literature review was undertaken to identify and prioritize potential non-vertebrate alternative methods. This selection process identified trends in the bioassays applied regionally and elucidated alternative approaches that harmonize global testing requirements. The toxicity testing methods evaluated were selected from international standard organizations and WET methods previously used by Shell globally. These were further refined based on their applicability to effluent testing in the North American compliance framework. Priority was given to those methods that were available commercially in North America, were freshwater, and included apical endpoints in methods similar in duration and style to current compliance testing methodologies. Additional priority was given to methods which had the greatest similarity to fish. An initial list of 64 standard protocols from agencies from around the world were compiled and refined to a list of 7 that reflected 5 testing frameworks for further performance testing. The advantages and challenges associated with each method were investigated. An overview of Shell?s approach to eliminating vertebrate testing will be presented, and will include a discussion of a combination of alternative in vitro and in vivo techniques. It may be that no single method or test by itself is sufficient to replace vertebrate testing, but using a weight of evidence approach could help to reduce vertebrate testing.

Author / Presenter: Leana Van der Vliet
Affiliation: Environment Canada
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:10 – 10:30
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Although there is growing evidence of the sensitivity of amphibians to contaminants, and there is a growing demand for their use in regulatory frameworks, amphibian toxicity data are currently under-represented in risk assessments. Few standardized methods are available, which in part contributes to this under-representation. In addition, none of the available aquatic methods pair whole-organism chronic endpoints with species that are relevant to Canadian environments. Working towards a standardized test method with a native amphibian species (Lithobates pipiens, Northern leopard frog) has provided many challenges over the last 10 plus years. We will present some lessons learned from laboratory research and notable features of the test method, including: · how challenges faced during the research and development phase were mitigated to improve the test method, · the advantages of the exposure periods chosen, · why and how the goals of this testing are distinct from a short term lethality test, and · the rationale for a change in reference toxicant test design. In addition, we will present some preliminary results from our inter-laboratory study with sodium chloride and thyroxine. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s amphibian test method will continue along the usual path for validation of a toxicity test method, including additional inter-laboratory testing, development of quality control criteria, and improvement of methodology text. The result will be the first Canadian standardized test method using a native amphibian species.

Author / Presenter: Jennifer Miller
Affiliation: Miller Environmental Sciences Inc.
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:30 – 10:50
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

As part of the 10-year review of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulation (MMER) and the development of mines in the Canadian far-North, a need was identified to develop new biological Reference Methods to measure acute lethality in saline effluent from mine operations discharging to the marine environment. One of these was a marine fish test method to be used for monitoring and compliance purposes as part of the amended MMER as a substitute for the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) acute lethality test (EPS 1/RM/13), used for the assessment of acute lethality in freshwater mining effluents. A new Reference Method which specifies procedures and conditions for an acute lethality test with threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) has been developed and standardized and will be published by Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2017. The method is intended for use with effluent samples having a salinity of greater than 10 g/kg discharging directly to estuarine or marine receiving waters. Procedures are also provided to evaluate different types of substances such as chemicals, formulated products or chemical mixtures. The new Reference Method (EPS 1/RM/10, second edition) replaces the first edition of Environment Canada´s Generic Threespine Stickleback Biological Test Method, published in 1990 and amended in 2000. The revised method includes numerous updates such as: the conversion from “Generic” to “Reference” method, the revision of methods for salinity adjustments and preparation of artificial seawater, the requirement that test organisms be obtained from estuarine or marine waters or cultures, a narrowed size range of fish recommended for use as test organisms, the revision of holding and acclimation guidance to reflect current and varied laboratory practices, and the review and revision of the recommendations and requirements of the test method. The scope of these changes will be discussed along with key components of the test procedure and rationale for selection of test specifications.

Author / Presenter: Paula Cypas Antunes
Affiliation: AquaTox Testing & Consulting Inc.
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:50 – 11:10
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

A review of the Canadian Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) has recently identified the need for a compliance test method suitable for assessing the acute lethality of saline effluent discharged into marine or brackish environments. The freshwater invertebrate Daphnia magna, currently used to monitor effluent acute lethality of mine effluents, is inappropriate for testing in brackish and marine waters as D. magna is intolerant of salinities in excess of 4 parts per thousand (ppt). To fill this gap in MMER regulatory testing, ECCC launched an initiative to develop a test method using the marine copepod, Acartia tonsa, to measure the acute lethality of effluents. Research is currently in progress, and includes: determination of the conditions needed to establish in-house cultures of Rhodomonas salina (an algal food source) and A. tonsa; toxicity testing with a wide range of salinities to determine the salt tolerance range; reference toxicant testing with nickel chloride (NiCl2); development of test methodology (including test endpoints and validity criteria) and; management of an inter-laboratory study to validate the proposed test method. Establishment of an R. salina feed source included axenic starter cultures as well as a larger-scale feed cultures. For both cultures, algae were found to grow well under conditions of 1800 lux, a 12:12 light/dark cycle, salinity 30 ± 2 ppt and a temperature of 20 ± 2ºC. However, when up-scaling to the feed culture, algal populations crashed without the addition of gentle aeration to the larger solution volumes. Subsequent addition of continuous gentle aeration enabled the algae to overcome the growth limitations and achieve a stable population density of approximately 1.5 million cells/mL. Both the starter and feed cultures were successfully maintained in natural and artificial (Instant Ocean and ESAW media) seawater. A. tonsa were found to grow well under conditions of 400-500 lux, a 16:8 light/dark cycle, salinity 30 ± 2 ppt, a temperature of 20 ± 2ºC, and continuous gentle aeration. Copepods housed in clear 1L LDPE culture containers fed daily with R. salina achieved population densities of approximately 300 individuals/L which were stable between culture day 14 and 28. Culture health criteria are still under evaluation. The proposed test method will be based on a 48 hr exposure starting with the egg stage, whereby newly laid eggs are obtained from breeding male and female copepods. The test endpoint will be survival, with specific details related to this endpoint being investigated as part of the ongoing research efforts. Preliminary exposures of the copepods to a range of salinities (i.e., 5 to 35 ppt) using the proposed test method suggest that sudden transfer to/or exposure to lower salinities may impact hatching success but not the survival of hatched organisms. This testing not only provided a first-look at the ability of copepods to withstand rapid changes in salinity, but also insight as to reasonable expectations for control organism survival. The next steps currently in progress are reference toxicity tests and the initiation of an inter-laboratory study – both focused on assessing the acute toxicity of A. tonsa to NiCl2 and Canadian toxicology laboratory training sessions once the method is finished.

Author / Presenter: Rick Scroggins
Affiliation: Ecotoxicology and Wildlife Health Division
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:10 – 11:30
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Standardized biological test methods published by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) require the conductance of routine reference toxicant tests to assess the sensitivity of the test organism population over time. However, the requirement to conduct routine reference toxicant tests becomes challenging when the test design requires a prolonged exposure period to capture sublethal or life-cycle-type effects (e.g., reproduction inhibition). For these longer tests, there is currently a requirement to run a reference toxicant test of a shorter duration than the definitive tests. This calls the value of these results into question since definitive tests are of longer duration and focus on different endpoints. To directly address this issue, in tests which run longer than 14 days, ECCC has decided to allow reference toxicant testing to be conducted by one of two options in new and amended test methods: 1) multi-concentration tests run twice yearly; or 2) a single concentration test run with each definitive test to serve as a positive control. The positive control option is defined as an exposure of test organisms run the same as a negative control (i.e., same replication, organism requirement, test vessels, etc.) except exposed to a single concentration of a known toxicant and would be included as a separate treatment within each definitive test. The endpoint for a positive control would be determined as the mean response (e.g., weight, number of young, abnormal development of individual replicates) subtracted from the mean response in the negative control, divided by the mean negative control response and multiplied by 100 to provide a percent inhibition. To use this approach, each laboratory will be required to define the positive control response and determine acceptability limits. Results from 5 reference toxicant tests are recommended to determine the appropriate partial effect response (e.g., 40% inhibition) and acceptable range (e.g., >30% and <50%, with a coefficient of variation ¡Ü40%). Advantages of the positive control approach to meet standard method reference toxicant obligations will be outlined, as well as ECCC¡¯s plans for introduction of this testing option.

Author / Presenter: Amanda Laird
Affiliation: University of Guelph
Student: Yes

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:30 – 11:50
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Metal contamination in soils most often occurs as mixtures of more than one metal. Although there have been numerous studies accumulation and toxicity of single metals, implications of multiple metals of concern remains largely unknown. Tools for risk assessment of mixtures of metals in soils are lacking. One possible tool is the use of ion exchange resins as proxies for plant accumulation of metals and growth. Plant root simulator (PRSTM) probes have their origins in testing for soil nutrient bioavailability, but have been adapted for use in metal bioavailability. Diffusive gradients in thin film (DGT) were originally created for measuring bioavailability of metals in water, but were soon adapted for use in sediments and then soil. The application of these methods to metals in soil is not yet universal, and the implications of the multiple metals for these tools are yet to be investigated. If these tools are acceptable for this application, they may be applied as a screening tool for use in risk assessment when more than one metal of concern is present. To this end, a fixed ratio ray design was used to compare uptake and toxicity in barley to Ni and Co as singles and in a mixture that included Ni, Cu and Co. Plant accumulation and response were compared to PRSTM, DGT, CaCl2 extraction and pseudo total metal concentrations. Single metals were more bioavailable than in the mixture at low concentrations for both Ni and Co. However at higher concentrations, Ni became more bioavailable in the mixtures. The range of concentrations studied for Co was lower, so this effect may not have been captured if it were present. Plant accumulation was most closely mirrored by PRSTM and CaCl2, while DGT more closely mirrored plant toxicity as represented by growth parameters for both metals. These results illustrate a notable concentration dependence on metal bioavailability in mixtures. At low concentrations, metals are adsorbed to specific binding sites on soil and are not removed by the presence of additional cations. However, at higher concentrations adsorption is largely attributed to exchange reactions. Furthermore, plant uptake is metal specific at lower concentrations, while, uptake at higher concentrations are not. PRSTM and DGT show promise as tools to assess the interaction between metals in mixtures in plant uptake and toxicity. This information will be critical in the application of these tools to risk assessment of metals mixtures in soil.

Author / Presenter: Kevin Stevens
Affiliation: Wilfrid Laurier University
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:50 – 12:10
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Water quality impairments impinge on valued wetland ecosystem functions through their impacts on wetland vegetation and associated soil fungi (mycorrhizal fungi). To maintain, enhance and restore wetland ecosystem function quantifying and monitoring plant and fungal responses to soil and water borne contaminants is necessary. We are developing and utilizing a suite of laboratory, greenhouse and field-based assays to monitor and assess the effects of soil and waterborne contaminants on wetland plants and mycorrhizal fungi. Our assays include established response variables (seed germination, mortality, biomass, resource partitioning) and less frequently used responses (root and shoot morphometrics, mycorrhizal inoculum potential, mycorrhizal colonization, spore germination, hyphal growth, and plant fungal signalling responses). Using growth room and field based studies of mining impacts at Giant and Tundra Mines (NWT) assays have shown widespread impacts of arsenic exposure on plant and mycorrhizal growth and development and plant community structure. Assessments of petroleum hydrocarbon remediation efforts at Colomac Mine (NWT) indicated high mycorrhizal inoculum potential and plant community structure comparable to non-impacted areas. At environmentally relevant concentrations of the ubiquitous antimicrobial triclosan controlled exposure studies demonstrated a significant reduction in seed germination, plant growth and mycorrhizal colonization. Using continuous flowthrough exposure systems, effects on mycorrhizal colonization and plant morphology have also been detected in several wetland plants exposed to orthophosphorus at or below provincial guidelines. Since existing approaches utilizing greenhouse/growth room bioassays do not capture temporal heterogeneity in water quality, and soil/sediment/water chemistry analyses do not reflect bioavailability of a given compound, we are developing a series of field deployable assays (FDAs) to to obtain a direct assessment of soil/water toxicity using species of known providence and behavior. These FDAs permit the assessment of a range of wetland plant species from emergent to submerged macrophytes. Results of the FDAs are site-specific, reflect bioavailability and circumvent many of the known drawbacks associated with existing field and laboratory-based assessments. When used in conjunction with existing approaches the FDAs provide a more comprehensive assessment of contaminant effects.

Author / Presenter: Michael Dunning
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Student: Yes

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 13:30 – 13:50
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Retinoids (vitamin A) are a class of compounds essential for a number of physiological processes including vision and immune system function. They are stored as biologically inactive esters which are mobilized and converted to active retinoic acid (RA) according to physiological requirements. RA is a key component in gene expression and embryonic development, particularly in fish. Disruption of the retinoid system has been observed in several species by exposure to xenobiotics and contaminants from various sources including mine tailings and pulp mill effluent. Retinyl esters are usually analyzed by ultraviolet spectrophotometry, however these methods lack specificity and require authentic standards for quantification which can be expensive or impossible to obtain. RAs are present in fish at pg/g levels and have not been adequately quantified to date. A streamlined extraction method has been developed to generate separate fractions of storage and active retinoids from biological tissues to be simultaneously analyzed using a tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) platform. A high-sensitivity triple quadrupole instrument was used to quantify retinoic acids while a quadrupole time-of-flight instrument was used as a tool to quantify and profile stored retinoids with a high degree of specificity using full-scan accurate mass MS/MS data. The need in aquatic toxicology for sensitive and robust methods to probe the distribution and function of retinoids in fish as well as to investigate the ultimate effects of perturbations to this essential yet poorly understood biological system will be discussed. Preliminary results will also be presented from a small method application comparing two populations of fish sampled at a wastewater treatment plant to identify potential effects on retinoid status.

Author / Presenter: Denina Simmons
Affiliation: McMaster University
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 13:50 – 14:10
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

The Chemical Management Plan (CMP) has identified Tetrabromobisphenol A bis(2,3-dibromopropyl ether) (TBBPA-DBPE) as a replacement flame retardant with the potential to enter the Canadian aquatic environment. There is concern that TBBPA-DBPE might also pose a risk of disrupting the endocrine systems of exposed organisms. The present experiment was designed to assess the sub-lethal effect(s) of TBBPA-DBPE in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in order to identify potential sub-lethal mechanistic pathways. The fish were exposed to waterborne TBBPA-DBPE in a flow-through design. TBBPA-DBPE was delivered to the tanks by peristaltic pumps to maintain consistent concentrations. Nominal exposure concentrations were: 0 µM; 0.001-; 0.01-; 0.032-; and 0.1-µM. There were three separate exposures; one for 2 days, another for 10 days, and the last for 21 days. Eight fish were housed per tank, with three replicate tanks per exposure concentration for a grand total of 225 fish. We performed non-targeted analysis of plasma proteins and targeted analysis of plasma metabolites on fish from all exposures using LC-MS/MS. In total, the expression of more than 500 proteins and 300 metabolites in rainbow trout plasma was significantly affected by waterborne exposure to TBBPA-DBPE. Of those, 29 proteins and metabolites were differentially expressed after all three exposure durations. In this talk, we shall present a synthesis of the data from our multi-omics approach to gain insights onto the potential mode of action of TBBPA-DBPE, via the gluconeogenesis pathway in fish.

Author / Presenter: Mahmoud Sharaf
Affiliation: Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:10 – 14:30
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Aquatic environments are impacted by stressors that may affect organismal health and biodiversity at the ecosystem and species levels. One of the problems associated with human activities is metals pollution. Interaction between these metals could be antagonistic, additive or synergistic causing a variety of effects on aquatic organisms. Among the metals of concern to the aquatic environment, zinc (Zn) is commonly found at elevated levels in the aquatic environment. Moreover, Zn in aquatic species have been found to be mitigated by calcium (Ca) at the organismal levels, therefore studying their interactive effects at internal target sites such as cellular metabolism is needed to help in the development of more sensitive biomarkers of toxicity. It was hypothesized that Ca would protect against Zn-induced bioenergetic impairment and Zn would utilize Ca uptake pathway (mitochondrial calcium uniporter: MCU) to enter mitochondria. The individual and binary effects of Zn and Ca on mitochondrial respiration, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and membrane potential (??mt) were evaluated. The study examined whether the uptake of these cations into mitochondrial matrix is a prerequisite for their deleterious effects on mitochondrial function. Only in combination, low and high doses of the two cations synergistically suppressed and promoted mitochondrial ROS, respectively. Individually, Zn was more potent than Ca in stimulating ROS production while Ca more potently dissipated the ??mt. Independent of the MCU, Zn caused an immediate depolarization of ??mt that was associated with relatively slow enhancement of H2O2 release. In contrast, an equitoxic dose of Ca caused transient depolarization, and stimulation of both respiration and H2O2 release, effects that were completely abolished when the MCU was blocked. Overall, my study highlights that the mitochondrial uptake for Ca, but not Zn, is exclusively through the MCU and their mitochondrial responses vary with the mitochondrial functional metric.

Author / Presenter: Patrick Gauthier
Affiliation: University of Calgary
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:30 – 14:50
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Animal behaviour has potential to be a powerful endpoint in toxicology and ecological risk assessment. Behavioural alterations onset by exposure to contaminants can alter activity patterns in risky and safe environments, providing ecologically relevant information regarding predation risk, food acquisition, survival, and fitness. Characterizing various behavioural phenotypes in response to environmental stimuli so as to quantitatively describe a change in activity, the speed at which activity changes, and total and maximum activities, would improve the use of animal behaviour in ecotoxicological research. We present a novel nonlinear mixed model approach with two behavioural endpoints at two different lifestages of the zebrafish (Danio rerio). We validate the suitability of two nonlinear mixed models for analyzing: a) changes in zebrafish embryo photomotor responses, and b) alterations of activity patters in zebrafish larvae light:dark trials. We exposed embryos and larvae to sedatives, stimulants, and sedative-stimulant mixtures. We found two nonlinear functions that when optimized with mixed modelling performed excellently in describing these embryonic and larval behavioural phenotypes. Most importantly, they were capable of distinguishing among various treatments and identified mixture interactions using classical and easily recognizable statistical approaches. The successful application of the nonlinear modelling on behavioural data, particularly in the context of a mixture, will be most useful to researchers of all disciplines working with animal behaviour.

Author / Presenter: Ève Gilroy
Affiliation: Green House Science
Student: No

Session: New Methods and Novel Approaches for Assessing and Monitoring Environmental Contaminant Mixtures or Individual Priority Substances
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:50 – 15:10
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

A variety of chemicals can induce damage to the DNA of animals, which, if not repaired, can lead to a cascade of biological effects at any level of biological organization. First developed in the 1980s, the single cell gel electrophoresis assay ? or Comet assay – is used to visualize and quantify cellular DNA damage. In recent years, a number of studies have used this approach to evaluate DNA damage from exposure to specific chemicals (e.g., PAHs), as well as from complex mixtures of contaminants. Several regions of the Great Lakes have suffered from considerable habitat degradation due to the influence of intensive industrial, agricultural and urban development. In collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, we developed an in vitro Comet assay to assess DNA damage in the hemocytes of the freshwater mussel Elliptio dilatata exposed to surface water and wastewater influent and effluent extracts from three sites in Lake Ontario: Hamilton Harbour, Toronto Harbour and Humber Bay. These extracts induced modest DNA damage after a 4 h in vitro exposure. Surface water extracts from Hamilton Harbour slightly induced DNA damage compared to the control, particularly surface water from the west end of the Harbour (12.5 % and 25% extracts only), and an Index Station located in the middle of the Harbour (100% extract). These results were somewhat expected, considering that sediments in the harbour are highly contaminated with genotoxic compounds. Significantly increased DNA damage was observed in mussel hemocytes exposed to three of the Toronto Harbour wastewater influent samples (12.5%, 25% and 50% extract) collected in June 2015, however these results were not consistent with the same samples collected in October 2015. The Humber Bay extracts did not appear to be particularly genotoxic, with the exception of the 100% extract for the Humber River surface water plume collected in October 2015. In the case of the Toronto Harbour data, the results of the present study indicate that wastewater treatment may successfully reduce the genotoxicity of the influent. Multivariate analyses are underway to investigate potential relationships between the induction of DNA damage and chemical (i.e. metals, PCBs, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics) concentrations in the samples examined.

Author / Presenter: Mark Payne
Affiliation: York Region
Student: No

Session: When is Clean, Clean Enough? A Discussion of Wastewater Treatment Technologies in Relation to Aquatic Organism Health
Date: Monday 02 October 2017
Time: 15:40 – 16:00
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Our Last Discharge ? Characterizing Funeral Home Sewer Discharges Municipally owned sewage treatment plants (STP) are widely viewed as point sources for emerging contaminants to surface water bodies. Provincial and Federal regulators typically focus on these plants to reduce loadings to surface water bodies. This has been an effective approach to traditional contaminants, but emerging contaminants are not as easily reduced and or removed during typical wastewater treatment processes. The present wastewater treatment infrastructure represents a significant public investment and works very well to prevent nutrients and heavy metals from entering watersheds, but its efficacy at removing emerging contaminants is much less defined. In general the discharge of contaminants from industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) facilities in the province is regulated at the municipal level of government. Each municipality establishes their own sewer-use bylaw limits for ICI facilities that discharge directly to the receiving STP. Due to cost to treat emerging contaminants, it may be more cost effective to review onsite treatment of select ICI facilities to reduce their impact to the receiving sewershed and ultimately, the receiving water bodies. As of 2014, there were more than 700 funeral homes operating in the province of Ontario, with 20 located in the Regional Municipality of York (York Region). During the body embalming process, embalming fluids are used to replace the blood and bodily fluids of the deceased, with the bodily fluids washed down the drain. This survey examined the direct wastewater discharged from 8 funeral homes in York Region. A total of 50 samples were collected in 2016 during the embalming process from the funeral home’s lotline sewer maintenance access hole. Samples were analyzed for a suite of contaminants including nutritive, metals, formaldehyde, legacy pesticides, PCBs, pharmaceuticals, nonyl phenols and other emerging contaminants. Surprisingly none of the funeral homes had any form of on-site wastewater treatment. The lack of treatment prior to discharge allows contaminants to flow freely into the sewer system. Select legacy pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants were detected at most sites and metals were detected below current sewer-use bylaws. Formaldehyde, a key contaminant in embalming fluids was detected at levels known to be toxic to select aquatic organisms reaching maximum concentrations of 561 mg/L. The average funeral home yearly loading of formaldehyde to the sewershed was estimated to be 125 Kg. Given the level of formaldehyde, and other contaminants measured it is possible that small sewersheds may experience significant impacts at their STP that could reduce plant efficacy and that onsite pretreatment of funeral homes discharges may be a risk management option for municipalities. References: 1. Canadian Industry Statistics, 2015. https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/scr/app/cis/businesses-entreprises/8122

Author / Presenter: Cary Morris
Affiliation: Modern Water Inc
Student: No

Session: When is Clean, Clean Enough? A Discussion of Wastewater Treatment Technologies in Relation to Aquatic Organism Health
Date: Monday 02 October 2017
Time: 16:00 – 16:20
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Through ecotoxicology, we have the ability to observe the impact that chemicals will have on ecosystems. Toxicity testing is a form of monitoring used widely across the globe as a check on that impact. There are many methods of measuring toxicity ranging from simple bacteria, daphnia, to higher life forms such as fish. These methods can be used as Biological Early Warning Systems. Here, we will focus on bacterial toxicity testing, specifically focusing on that of wastewater monitoring. Wastewater monitoring can help in many ways, not only to assure regulatory compliance of your effluent, but also monitor the impact that the influent can have on your system, and the impact your discharge will have on the environment. Using the Microtox range of products, wastewater can be screened quickly and accurately at all points in the system. There are many options with these products, including the completely portable DeltaTox II, the lab based Model 500, and the continuous monitoring system, Microtox CTM. We will discuss these technologies and how they can help optimize Wastewater Monitoring Programs across different applications and industries.

Author / Presenter: Patricia Gillis
Affiliation: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Student: No

Session: When is Clean, Clean Enough? A Discussion of Wastewater Treatment Technologies in Relation to Aquatic Organism Health
Date: Monday 02 October 2017
Time: 16:20 – 16:40
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

The relationship between municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent exposure and biological responses within aquatic ecosystems remains poorly understood, especially at the population level. To examine the effect of WWTP effluents on sentinel invertebrates, freshwater mussels were assessed in the Grand River, Ontario, in populations associated with the outfall of a major municipal WWTP. This watershed has a diverse community of twenty-five species of mussels, including nine Species at Risk, and is representative of many habitats that receive WWTP effluents. Population surveys were conducted to assess the presence and species richness of freshwater mussels. In total, 55 sites downstream of the WWTP were examined using timed visual searches with one or two hours of effort spent searching 100 m long river segments. Although seven species of mussels were found in moderate abundance (mean of 8 mussels per hour of searching across two sites) immediately upstream of the WWTP outfall, no live mussels were observed for 7.0 km downstream of the WWTP. Long-term water quality monitoring data indicate that ammonia and nitrite concentrations along with large seasonal declines in diel dissolved oxygen were associated with the extirpation of mussels downstream of the WWTP. The first live mussels found downstream were below the confluence with a major tributary indicating that in addition to an improvement in water quality to a state that enables mussels (and/or their fish hosts) to survive, a nearby mussel refuge in the tributary may have facilitated the recolonization of the depauperate WWTP-impacted zone.

Author / Presenter: Glen Van Der Kraak
Affiliation: University of Guelph
Student: No

Session: When is Clean, Clean Enough? A Discussion of Wastewater Treatment Technologies in Relation to Aquatic Organism Health
Date: Monday 02 October 2017
Time: 16:40 – 17:00
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

We conducted lab based experiments to determine the potential of effluents from different municipal wastewater plants to affect the reproduction of adult zebrafish. The endpoints measured included whole animal reproductive performance based on the numbers of eggs spawned over a 7-day exposure period and biomarkers of reproductive function including the levels of sex steroid hormones levels in ovarian tissue and the expression of selected genes in the ovary. In studies conducted in 2013 and 2015, a 50% dilution water collected immediately downstream of the wastewater treatment plant in Waterloo Ontario resulted in a significant reduction (50 and 85% in the two years) in the numbers of eggs spawned. In contrast effluent collected downstream of two different sewage treatment plants (Kitchener and Guelph, Ontario), an upstream reference site on the Grand River (Hespler) and the laboratory control water had no effects on spawning success. Measurement of ovarian testosterone and 17?-estradiol levels did not reveal an effect for fish exposed to the Waterloo effluent whereas zebrafish exposed to the Guelph effluent had lower levels of 17?-estradiol but only for the 2013 study. Expression of genes involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis including steroid acute regulatory protein, aromatase and the luteinizing hormone receptor also failed to reveal a consistent pattern of response. A reduction in aromatase expression was seen in fish exposed to the Waterloo effluent in 2013 but not 2015 whereas the other genes were not affected. Similarly fish from the Guelph site showed a reduction in aromatase in the 2013 but not the 2015 studies. We detected high concentrations of ammonia in the Waterloo effluent which we suspect is responsible for the reproductive impairment. Indeed other studies in which zebrafish were exposed to ammonia led to impairment in spawning success but inconsistent effects on steroid hormone levels or the expression of genes involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis. Collectively these studies suggest that the inclusion of endpoints of whole animal performance such as spawning success are a far more robust screen of reproductive toxicants than measurements of hormone levels or gene expression particularly when the underlying mechanisms of reproductive impairment are unknown.

Author / Presenter: Joanne Parrott
Affiliation: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Student: No

Session: When is Clean, Clean Enough? A Discussion of Wastewater Treatment Technologies in Relation to Aquatic Organism Health
Date: Monday 02 October 2017
Time: 17:00 – 17:20
Location: Flanders

Abstract:

Fathead minnow lifecycle exposures have been conducted in our lab for several individual pharmaceutical compounds (ethinylestradiol (EE2), propranolol, venlafaxine) and their mixtures. We have also assessed several complex municipal wastewater effluents (MWWEs). In some cases, MWWE exposures caused decreased survival, growth, and breeding success. However, many MWWEs that still contained measureable concentrations of many pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), did not impact fish survival, growth, or reproduction. It is clear that EE2 in minute quantities can affect fish reproduction and wild fish populations. Relationships for other PPCPs are not as clear, with most compounds in our lifecycle lab fish tests showing no impacts when exposure concentrations are environmentally-relevant. In cases where MWWEs affected fish reproduction, it was often difficult to separate out overt toxic effects (from ammonia exposure, for example), from effects caused by low concentrations of PPCPs. If MWWEs can be identified that cause no effects in fish, perhaps we can live with the low concentrations of PPCPs, especially if the fish seem to be ok with them?

Author / Presenter: Carrie Rickwood
Affiliation: Natural Resources Canada
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 8:20 – 8:40
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Recent studies in some mine sites have shown a significant contribution of metals associated with particulate matter entering watersheds due to localised wind erosion of waste piles, dust from roads and atmospheric deposition during snow/rain fall events (Timoney and Lee, 2009; Kelly et al, 2010, Huntsman-Mapila et al, 2014). Collecting particulate matter during snow fall events provides an opportunity to quantify loading to specific geographic locations. It is also of particular interest as metals accumulated over the winter would result in a significant metal pulse into the water column during freshet. This presentation outlines the results of snow sampling in the Val d’Or mining region and the use of multi-disciplinary techniques, including Scanning Electron Microscopy, sequential extractions and toxicology to better understand the contribution of snowmelt as a source of metals into local lakes. By using a weight-of-evidence approach we were able to investigate the various factors and mechanisms affecting metal mobilization in snow. Understanding, on a watershed scale, the contribution of metals from atmospheric particulates is important if we are to gain further insight into the fate and effect of metals in aquatic systems.

Author / Presenter: Sarah Mediouni
Affiliation: Wilfrid Laurier University
Student: Yes

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 8:40 – 9:00
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Gold mining continues to be an important part of economic development in Northern Canada. Since minerals and metals are non-renewable, mining is ongoing and it is important that mining development is carried out in a responsible and sustainable manner. A large portion of the gold that is found in the Northern territories is contained within arsenopyrite rock, therefore arsenic byproduct is of special concern. Currently, not much research has been done on the impacts of arsenic on plants and mycorrhizae in Northern Ecosystems. Previous research in temperate regions has shown that the symbiosis formed between plants and arbuscular mycorrhiza can accelerate the remediation process in gold mines by supporting plant growth in poor soil conditions. The mine studied in this project is Tundra Mine, an inactive gold mine 240 km northeast of Yellowknife. Soil was collected from un-vegetated areas previously used as tailings ponds, but have since been treated to remove contaminants. Other sites were chosen at varying distances from the original tailings area to include a range of contamination levels and disturbances. Soil was analyzed for arsenic contamination as well as used to find mycorrhizal inoculum potential by quantifying spore density at each site. Several sites near the original tailings contained biologically relevant concentrations of arsenic in the soil up to 3.2mg/g. Mycorrhizal spores were found at all sites ranging from 800 spores/100mL to 15 spores/100mL of soil. Mycorrhizal plant species were also collected from each site in June and August 2016 for assessment of mycorrhizal colonization. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal colonization varied from site to site, but was found regardless of soil arsenic contamination. Tissue arsenic concentrations were determined for plant species that were common to all sites. It was found that samples exceeded the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in livestock feed of forage by several orders of magnitude.

Author / Presenter: Cynthia Cheney
Affiliation: University of Ottawa
Student: Yes

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 9:00 – 9:20
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Mining operations can be a driver of economic success for a community, but once operations cease, a legacy of contamination is typically left behind. Such is the case at Giant Mine in Yellowknife, NWT. Operating from 1948-2004, Giant Mine released 20,000 tonnes of particulate arsenic trioxide to the atmosphere, which was consequently deposited onto the landscape surrounding the mine lease territory. In this study, Pb-210 dated lake sediment cores are used to characterize the extent of contamination at the site. Novel methods in paleo-ecotoxicology are employed to reconstruct conditions in local lakes prior to the on-set of mining operations, in an area where pre-impact bio-monitoring data are not available. Metal concentrations in sediment profiles were determined for cores spanning a 20 km distance downwind of the roaster stack. Profiles of multiple metals including arsenic, antimony, and lead track a peak in contamination during the height of mining operations, which decreases with distance. Toxicity tests in Daphnia indicate lake water collected 1 km from the mine decrease Daphnia survivorship, despite the mine being inactive for over 10 years. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of metals in the sediment dated prior, during, and after the cessation of mining activities show clustering of chemically similar lakes prior to mining, with divergence during operations, and little change occurring since after the mine closure. These results suggest that lakes in the Yellowknife region were contaminated from mining operations at Giant Mine, and that the aquatic ecosystems have not returned to pre-mining conditions. Future work examining multi-trophic level responses to contaminant exposure in dated sediments will increase our understanding of the impact of mining operations to the landscape, and will help predict what conditions are needed to expect a recovery in this ecosystem.

Author / Presenter: Carolyn Anglin
Affiliation: Imperial Metals Corporation
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 9:20 – 9:40
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

The Mount Polley Mine is located in the Cariboo Regional District in central British Columbia, approximately 56 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake. In the early hours of August 4, 2014, a layer of glaciolacustrine clay underlying the Perimeter Embankment of the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) failed, causing the embankment to slump and breach, releasing approximately 25 million cubic metres of supernatant and interstitial water, tailings and embankment construction materials (rock, engineered fill, and till). The resulting debris flow extensively scoured and deposited material along the approximately 9 km valley of Hazeltine Creek and deposited material in Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake. Emergency response, remediation and rehabilitation activities began immediately, in parallel with a comprehensive, and ongoing, monitoring program. Initial channel stabilization work was completed in the Hazeltine Creek channel within five months of the TSF failure. Two post-event environmental impact assessments have been completed, and human health and ecological risk assessments are nearing completion. The post event environmental impact assessments found several indicators of effects to aquatic and terrestrial organisms associated with physical mechanisms (e.g. scouring and smothering), but limited evidence of effects related to chemical mechanisms. As part of the impact assessment, a geochemical characterization program was undertaken to assess the metal leaching and acid rock drainage potential of the tailings in both subaqueous and subaerial environments. Results of these studies have consistently indicated the released materials to be non-acid-generating and that the leaching potential in the subaerial environment is low. In addition, the potential for oxidative and reductive dissolution in the subaqueous environment is considered to be negligible. Ongoing monitoring of Quesnel Lake and Polley Lake indicates that the metal concentrations in the water column overlying the submerged tailings are not increasing. Risk assessments are being carried out to determine the significance of environmental conditions resulting from the breach to human health and the environment. A conceptual site exposure model was developed based on investigations of soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water monitoring data. Potential exposure pathways to contaminants were evaluated based on the physical and chemical properties of the possible contaminants and additional data, including plant, invertebrate and fish tissues. A number of potential human health exposure scenarios were evaluated, including the site worker and subsistence and traditional land user. No contaminants of concern were found for human health in soil, sediment or surface water, including drinking water. The ecological risk assessment is using multiple lines of evidence including: i) chemistry, ii) toxicity testing, and iii) in situ biological community assessment. The weight of evidence supports that the physical changes to the habitat are the primary stressors to ecological receptors. Preliminary results of the risk assessments indicate that risks to terrestrial and aquatic receptors from potential contaminants related to the breach are low and meet risk-based standards. Extensive remediation has already been completed, and the results of the risk assessments will be incorporated into a final remediation plan which is presently in development.

Author / Presenter: Stacey Fernandes
Affiliation: Canada North Environmental Services
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:10 – 10:30
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Proposed mining and milling developments have the potential to impact environmental media and thus impact ecological and/or human health in nearby communities. Assessments of country foods are often overlooked as a source of information during environmental monitoring programs despite their potential to compliment conventional environmental data collections and enhance community engagement. Whenever possible, consideration of country foods should be included in the baseline monitoring program. This can provide information on the types of food consumed and the concentrations in these food items. Frequency and consumption rates of country foods can vary widely depending on the geographical location, species available, and traditional values of a community, particularly for Indigenous communities. Without obtaining site-specific consumption rates, risk assessments must rely on generic information to estimate exposure and potential impacts. For several projects and regions across Canada, the available literature may not reflect the consumption rates of certain traditional foods. Including analysis of country foods in baseline programs prior to development will document naturally occurring parameter concentrations in the region. This can be extremely useful for data comparisons once the development is operational. This information is also used directly in risk assessments. It may be possible to harmonize aspects of traditional environmental monitoring programs with country foods allowing a transparent link between traditional knowledge and environmental monitoring. For example, a greater emphasis may be placed on culturally-relevant fish species. This does need to be defined in the initial stages of the project to allow for the maximum benefit to be realized to the community and the proponent.

Author / Presenter: Cynthia Russel
Affiliation: Minnow Environmental Inc.
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:30 – 10:50
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

The Island Copper Mine Pit Lake serves as a biogeochemical treatment system for metal leaching and acid rock drainage collected from the upland waste dumps. At the time of closure, this treatment system was unproven and, the implementation of this approach in a closed mine treatment system was considered experimental. However, 20 years later, the Pit Lake treatment system has proven to be extremely effective with concentrations of metals in the Pit Lake surface water consistently achieving discharge criteria. There are now 20 years of data from which to evaluate Pit Lake performance and to determine the most effective monitoring program going forward. The Island Copper closure plan recognizes that monitoring will be required on the site for many decades. In order to determine the most efficient and effective monitoring program, statistical analyses were conducted on existing water quality data. Monitoring parameters were selected based on the frequency and magnitude above guidelines and/or their necessity to evaluate geochemical changes. Autocorrelation analyses were used to determine the frequency of monitoring that would provide unique information and linear time series models were used to determine when samples should be collected to ensure minimum and maximum values of key parameters would be captured. Correlation analyses were used to rationalize the depths to be sampled in the Pit Lake to ensure unique information is collected. A recommended long-term monitoring program was developed which married the core aspects of the monitoring program with a data quality management plan, environmental response plans, and reporting requirements and schedule.

Author / Presenter: Mary Murdoch
Affiliation: Stantec Consulting Limited
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:50 – 11:10
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Biomonitoring requires the collection and identification of specimens to establish baseline characteristics of the biological community and track changes over time and space. Accurate taxonomic identification is a foundational element to biomonitoring studies, which is traditionally done by experts using morphological keys. Several factors can limit accurate morphological identification, such as: life-stage of the specimen, preservation history, partial / damaged specimens), adequacy of taxonomic keys, and expertise of the taxonomist. New DNA-based approaches to specimen identification, like DNA barcoding, offer attractive solutions because they are more objective and repeatable, can be applied to all life stages and to fragments, can be automated, more rapid and scalable than morphological approaches. Successful identification using DNA barcoding requires a robust reference library against which the sequence of an ?unknown? can be matched and subsequently identified. The purpose of this study was three-fold: 1) to assess the ability to recover DNA barcodes from formalin-fixed morphological voucher specimens collected from a mine monitoring program, 2) to assess the maturity of the existing Biodiversity Institute of Ontario?s barcode reference sequence library in providing matches to the sequences derived from the study specimens, and 3) to assess the congruence of specimen identifications derived from morphology and barcoding approaches. In addition, this study demonstrates to regulators the use of DNA barcoding for taxonomic verification in a federally required environmental effects monitoring program. The results of this pilot study will be presented along with recommendations for follow-on work, including development of a more suitable preservative to maintain DNA integrity and allow for morphological identification, development of standardized field collection procedures, potential enhancement of the DNA barcode reference library, and investigate metabarcoding as a potential time-saving approach. This work was supported by Ontario Genomics through funding to R.H. Hanner, with in-kind collaboration and support from Alamos Gold and Stantec.

Author / Presenter: Aditya Manek
Affiliation: University of Saskatchewan
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:30 – 11:50
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Canada’s environmental effects monitoring (EEM) program evaluates potential impacts of metal mining and pulp mill effluents in aquatic receiving environments. The EEM program recommends lethal sampling of 20 male and 20 female fish of 2 different species to study body condition, liver size (hepatosomatic index-HSI), and gonad size (gonadosomatic index-GSI). Repeated lethal EEM sampling in aquatic ecosystems with populations of endangered or low productivity fish species can have negative impacts and field sampling may discouraged or prohibited. The need for alternative, non-lethal methods for EEM programs has been gaining prominence. Ultrasound is a non-invasive tool that can be used to study HSI or GSI in fish and has had only limited use to date. Our objective is to develop and validate ultrasound as a non-lethal EEM method first with HSI in fish with varying liver structures, followed by GSI in future projects. Accuracy and sensitivity analyses using a laboratory treatment (food withdrawal for 2 weeks) was conducted to compare HSI in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using traditional lethal gravimetric versus novel ultrasound methods. From the ultrasounds, we generated 3-dimensional (3D) constructs of livers from fed versus food-withheld rainbow trout to calculate liver volumes and generate HSI. Results from the lethal gravimetric method and non-lethal ultrasound method revealed a significant difference in HSI between fed versus food-withheld rainbow trout (p<0.05 in t-test, n=8-13/treatment; 16% change in HSI). In addition, these findings provide empirical evidence for the accuracy of ultrasound as a method to compare liver volumes without having to euthanize fish. We also conducted a species comparison laboratory study to correlate the accuracy of ultrasound versus gravimetric method to estimate liver volume and HSI in fish with varying liver structures. We compared the accuracy of ultrasound in rainbow trout, which have a compact liver versus lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), which have a diffuse and highly irregular liver. Despite irregular structure, we found a good correlation in lake sturgeon between HSI estimated by ultrasound versus gravimetric method (r=0.51), and a much stronger correlation in compact trout livers (r=0.96). Findings of our sensitivity analysis and species comparison study suggest that ultrasound can accurately evaluate changes in HSI in fish with a compact liver such as rainbow trout. Findings of our laboratory study confirm the overall feasibility of using ultrasound in fish with different liver structures as a reliable tool for non-lethal EEM programs.

Author / Presenter: Nastassia Urien
Affiliation: INRS
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:50 – 12:10
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Environmental exposure to metals may lead to their accumulation in aquatic organisms and cause toxicity. Since 2002 in Canada, metal mining companies subject to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) have been required to conduct Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) studies. Typical EEM studies include the collection of data on life history characteristics of two sentinel fish species and benthic invertebrate communities upstream (reference) and downstream of a discharge. If a biological effect(s) is observed (the regulatory definition being a statistically significant difference) and confirmed in two consecutive phases of the program, then companies must undertake an Investigation of Cause (IOC) study to determine the cause of effect(s) as differences between exposure and reference areas may not be caused by metal exposure but rather by other environmental factors such as habitat differences (i.e. food resources). IOC studies are not prescriptive and little guidance has been provided by Environment Canada. Current approaches usually involve relating total metal concentrations in organisms or in their internal organs, to observed effects, however, metal toxicity depends on the behaviour of metals once they enter a cell. Once inside the cell, metals may bind to sensitive components and cause deleterious effects, but metals can also be detoxified by binding to molecules designed to sequester them; thereby limiting their toxic effects. The current work aims at developing a tool using subcellular metal partitioning for IOC to distinguish metal-induced effects from effects related to environmental variables other than metals, by (i) assessing to which intracellular ligands metals bind in organisms and (ii) relating metal accumulation in specific subcellular fractions to toxicity. To this end, mature male and female white suckers (Catostomus commersoni) were collected in three lakes downstream of a metal-mining effluent discharge and in a reference area. Metal and metalloid subcellular partitioning (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se and Zn) among potentially metal-sensitive fractions (MSF) and detoxified metal fractions (BDM) in white sucker livers was determined after differential centrifugation and heat-denaturation steps. In parallel, several effects biomarkers were measured (activity of enzyme indicators of antioxidant, metabolic or biosynthetic capacities) to assess whether the linking of metal accumulation in particular subcellular fractions to effects will provide better estimates of the risk of toxicity than the current approach of using total tissue metal accumulation in fish. Based on these results, we will discuss how the determination of metal subcellular partitioning might be incorporated into an IOC tool for determining whether biological effects observed downstream from an effluent discharge point are metal-related.

Author / Presenter: Carrie Rickwood
Affiliation: Natural Resources Canada
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 13:50 – 14:10
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

The uptake of Selenium from water to primary producers has generally been accepted as the most important stage in the toxicity of Se, due to accumulation and conversion to the organic form Se-methionine. The objective of this study was to determine whether speciation of Se in water is important in determining trophic-transfer and toxicity. This presentation will provide a comparison between selenate and selenite exposed algae and the effects of dietary exposure to the cladoceran Daphnia magna over two-generations. An algal diet, consisting of both Chlorella kessleri and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata was spiked in a dose-dependent manner with Selenite and Selenate over a 7-day growth period resulting in a dietary-Se exposure of 5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 mg/kg Se (nominal concentrations). First generation D. magna were fed over a 21-day period to assess survival and reproduction, offspring were collected and either exposed to dietary-Se or a control diet for a further 21-days. Tissue concentrations of both 1st and 2nd generation D. magna were assessed as well as visual inspection of the daphnids for any potential deformities. A comparison of reproduction, survival and tissue Se concentrations, including trophic-transfer factors, will be presented.

Author / Presenter: Josh Baker
Affiliation: Nautilus Environmental
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:10 – 14:30
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Rare earth elements (REEs) are used in a variety of manufactured products and interest in their extraction from mineral ores has increased recently in Canada. This group of elements, which is comprised of yttrium, scandium and the lanthanides, has insufficient toxicological data to generate environmental benchmarks for long term exposure. Chronic toxicity tests, involving 28-d early life stage tests with brown trout (Salmo trutta) and 7-d tests using fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas), were conducted with lanthanum (La), neodymium (Nd), yttrium (Y) and cerium (Ce). The 28-d brown trout test resulted in chronic effects on dry weight (IC10 values) of <7.9, <8.0, 21.1, and 90.8 ?g/L for dissolved Ce, La, Nd and Y, respectively. IC10 values for biomass in the 7-d fathead minnow tests were determined to be 15.7, 19.8, 27.9, and 12.9 ?g/L for dissolved Ce, La, Nd and Y, respectively. In addition to the chronic tests, acute testing with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and fathead minnows in various water types revealed information on REE solubility and the role of water hardness as a potential toxicity modifying factor. The presentation will include discussion regarding acute-to-chronic ratios, possible modes of toxic action and recommendations for future REE testing.

Author / Presenter: Karen Bechard
Affiliation: Geosyntec Consultants
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:30 – 14:50
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Active and historical mining operations can pose significant potential toxicity risks to nearby aquatic and terrestrial receptors associated with water discharged from mine sites. This presentation will discuss the use of biological treatment processes to provide toxicity reduction of mining related contaminants including cyanide, ammonia, nitrate, heavy metals and selenium before release to the environment or before reaching sensitive ecosystems. Pre-design and post-implementation monitoring requirements of biological treatment systems for mining related chemicals will be discussed including which types of analyses are key to understanding the ‘health’ of the biological cultures. Baseline monitoring, pilot test data, and operating system data all inform on the effectiveness of the treatment, and are essential to interpretation of treatment system data. Through maintenance of specific redox conditions, optimization of the biological culture(s) can be obtained in order to degrade or sequester mining related contaminants and reduce toxicity releases to the environment. This presentation will discuss the type of biological treatment systems that can be used to treat specific mining related contaminants and several case studies will be presented.

Author / Presenter: Ademola Adekunle
Affiliation: McGill University
Student: Yes

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:50 – 15:10
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Natural resources exploitation creates a significant disturbance to ecosystems with a risk of residual materials propagating outside of the designated mining areas. Accordingly, extensive environmental monitoring is of great importance during the active mine life, as well as following mine closure, sometimes in perpetuity. While in-situ high frequency observations are crucial to uncover the variations that could occur at the site, real-time site monitoring methods are lacking. Short-term variations in contaminant concentrations are largely unknown and contaminant propagation is often detected with significant delays. This study describes an environmental biosensor, which exploits high sensitivity of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to variations in environmental conditions, such as the presence of electron donors and acceptors (e.g. organic materials, metal sulphates, ammonium, etc). Our experiments established fast MFC voltage response to changes in mining water composition (e.g. iron, and zinc concentrations). Therefore, MFC electrical performance could be inferred with the concentration of a target contaminant thus enabling a low cost and low maintenance biosensor capable of detecting abrupt changes in the environmental conditions.

Author / Presenter: Charles Dumaresq
Affiliation: Mining Association of Canada
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:00 – 16:20
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

On May 13, 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) published proposed amendments to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day public comment period. ECCC is currently proceeding with finalizing the amendments and plans to finalize them and publish them in the Canada Gazette, Part II in the spring of 2018. The amended Regulations would apply to diamond mines as well as metal mines, and would include lower limits for some substances. The amended Regulations would also include a limit for un-ionized ammonia. MAC has challenging the scientific basis for this particular limit. Once the amendments come into force, there would also be a new requirement that effluent not be acutely lethal to Daphnia magna as well as rainbow trout. ECCC is introducing flexibility to use a different fish species in cases where saline effluent is deposited into saline environments. MAC has strongly supported this amendment. The amendments will also bring significant changes to the environmental effects monitoring (EEM) requirements of the Regulations. These amendments are intended to make the EEM program more effective and efficient. One of the most notable amendments would be the removal of the requirement to determine the magnitude and geographic extent of effects. This would allow sites with confirmed effects to proceed more quickly to the investigation of cause. The amendments would also introduce a new requirement to monitor concentrations of selenium in fish tissue at sites meeting conditions to be specified in the Regulations.

Author / Presenter: Kelly Wells
Affiliation: Canada North Environmental Services
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:20 – 16:40
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) is a science-based performance measurement tool used to evaluate the adequacy of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) to protect fish, fish habitat, and the use of fisheries resources. In 2012, a 10-year review of the MMER was initiated by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and following multiple years of stakeholder consultations, proposed amendments were published in Canada Gazette, Part I in May 2017. In this talk, we will evaluate the proposed MMER amendments related to the definition of an effect and the triggers for mines to move into subsequent EEM monitoring phases. The metal mining EEM program stipulates endpoints used for determining effects in benthic invertebrate communities and fish populations in areas exposed to mine effluent. An effect is defined as a statistically significant difference in any endpoint between the exposure area and a reference area. In the proposed MMER amendments, the definition of an effect remained unchanged. The use of Critical Effect Sizes (CES) was proposed for determining triggers into subsequent biological monitoring phases; however, there are numerous effect endpoints for which CES are not provided and in these cases, the traditional definition of an effect will be applied. Case studies will be used to illustrate the importance of ensuring all endpoints used to determine effects are meeting the intended objectives of the EEM program and the MMER amendments. There has been extensive discussion regarding the use of baseline and relevant regional data in metal mining EEM studies dating as far back as the 1996 Assessment of the Aquatic Effects of Mining in Canada report. The importance of using multiple reference areas and a before-after-control-impact (BACI) study design in determining effects as part of the EEM program will also be discussed using case studies. One of the drivers identified by ECCC when undertaking the 10-year MMER review was to focus monitoring efforts by mines on sites with higher environmental risk, and the successful completion of this objective hinges on appropriate determination of an effect in the aquatic receiving environment.

Author / Presenter: Guy Gilron
Affiliation: Borealis Environmental
Student: No

Session: Mining, Environment, and the Evolution of Environmental Effects Monitoring
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:40 – 17:00
Location: McCrae

Abstract:

In 2012, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) initiated a review of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMERs), which have not been updated since their initial promulgation in 2002. The review included a number of proposed revisions to the MMERs, including: changes to effluent limits, addition of regulated parameters (e.g., selenium, ammonia), and modifications to toxicity testing and environmental effects monitoring (EEM) requirements. The review was followed by a two-year multi-stakeholder consultation process, which included input on key scientific issues and debate on scientific and social aspects emerging from the new proposed regulation. One of the outcomes of the review and consultation processes, and the unique characteristics of coal effluent vs. effluents of metal and diamond mining, has been a proposal by ECCC to develop and establish a coal regulation separate from the MMERs. Recently, ECCC released an initial consultation document, accompanied by Canada-wide consultations, addressing the proposed coal regulation, with an aim to promulgate the new Canadian coal regulation in 2019. This presentation reviews the fundamentals of coal effluents and key considerations in the management of their potential environmental impacts, in the context of the proposed coal regulation for Canada. Key aspects of the regulation, with a specific focus on the use of current science and best industry practices in the development of the regulation will be outlined and discussed. Keywords: Coal, effluent, Canada, mining, selenium, MMER

Author / Presenter: Kristin Eccles
Affiliation: University of Ottawa
Student: Yes

Session: Is There a Problem Here? Integration of Ecotoxicology and Hazard/Risk Assessment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 8:20 – 8:40
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Modelling impacts of chemical pollution across a landscape is challenging due to the spatial heterogeneity and complexity of ecological systems. Within the field of ecotoxicology there is an acknowledged need to include spatial analyses to assess risk. As a result, the field of landscape ecotoxicology emerged, which is the study of the spatial distribution of contaminants across a landscape and the impact this has on ecological systems. While landscape ecotoxicology and spatial analyses can theoretically be useful for risk assessment purposes, they have yet to become a common practice because of the lack of standardized methodology. We proposed that a geographic information systems (GIS) is the ideal platform for the integration, analysis, and visualization of ecotoxicological data. We demonstrate the utility of a GIS and the landscape ecotoxicological approach through the synthesis and evaluation of biomonitoring data collected under the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM) project. Data from the five separate wildlife health monitoring projects conducted under JOSM were compiled into a relational geodatabase. The data were analyzed using spatial methods such as Getis-Ord’s G, Moran’s I, and spatial densities to assess spatial patterns of various contaminants included in the biomonitoring data. These results and spatial patterns are intuitively communicated through maps. Ultimately, this synthesis project can be used for ecological risk assessment and will help to further develop and strengthen a long-term monitoring plan in the region.

Author / Presenter: Jose Luis Rodriguez Gil
Affiliation: University of Calgary
Student: No

Session: Is There a Problem Here? Integration of Ecotoxicology and Hazard/Risk Assessment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 8:40 – 9:00
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

This study presents one of the most complete applications of probabilistic methodologies to the risk assessment of emerging contaminants. Perhaps the most data-rich of these compounds, caffeine, as well as its main metabolite (paraxanthine), were selected for this study. Information for a total of 29,132 individual caffeine and 7,442 paraxanthine samples was compiled, including samples were the compounds were not detected. The inclusion of non-detect samples (as censored data) in the estimation of environmental exposure distributions (EEDs) allowed for a realistic characterization of the global presence of these compounds in aquatic systems. EEDs were compared to species sensitivity distributions (SSDs), when possible, in order to calculate joint probability curves (JPCs) to describe the risk to aquatic organisms. This way, it was determined that unacceptable environmental risk (defined as 5% of the species being potentially exposed to concentrations able to cause effects in more than 5% of the cases) could be expected from chronic exposure to caffeine from effluent (28.4% of the cases), surface water (6.7% of the cases) and estuary water (5.4% of the cases). Probability of exceedance of acute predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for paraxanthine were higher than 5% for all assessed matrices except for drinking water and ground water, however no experimental effects data was available for paraxanthine, resulting in a precautionary deterministic hazard assessment for this compound. Given the chemical similarities between both compounds, real effect thresholds, and thus risk, for paraxanthine, would be expected to be close to those observed for caffeine.

Author / Presenter: Francine Kelly-Hooper
Affiliation: CH2M HILL
Student: No

Session: Is There a Problem Here? Integration of Ecotoxicology and Hazard/Risk Assessment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 9:00 – 9:20
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Over the past 30 years, thousands of stormwater management (SWM) ponds have been constructed in Canadian urban environments. SWM pond are designed to provide stormwater quantity and quality control by retaining runoff and allowing suspended sediments and associated pollutants to settle into the facility basin before discharging treated water to receive watercourses. Routine sediment removal is required to maintain SWM pond performance efficiencies. CH2M’s sediment chemistry database of over 100 residential SWM ponds demonstrates that 96% would require regulated waste management approval (e.g. landfill disposal) due to elevated petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC) and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations. In most cases, municipalities pay landfill disposal fees that can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars per pond. Many municipal landfills are beginning to refuse SWM ponds sediments because their storage capacities were not designed to accommodate such large volumes of material. This is becoming an increasingly difficult situation for municipalities to manage. Dr. Francine Kelly-Hooper has studied PHC and PAH sources in SWM pond sediments for the past 12 years. Her forensics research has identified the primary PAH sources as mixtures of weathered coal tar sealant, weathered asphalt and tire particles. The primary PHC sources included mixtures of weathered asphalt and tire particles. The purpose of this benchscale ecotoxcity study was to examine the effects of contaminated SWM pond sediment on earthworms and plants. A 56-d earthworm test was conducted on a species commonly referred to as a Red Wiggler or Compost Worm (Eisenia andrei). The earthworm test focused on sediment collected from one residential pond with elevated PHC F3 (C16-C34), F4 (>C34) and F4G concentrations, but low PAH concentrations. The following three substrates were tested: 1) sediment collected from one SWM pond amended with compost (80% sediment, 20% compost); 2) clean reference soil amended with compost (80:20 ratio); and 3) CCME clean artificial soil. The earthworm test measurements included survival, progeny production, body weight and tissue chemistry analysis. The results found no discernable contaminant-related adverse effects to earthworms as a result of prolonged exposure to the SWM pond sediment and compost mixture. Survival, progeny production, and progeny wet/dry mass were similar among the three treatments. Earthworm tissue analysis and Gas Chromatogram-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID) chromatograms found no evidence of PHC absorption. The test results supported the hypothesis that this PHC contaminated sediment would have an insignificant risk of bioavailability. Future earthworm ecotoxicity tests will focus on sediments that have elevated PAH and PHC concentrations, which is typical of most residential SWM pond sediments. The 21-day plant ecotoxicity test species included perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). The test substrates included: 1) unamended sediments collected from four residential SWM ponds; 2) sediments collected from four residential SWM ponds amended with compost (80% sediment, 20% compost; and 3) clean potting soil. Three of the four ponds had elevated PAH and PHC (F3, F4, F4G) concentrations. The plant measurements included: germination, root/shoot lengths and dry weights. The results found no significant differences between the plants grown in the amended sediment and the clean potting soil control. However, the unamended sediment measurements were significantly lower than the amended sediment and the clean potting soil control. These data indicate that the sediment PHC and PAH contamination levels did not significantly affect plant growth. However, the sediment topsoil quality would require compost amendments for plant growth purposes. CH2M will be expanding the benchscale plant studies to include field trials in the fall of 2017. The benchscale earthworm and plant growth test results support a growing initiative to develop a new risk based regulatory framework for evaluating SWM pond sediment beneficial use alternatives to unnecessary landfill disposal requirements.

Author / Presenter: Patricia Gillis
Affiliation: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Student: No

Session: Is There a Problem Here? Integration of Ecotoxicology and Hazard/Risk Assessment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 9:20 – 9:40
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

In temperate urbanized areas where road salting is used for winter road maintenance, the level of chloride in surface waters has been increasing. This is a concern for salt-sensitive freshwater mussels, because many species, including Species at Risk have ranges limited to southern Ontario, Canada’s most road-dense region. While the early-life stages of freshwater mussels are known to be particularly sensitive to salt, the direct toxicity of salt-impacted winter road runoff to Ontario freshwater mussels had not been examined. This study examined the acute toxicity of field-collected winter road runoff (14,400 mg Cl/L) to two mussel early life stages; glochidia (i.e. larvae; 48 h exposure, Lampsilis fasciola) and newly-released juvenile mussels (< 1 week old; 96 h exposure, Lampsilis siliquoidea). To characterize potential responses in different receiving environments, acute sensitivity to salt-impacted road runoff was examined in waters of different hardness. The effect of a chronic exposure (28 d) to winter road runoff was also assessed using older (7-12 months old) juvenile L. siliquoidea. The 48-h EC50s for L. fasciola glochidia exposed to different dilutions of road run-off were similar in moderately hard (~100 mg CaCO3/L) water (EC50 7.8% runoff water, or 1177 (95% Confidence Intervals 1011-1344) mg Cl/L) and very hard (~250 mg CaCO3/L) synthetic water (EC50 7.0% runoff water, or 1032 (739-1324) mg Cl/L). The 96-h EC50s for newly released (< 1 week old) L. siliquoidea were 13.8% runoff water (2276 (1698-2854) mg Cl/L) in moderately hard water and 20% runoff water (3159 (2206-4112) mg Cl-/L) in very hard water. These effect concentrations correspond with the acute toxicity of chloride reported in other studies, indicating that chloride is likely the driver of toxicity in salt-impacted road-runoff rather than other compounds (e.g., metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). The EC50 from the 28 day static renewal exposure in moderately hard water with 7-12 month old L. siliquoidea was 10.6% runoff water (1810 (1429-2190) mg Cl/L). Toxicity data from the current study and the literature along with concentrations of chloride in the surface waters of Ontario were used to conduct a probabilistic risk assessment of chloride to early-life stage freshwater mussels. The assessment indicated that acute toxicity of mussel early life stages during the months for which chloride data are available (March to November) is unlikely to occur, however there is a lack of field chloride data for the winter months when the majority of salt-impacted road runoff occurs. In addition, the risk assessment exercise revealed that chronic exposure to elevated chloride levels could pose a risk to juvenile freshwater mussels and that further investigation is warranted to ensure that the most sensitive organisms are protected.

Author / Presenter: Joanne Little
Affiliation: Alberta Environment and Parks
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:10 – 10:30
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) has been the primary interjurisdictional forum for development of Canadian environmental quality guidelines (CEQG). CEQGs for the Protection of Aquatic Life are currently developed under the guidance of the Guidelines Project Team of the Water Management Committee. There is growing recognition that timelines for guideline development are lengthy, while resources are limited. In order to be more responsive to policy needs, the Guidelines Project Team engaged a contractor to undertake an Alternate Water Quality Parameter Assessment, which reviewed guideline development protocols from alternate jurisdictions and developed a framework for assessing these guidelines for their similarity to CCME-derived guidelines. This presentation will provide an overview of the protocol assessment, the framework and key decision points which are relevant for assessing guidelines from alternate jurisdictions.

Author / Presenter: Caren Helbing
Affiliation: University of Victoria
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:30 – 10:50
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Genomics-derived data provide a potential wealth of relevant information for the development of water quality guidelines. More and more species’ genomes are being sequenced and transcriptomes analyzed through DNA microarray, RNA-seq, and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methods. Population compositions and species distributions are now being analyzed using metagenomics and environmental DNA (eDNA) methods. In order to get the most out of these powerful techniques, it is essential to be able to effectively evaluate genomic data quality and the appropriateness of interpretation. Specific examples will be used from aquatic wildlife to explore the concept of developing a checklist of requirements for reviewing genomics-based toxicity data for the eventual inclusion in water quality guideline derivation.

Author / Presenter: Kate Sinclair
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Student: Yes

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:50 – 11:10
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Characterization of metal toxicity with respect to interspecific diversity in the Hyalella azteca cryptic complex Kate M. Sinclair¹, Jonathan D.S. Witt¹, D. George Dixon¹ ¹University of Waterloo Cryptic species complexes, which are prevalent in freshwater invertebrates, present a challenge to water quality guidelines because it introduces uncharacterized interspecific variability. Classification on the basis of morphological similarities has erroneously grouped divergent taxa as the same species. However, modern molecular methods have improved the speed and reliability to identify such groups. Hyalella azteca is a freshwater amphipod broadly distributed across North America, and due to morphological similarities was thought to be a single species until recent molecular studies identified over 85 provisional species. This previously unrecognized species complex has been used in toxicity tests for over 25 years, and only recently has there been interest in investigating the effect of interspecific variability. Currently, the protocol for the use of H. azteca in water-only and sediment toxicity tests relies on morphological identification of species, neglecting molecular methods such as DNA barcoding. The application of toxicological investigations on this amphipod to water quality guideline derivation in Canada and the United States could result in values that are either too conservative or not conservative enough. The concern of cryptic species is particularly relevant to toxicity studies with Hyalella because they are among the most sensitive of model organisms. This presentation will summarize the responses of two broadly distributed H. azteca species to four metals. As H. azteca has historically, and continues to be used in toxicity tests, consideration must be given to potential species-level differences that could reduce the efficacy of water quality guidelines.

Author / Presenter: Curtis Eickhoff
Affiliation: Nautilus Environmental
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:10 – 11:30
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to determine the environmental effects-based concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons for freshwater and marine aquatic organisms. The study was conducted by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Nautilus Environmental to determine the no-observed effects level (NOEL) and low-observed effects level (LOEL) of gasoline (C7-C12) and diesel (C10-C24). These effects levels will be directly applicable to Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing that is carried out under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) as it pertains to the cleanup and investigation of hydrocarbon contaminated sites by Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP). TCP will use the toxicity data to establish screening levels for hydrocarbon contamination in fresh and marine waters. Hydrocarbons within the diesel and gasoline range were spiked into toxicity test solutions and tested with two freshwater and two marine organisms. Freshwater organisms included the fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas, and cladoceran, Ceriodaphnia dubia. Topsmelt, Atherinops affinis and purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus were the marine species used. Tests were conducted according to US EPA test methods and Ecology’s whole effluent toxicity (WET) guidance document or “Canary Book” (Marshall, R., 2016. Whole Effluent Toxicity Testing Guidance and Test Review Criteria. Washington State Department of Ecology, Olympia, WA. Publication No. WQ-R-95-80). Aquatic toxicity tests were conducted at Nautilus Environmental in Burnaby, BC and hydrocarbon concentrations in test solutions were measured by Ecology’s Manchester Environmental Laboratory in Port Orchard, WA. This presentation provides an overview of the results which are useful for assessing the impacts of gasoline and diesel spills in the freshwater and marine environments.

Author / Presenter: Adam Ryan
Affiliation: Windward Environmental
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:30 – 11:50
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Bioavailability-based approaches for establishing water quality guidelines (WQGs) incorporate the best tools (e.g., biotic ligand models [BLMs] or multiple linear regressions [MLRs]) for understanding the effects of water chemistry conditions on chemical bioavailability, but they present challenges in a regulatory context that is accustomed to representing WQGs as single values. For some metals, WQGs are hardness-based, reflecting that as hardness increases, toxicity decreases. When WQGs are based upon a single variable, it is reasonable to use a mean or geometric mean of that variable (e.g., hardness) to determine a WQG. When multiple water chemistry variables are used to derive a WQG, this does not necessarily make sense, because basing the WQG on mean values (or a percentile of each explanatory variable) does not necessarily represent an actual exposure condition. Instead, it makes sense to evaluate the WQG at each water chemistry condition and evaluate the potential for exceedance to establish a benchmark that represents the maximum concentration that would be considered compliant within the appropriate regulatory context. We have developed an approach to do this for the purpose of deriving site-specific benchmarks that implement time-variable biotic ligand model (BLM)-based WQC in the United States. Recognizing that the same questions regarding implementation of time-variable WQGs will be relevant for Canada, especially if WQGs for metals move toward the BLM, we have explored the appropriateness of this approach for use in Canada. The fixed monitoring benchmark (FMB) approach is a probabilistic approach to establishing a single numeric target that can be used to evaluate compliance or attainment of WQGs or to establish site-specific water quality objectives (WQOs) that may be useful in deriving effluent permit limits. While this evaluation is exploratory in nature, it demonstrates that it is important to consider approaches for implementing time-variable WQGs or WQOs that are dependent upon multiple water chemistry characteristics that may vary in a site-specific manner (e.g., with various degrees of correlation). Utilizing an implementation approach that appropriately accounts for the time-variable nature of the WQG or WQO and the concentration of the constituent of interest preserves the scientific basis for using an approach such as the BLM for derivation of WQGs.

Author / Presenter: Derek Alsop
Affiliation: McMaster University
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:50 – 12:10
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Human and veterinary pharmaceuticals have been observed in natural aquatic environments around the world, and many also impact fish health. While water composition plays an important role in the bioavailability and toxicity of contaminants such as metals, whether components of natural waters influence pharmaceutical interactions with fish is largely unknown. This study examined the impacts of pH and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on the acute toxicity and bioavailability of waterborne pharmaceuticals in larval zebrafish, a surrogate species. Drugs included sertraline (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor; SSRI), fluoxetine (SSRI), diclofenac (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogenic). Between pH 6-8, sertraline (weak base, pKa=9.9), fluoxetine (weak base, pKa=9.8) and diclofenac (weak acid, pKa=4.0) would exist primarily (>98%) as ionized molecules. In contrast, ethinyl estradiol (weak acid, pKa=10.3) would be primarily unionized (>99%) between pH 6-8. The unionized form is thought to be more bioavailable. The acute toxicities of sertraline, fluoxetine and diclofenac were influenced by pH over an environmentally realistic range (pH 5.8, 7, 8.2), and the 96 h-LC50 was related to the predicted concentration of unionized compound. For example, the sertraline 96 h-LC50 was 942 ?g/L at pH 5.8 and 229 ?g/L at pH 8.2, while the predicted percentage of unionized sertraline at each pH was 0% and 2.0%, respectively. In addition, terrigenous and autochthonous DOCs protected against sertraline toxicity. At environmentally realistic pharmaceutical concentrations (0.1 µg/L), sertraline uptake by larvae was 5.4-fold higher at pH 8.2 compared to pH 5.8, while DOC decreased sertraline uptake. In contrast, the uptake of ethinyl estradiol (0.1 µg/L) was not influenced by pH or DOC; ethinyl estradiol would be primarily unionized in those water chemistries. The impacts of these emerging contaminants of concern on fish may be dependent on the water body into which they are discharged, however, the influence of pH and DOC on pharmaceutical uptake and toxicity appear to be predictable based on the physicochemical properties of the drug. These findings will improve environmental risk assessment and facilitate the development of site-specific water quality guidelines for pharmaceuticals.

Author / Presenter: Yamini Gopalapillai
Affiliation: University of Guelph
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 13:30 – 13:50
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Risk assessments for metal-elevated waters typically use environmental quality standards derived from studies of single metal toxicity thresholds. However, geologic co-occurrence in the feed-stocks means that most metal-elevated sites are a mixture of metals. Extensive research into the mechanisms of interactions of trace metals with water chemistry factors (pH, major cations) has been done to develop the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM), however little knowledge of interactions among co-existing trace metals exists. Here, we aim to gain mechanistic insights into the impact of mixtures on metal?BL binding in aquatic plant, Lemna minor, under alkaline conditions (pH 8.3). Metal accumulation in tissues from single versus ternary mixture exposures were characterized using saturation binding principles derived from enzyme kinetics. The basis is that a fixed number of BL binding sites exist, which become saturated and can be fitted to a Michaelis?Menten saturation curve. The occupancy of BL binding sites by a metal may be limited, or not, by the co-occurrence of another metal. No prior studies have exploited saturation binding to explore metal?BL binding for phytotoxicity; hence the importance of the present work for ecotoxicological risk assessment of mixtures. Results showed that Ni binding to the BL was independent of co-exposure to other metals, while Cu experienced anticompetitive inhibition (Cd or Ni binds to Cu?BL complex only) and Cd experienced noncompetitive interaction (Cu or Ni binds to BL and Cd?BL complex). In addition, copper inorganic complexes (hydroxides, carbonates) played a role in metal bioavailability in single metal exposure but not in mixtures.

Author / Presenter: Scott Smith
Affiliation: Wilfrid Laurier University
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 13:50 – 14:10
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Risk assessments and regulatory criteria for metals are ultimately dependend on measured effects concentrations. These effects are potentially mitigated by ligands in the specific receiving water. Such ligands potentially complex metals and decrease their bioavailability and associated toxicity. Ultimately, the toxicity of dissolved metals depends on the specific chemical form of the metal, i.e., metal speciation. Prediction of metal speciation, and associated toxicity/risk in salt water, using software developed for fresh water, i.e., the Windemere Humic Aqueous Model (WHAM) is not trivial because not only does the higher ionic strength affect chemical reactivty (i.e., large activity corrections) but marine organic matter is not necessarily chemically the same as organic matter of terrigenous origin. To address this potential modelling gap experimentally, a fluorescence-based method was developed in order to predict free ionic forms of metals in the presence of marine dissolved organic matter at full strength salinity. The method initially involves scanning excitation and emission wavelengths simultaneously to generate a 3D fluorescence map of each source water. The major features of this map are then captured using variable angle synchronous spectra “slices” through the surface. As Ni or Cu are titrated into the sample at fixed pH the change in fluorphore intensity are monitored. This change, either enhanmement or quenching, can be fit to a metal complexation model embedded in an inorganic speciation “side-reaction” model to determine logK and binding capacity (µmol/mg C) values for the organic complexation. In turn these values can be used to determine free ion for any conditions of total metal and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in a site-specific manner. This method has been applied to samples from the east and west coast of North America and the resultant speciation data, i.e, free ion estimates, were compared to the EC50 for rotifer and embryo (mussel and urchin). The results show that at the EC50 the free ion in the various samples is the same even though the total metal based EC50s are highly variable. In addition, the free ion estimates at the EC50 of samples containing organic matter match the calculated free ion EC50 value for artificial seawater control samples. These results demonstrate that bioavailability based corrections are possible using a very simple analytical method in a site-specific manner. These results can be used to calibrate metal-specific seawater speciation models for future use as a bioavailability estimation tool.

Author / Presenter: Kelly Croteau
Affiliation: Windward Environmental, LLC
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:10 – 14:30
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) has been widely used as a means for explaining and predicting how water chemistry affects metal toxicity to aquatic organisms. Recent versions of the BLM have added an option to estimate full ion chemistry from several simple chemistry parameters. The full list of chemistry parameters required for the BLM includes pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), major cations (Ca, Mg, Na, and K), major anions (SO4 and Cl) and alkalinity. The simple chemistry inputs use hardness in place of all of the individual ion concentrations and estimates alkalinity from pH and atmospheric CO2 (g). The method employed to convert the simple chemistry into full chemistry utilizes ion ratios (calcium by each of the other 3 cations, and sulfate by chloride) and the partial pressure of CO2 (g) in the atmosphere to estimate all six major ions and alkalinity from hardness and pH using basic charge- and mass-balancing concepts and carbonate equilibria relationships. In the absence of an approach for estimating missing chemistry measurements, the lack of complete chemistry for some water bodies can become an implementation hurdle for water quality guidelines that are based on the BLM. This estimation method expands the applicability of the BLM by making it possible to run the model when some or all of the detailed ion information is missing, while providing a standard for chemistry estimation to ensure some consistency between users. The advantage of this approach is that it can provide chemical inputs to the BLM that are geochemically reasonable and mimics the distribution of ions for a given region. Although there is a clear conceptual basis for this estimation method, and the final model results are generally close to those using full chemistry, the application of the BLM to water quality standards (WQSs) warrants taking a closer look at the uncertainties and errors that can arise when this method is used. Among the questions that will be addressed in this presentation are how WQS calculated with the estimation method compares with WQS developed from full chemistry, whether there is a systematic bias, as well as suggestions for improvement of this method.

Author / Presenter: William Dew
Affiliation: Trent University
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:30 – 14:50
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

The current copper Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) was designed to prevent fish mortality by predicting safe copper concentrations using site-specific water quality measures. Research has demonstrated that there are nonlethal effects of copper at concentrations far below those that cause lethality. One of these effects is a loss of olfactory function and olfactory-dependent behaviours. Attempts have been made to produce a chemosensory-based BLM (cbBLM) designed to predict safe copper concentrations that are protective of chemosensory function. These attempts were based on the gill-based BLM (gbBLM), and assumed that the water quality parameters important to prevent lethality would also protect against loss of chemosensory acuity. Unfortunately evidence does not support this assumption, and there are still gaps in the literature that need to be filled. The question that arises, then, is how much of the gbBLM is applicable to the cbBLM? The purpose of this talk is to parse out the various elements of the gbBLM and see if they also apply to a cbBLM based on the literature, as well to chart a path from what we currently know to what we need to know if a cbBLM is to be considered useful.

Author / Presenter: Robert Santore
Affiliation: Windward Environmental
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:50 – 15:10
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) is a computational framework used for predicting the effects of water chemistry on metal bioavailability. In this presentation we describe the development of an extension of the BLM framework that can be applied to mixtures of multiple metals (the mBLM). The mBLM was used to predict toxicity in chronic exposures with Hyalella azteca. Calibration of the mBLM to H. azteca was accomplished by comparison with water-only toxicity tests. Equilibrium partitioning theory predicts that the toxic effect that may result from exposure to sediment pore-water is similar to effects resulting from exposure to the water column. the calibrated model was then used to predict whether field sediments from several sites characterized by elevated metal concentrations would be toxic to H. azteca. Predicted toxicity was compared with measured toxicity in chronic tests with H. azteca from several field sites and high predictability was observed. The mBLM analysis allows sediments to be ranked to identify which samples would be most likely to cause toxicity. The mBLM can also identify which metals in the mixture of metals are most likely to be responsible for any observed toxicity. The overall good performance of the mBLM suggests that it is a powerful predictive tool for use in assessing risk from metal concentrations in field sediments and could be used as part of a general methodology in the development of sediment guidelines.

Author / Presenter: Ali Azizishirazi
Affiliation: BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 15:40 – 16:00
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

The first (and current) copper Water Quality Guideline (WQG) for the protection of aquatic life in B.C. was published in 1987. Since then, a great deal of research has been conducted on copper toxicity and the factors that influence copper toxicity. Therefore, an update to the copper WQG based on the most recent science is required. Following the B.C. Ministry of Environment (BC ENV) protocol for WQG development, a thorough literature review was conducted to compile a toxicity database for B.C. species. As bioavailability-based models have shown promise in predicting toxicity across different water chemistry conditions, BC ENV retained Winward Environmental to develop a modified version of the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) to enable the calculation of bioavailability-based guidelines. The BC ENV BLM is designed to calculate a water chemistry-specific copper WQG that follows B.C. ENV’s policy to protect the most sensitive aquatic species at the most sensitive life stage. The BC ENV BLM is based on several toxicity-modifying factors and calculates chronic and acute WQGs values. The BC ENV BLM includes a “simplified” feature, which requires only water temperature, DOC, pH and hardness, and estimates the remaining toxicity-modifying factors based on B.C. specific ion ratios. The BC ENV copper WQG is in the test phase and will be released for review in the near future.

Author / Presenter: Richard Nesbitt
Affiliation: Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd.
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:00 – 16:20
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment identified elevated concentrations of formaldehyde in the effluent of an industrial facility that exceeded the provincial water quality objective (PWQO) of 0.8 µg/L; median effluent concentrations were 245 µg/L. The Province required the discharger to set a limit for formaldehyde in the effluent to protect the receiving environment and requested that the operator propose a discharge criterion for formaldehyde and a site specific water quality objective. The criterion was to be guided by a scientifically defensible chronic water quality objective (WQO) and incorporate an understanding of site specific factors that may modify the risk to aquatic life. This objective posed a challenge as insufficient chronic studies had been conducted to derive a Type A or Type B guideline following Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) standard protocols for deriving WQOs and the local receiving environment had not been well characterized. Our approach combined guidance from both the CCME and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for deriving SSWQOs and chronic WQOs using an acute to chronic ratio (ACR). First, an acute SSWQO was derived using a species sensitivity distribution model (SSD Master Version 3) with 12 fish species, 4 amphibians and 7 aquatic invertebrate species. This acute SSWQO was used as a limit to ensure that effluent was not acutely lethal to aquatic life at the point of discharge. The ratio of acute to chronic toxicity was calculated for species for which both acute and chronic studies had been conducted. No chronic studies had been conducted on fish so a conservative ratio proposed by the USEPA was applied. The final chronic SSWQO was derived dividing the acute SSWQO by the geometric mean of the ACRs. This chronic SSWQO was set as a maximum objective for the receiving environment. Field investigations between 2013 and 2016 determined the magnitude of formaldehyde loss from between the last point of control and the receiving environment under varying conditions. Results from those investigations indicated that formaldehyde decreased on average by 55%; reductions ranged from 11% to 80% and were highest in wet weather. An understanding of formaldehyde’s environmental fate directed a Kendall rank correlation coefficient analysis of other measured water quality and abiotic factors indicating dilution and volatilization via increased turbulence were the predominant predictors of formaldehyde concentrations in the receiving environment. The proposed discharge criterion was conservatively set to protect against acute lethality and to meet the derived chronic SSWQO. This introduces an additional degree of protection for aquatic life as formaldehyde concentrations are expected to decrease in the effluent prior to reaching the aquatic environment.

Author / Presenter: Monica Nowierski
Affiliation: Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:20 – 16:40
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Neonicotinoid insecticides are nicotine-based systemic compounds that are widely used in agriculture, either in field applications or as seed treatment, for the control of insect pests on vegetables, cereals, potatoes, corn, berries, tree fruits, and in turf and ornamental crops. Other uses include pet flea and tick products, treatment of structural areas (e.g. livestock production facilities), injection into trees, as well as use in greenhouses and nurseries. Studies have linked neonicotinoid insecticides with adverse impacts on non-target organisms such as pollinators (e.g. honey bees). In order to protect non-target organisms, the government of Ontario introduced new regulatory requirements for the sale and use of neonicotinoid-treated seeds, to reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed by 80 per cent by 2017. While attention has largely focused on potential risk to beneficial terrestrial invertebrate insects, the detection of neonicotinoids in aquatic habitats indicates the potential for risk to aquatic organisms as well. The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency has approved for use five neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiacloprid, thiamethoxam) for various applications. Of these five, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam are detected most frequently in Ontario surface waters. To date, only one of the three neonicotinoids (imidacloprid) has an associated Canadian Water Quality Guideline (CWQG) for aquatic life protection, published in 2007. This talk will address the work that is being undertaken to update the CWQG for imidacloprid, and the development of CWQGs for additional neonicotinoid insecticides.

Author / Presenter: Sarah Bogart
Affiliation: University of Lethbridge
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:40 – 17:00
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

An abundance of literature has shown that an increase in salinity, or the total ionic content of water, can be toxic to freshwater aquatic life, and anthropogenic salinization of freshwaters is increasing. More recent research has shown that shifts in the balance of major ions (Na+, K+, Ca²+, Mg²+, HCO3-, SO4²-, Cl-) in water can also be toxic, meaning that salinity alone does not fully describe risk to aquatic life. Despite this, and although a Ca water quality guideline (WQG) exists for the protection of agricultural water uses, of these major ions, only WQGs for the protection of aquatic life exist for Cl- and SO4²-. Yet, increases in the Ca²+ and Mg²+ content of water alone (i.e. water hardness) can likewise be toxic to aquatic organisms. Anthropogenic sources that have the potential to increase water hardness in receiving waters to potentially toxic concentrations include effluent from, e.g. coal mining and soda ash production, produced waters from, e.g., oil and gas extraction, agricultural drain water, and the use of Ca- and Mg-based road de-icers. The development of a water hardness WQG for the protection of aquatic life is therefore appropriate. To this end, relevant literature was acquired, reviewed, and classified for potential inclusion in a WQG following federal and provincial protocols for WQG development. During this process, several major data gaps in and issues with the currently available literature were identified. These challenges will be discussed in the context of how other jurisdictions have regulated related, and often confounding, water quality parameters (e.g. total dissolved solids (TDS) or salinity via conductivity), the need to consider additional confounding factors (e.g. alkalinity), potential regulatory options for a water hardness WQG, and what is required in terms of future research and improved data consistency.

Author / Presenter: Angeline Tillmanns
Affiliation: BC Ministry of Environment
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 17:00 – 17:20
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of legacy contaminants that were banned from commercial production in the 1970s. The high persistency and hydrophobic properties of PCBs cause them to biomagnify and high levels of PCBs have been detected in marine mammals along the coast of B.C. Given the chemical properties of PCBs, they are most highly associated with sediments in the marine environment. The current B.C. marine sediment quality guideline (SQG) is designed to be protective of benthic invertebrates, however the biomagnification of PCBs in marine mammals was not specifically considered. Recent scientific studies suggest the B.C. marine SQG is significantly higher than the PCB concentrations in sediments which result in the accumulation of PCBs in marine mammals to levels which are detrimental to animal health. These conclusions were based on both ecological models and empirical calculations using a biotic sediment accumulation factor approach. However, studies have also shown that ambient sediment concentrations in some areas of the B.C. coast already exceed concentrations considered to be protective of marine mammals. Other jurisdictions, such as Washington and California, have adopted ambient PCB concentrations rather than guideline values that are below ambient concentrations to guide resource management. This talk will review the multiple lines of evidence that can be used to update a PCB marine sediment quality guideline for British Columbia.

Author / Presenter: Brendan Mulligan
Affiliation: Yukon Government
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 17:20 – 17:40
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

The Yukon Government, with input from Yukon First Nations, Yukon non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Yukon assessment and regulatory agencies, and industry, is presently undertaking the Mine Licensing Improvement Initiative (MLII), which involves the development of technical guidelines to improve administrative and operational practices for regulating and licensing quartz mines in Yukon. Through this process, a draft “Yukon Guide for Developing Water Quality Objectives and Effluent Quality Standards for Quartz Mining Projects” (the “draft Guide”) has been developed. The draft Guide provides technical and scientific guidance about approaches and procedures for developing Water Quality Objectives (WQOs) for freshwater ecosystems in Yukon. WQOs provide narrative and numerical definitions of acceptable water quality conditions in specific receiving waters that may be affected by a project. The Guide identifies three water management approaches (non-degradation, use-protection, use-restoration) and associated narrative WQOs. A water management approach is selected based on the social, economic and environmental value, and condition of the receiving waters. It not only defines the narrative WQO, but also forms the foundation for selecting procedures for developing numerical WQOs. The Guide describes five such procedures for developing numerical WQOs for specific Contaminants of Potential Concern (COPCs): adoption of generic water quality guidelines as WQOs, the background concentration procedure, the recalculation procedure, the water effect ratio procedure, and the resident species procedure. The Guide also describes methods for using the WQOs to derive Effluent Quality Standards (EQSs). EQSs are the maximum concentrations of COPCs that a project is authorized to release in liquid effluent, usually specified in water licences issued by the Yukon Water Board. EQSs are calculated based on the dilution available in the receiving environment and consideration of the portion of the assimilative capacity that may be allocated to a specific discharge. Assimilative capacity is the difference between pre-development background water quality and the most sensitive use-protection water quality objective. Allocation of assimilative capacity considers a range of factors, including existing and anticipated future uses and needs. In Yukon, it has also been used to address treaty rights of First Nations that relate to water quality. The development of the draft Guide was completed by Slater Environmental Consulting, based on technical content and recommendations provided by MacDonald Environmental Sciences Ltd., and a project team composed of representatives from Yukon Government (Departments of Environment and Energy, Mines and Resources), the Yukon Water Board Secretariat, and the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. The draft Guide integrates principles and guidance on development of WQOs from several sources, including the British Columbian Ministry of Environment and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. A peer review of the draft Guide has been conducted by Minnow Environmental Inc. The Guide has also been reviewed by Yukon First Nations, NGOs, and industry.

Author / Presenter: Greg Pyle
Affiliation: University of Lethbridge
Student: No

Session: Water Quality Guidelines: Policy, Bioavailability, and Case Studies
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 17:40 – 18:00
Location: Gryphon/Danby

Abstract:

A considerable amount of research attention has recently been devoted to understanding how environmental toxicants affect aquatic animal behaviour. However, there has been some resistance in accepting behavioural endpoints for consideration in water quality guideline development. Some reasons for this resistance include a lack of standardized methods for collecting behavioural data, behavioural data are inherently variable, and only a few studies attempt to link laboratory-based behavioural results to natural populations, among others. However, behavioural toxicology has advanced considerably in recent years owing to the development of high-throughput, automated, and in some cases standardized techniques, advances in our understanding about the physiological basis of contaminant effects on chemosensory-mediated behaviours, and increasing evidence that behavioural results generated under laboratory conditions can be observed in natural environments. In this presentation, I will summarize the state of the science and discuss both the pros and cons of behavioural endpoints for consideration in water quality guideline development using an adverse outcome pathway framework.

Author / Presenter: Melanie Raby
Affiliation: University of Guelph
Student: Yes

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 8:20 – 8:40
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Neonicotinoids are a group of pesticides commonly used in agriculture which, due to their high water solubility, can be transported to aquatic systems. Transport is driven by precipitation, with heavy rain events causing spikes or pulses in neonicotinoid concentrations many times higher than background levels. Due to a conserved mechanism of action between agricultural insect pests and aquatic invertebrates, especially aquatic insects, these non-target species have the potential to be negatively impacted by neonicotinoid contamination. A monitoring program during the summer of 2015 by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change revealed pulses of neonicotinoids into freshwaters near agricultural lands of approximately 2.7 ?g/L imidacloprid, and 2.3 ?g/L thiamethoxam at peak; each pulse lasted for approximately 24 hours. Our study investigated the effect of exposures emulating these field pulse doses to four species: Chironomus dilutus (midge), Hyalella azteca (scud), Neocloeon triangulifer (parthenogenic mayfly), and Hexagenia spp. (burrowing mayfly) with chronic tests. We exposed each species in separate bioassays to nominal treatment concentrations of 2.5 ?g/L (average peak concentration), 5.0 ?g/L (2x peak), and 10.0 ?g/L (4x peak) of either imidacloprid or thiamethoxam, along with a negative control. After 24-hrs in the pulse exposure, which mimicked the pulse of neonicotinoids into surface waters, individuals were moved to control conditions and monitored over their partial (Hyalella azteca [42-d], Hexagenia spp. [21-d]) or full (Chironomus dilutus [?56-d], Neocloeon triangulifer [?30-d]) life cycle. Endpoints included chronic survival, growth, and for H. azteca and C. dilutus, reproduction. This study connects environmentally-relevant patterns of neonicotinoid exposure with chronic aquatic toxicity testing with the goal of furthering our knowledge of non-target neonicotinoid toxicity.

Author / Presenter: Erin Maloney
Affiliation: University of Saskatchewan
Student: Yes

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 8:40 – 9:00
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Due to their widespread presence in global surface waters and their potential to cause adverse impacts on non-target invertebrate species, neonicotinoid insecticides have recently come under international scrutiny. Current research and regulation has primarily focused on the toxicological effects of individual compounds. However, neonicotinoids are frequently detected in aqueous systems as binary and ternary mixtures. Therefore, this research aimed to characterize the cumulative toxicity of binary and ternary mixtures of select neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam) to determine if single-compound chronic toxicity can be used to predict mixture effects in sensitive aquatic insects. Cumulative toxicity was first characterized in chronic (28-d) laboratory studies, using Chironomus dilutus as a test species and cessation of successful emergence as an endpoint. Preliminary assessments of single compound toxicity (EC50) were used to develop parametric models, which were statistically compared to the toxicity of binary and ternary mixtures from similar laboratory studies, using a regression-based approach (MIXTOX method). Results indicated that under chronic exposure scenarios, the toxicity of neonicotinoid mixtures cannot be predicted using the common assumption of additive joint activity, as most mixtures display statistically significantly deviations from concentration-additive toxicity. Cumulative toxicity was further evaluated under semi-controlled field conditions, using limnocorrals (in-situ enclosures) installed in an experimental pond (St. Denis, Saskatchewan). Indigenous aquatic insect communities were exposed to either single compounds or binary neonicotinoid mixtures at equivalent doses (lab derived ?EC50 for emergence) for 56 days. Insect emergence was monitored over the course of the exposure period, and compared between single compound and mixture treatments. Results obtained will allow for an assessment of whether neonicotinoid mixtures display similar deviations from concentration addition under more environmentally realistic exposure paradigms, whether neonicotinoid mixture toxicity can be effectively predicted from laboratory studies, and what risk these mixtures may pose to natural aquatic insect communities.

Author / Presenter: Joseph Salerno
Affiliation: University of Guelph
Student: Yes

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 9:00 – 9:20
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Canada supports 55 of the approximately 300 Unionidae species found in North America, with 40 species found within the Great Lakes Basin. Freshwater mussels contribute important ecological functions to aquatic systems. The water filtered by mussel assemblages can contribute to improved water quality and the filtered material deposited in sediment provides a link between pelagic and benthic food webs. In addition, mixing of sediments by burrowing mussels can improve oxygen content and release nutrients. However, nearly 70% of global freshwater mussel species are listed as either endangered, threatened, or in decline. In Ontario, 28 species are in decline or in need of protection. Even though freshwater mussels are considered extremely sensitive to contaminants, little is known about the risk pesticides pose to the most sensitive life stage: glochidia. Villosa iris, rainbow mussel, is currently listed as “special concern” in Ontario. A potential risk to the recovery of freshwater mussel species is the presence and persistence of pesticides and pesticide mixtures in the Great Lakes Basin. Acute (48 h) toxicity tests were performed with glochidia to determine the effect on viability following exposure to azoxystrobin, boscalid, metalaxyl, myclobutanil, carbaryl, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, rotenone, malathion, prochloraz, chlorpyrifos, flupyradifurone, and cypermethrin. Glochidia were also exposed to environmentally relevant binary mixtures of pesticides to determine effects on viability. The study found that in general glochidia were relatively insensitive to the pesticides tested and LC50s ranged from 594 to >17400 ug/L. All neonicotinoid LC50s were greater than the highest concentration tested. The pesticides tested likely represent a de minimis risk to the viability of glochidia in Ontario streams where pesticide concentrations are considerably lower than those tested in this study.

Author / Presenter: Stacey Robinson
Affiliation: Environment Canada
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 9:20 – 9:40
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Relatively little is known about the impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on vertebrate wildlife. Amphibians are excellent vertebrate bioindicators as they are sensitive to environmental stressors and may be particularly vulnerable to neonicotinoid exposure during their aquatic life stage. In previous studies we found no detrimental effects of chronic exposure to neonicotinoids on conventional tadpole life-history traits, such as survival, growth and development which can affect amphibian fitness. However, there is some evidence to suggest more subtle immunotoxic effects could be of concern for non-target organisms, such as amphibians, exposed to neonicotinoids. Other studies have found that certain chemicals, including pesticides, can make tadpoles more susceptible to parasitic infection through mechanisms such as immunosuppression and reduced anti-parasite behaviour. The objective of our study was to assess whether neonicotinoid exposure affected tadpole susceptibility to parasitic helminths. We chronically exposed recently hatched northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) tadpoles to environmentally relevant concentrations of technical grade clothianidin for 2 weeks. We then exposed the tadpoles to the free-living infectious stage (cercariae) of a helminth parasite, the trematode Echinostoma trivolvis, for 2 days and assessed for levels of parasitism and leukocyte profiles. We found no significant differences between control treatments and the 1 or 100 µg/L treatments in prevalence, abundance or intensity of echinostome cysts or in tadpole leukocyte profiles (GLMM, all p-values > 0.05). We also conducted independent cercariae-clothianidin exposures and confirmed that clothianidin was not toxic (i.e., no effects on survival or activity) to these free-living infective parasitic stages. Therefore, exposure to the neonicotinoid, clothianidin, during the larval amphibian stage does not affect susceptibility to parasitism in northern leopard frogs. We recommend that further research be conducted on the other neonicotinoids, both individually and as mixtures to better assess environmentally relevant exposures and effects on cercariae and tadpole susceptibility to parasitism. Finally, the susceptibility of other species of frogs or parasites to neonicotinoids would be of interest to more fully understand the effects of neonicotinoids on amphibians, as non-target wildlife at risk of exposure.

Author / Presenter: Christy Morrissey
Affiliation: University of Saskatchewan
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:10 – 10:30
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Over the last 50 years, agriculture has undergone dramatic changes worldwide, with consequences for many farmland-associated migratory birds. The relationship between agricultural intensification and avian declines has been established in Europe, however links and mechanistic studies for North American species have received less study. Through analysis of trends in bird populations associated with farmlands and grasslands in North America, we found declines occurred with 57 of 77 (74%) species exhibiting decreases from 1966 to 2013. The greatest concurrence in multiple species declines occurred during 1960s-1980s, a period with high agrochemical use and widespread conversion of grasslands to cropland. The most severe declines occurred in aerial insectivores (average decline of -38.3% from 1966 to 2013), followed by grassland birds ( 21.5%) and shrub (-16.0%) species. Evidence suggests pesticides are one of the strongest drivers of farmland bird declines through mortality and sublethal effects and indirectly through reduced food supplies. Mechanistic captive and field studies examining pesticide effects to wild migratory birds are rare. Here, we present a case-study with captive, seed-eating White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) caught at a stopover site in Saskatchewan, Canada, to assess and compare the effects of oral exposure to two common and widely used insecticides: imidacloprid (neonicotinoid) and chlorpyrifos (organophosphate). We used funnel trials to measure migratory orientation and activity, and found that birds exposed to low concentrations of imidacloprid reduced food consumption, experienced significant mass loss, and stopped orienting correctly in behavioural trials, whereas control birds maintained body mass and a seasonally appropriate northward orientation. Birds exposed to chlorpyrifos also showed effects on migratory orientation, but without acute effects of mass loss. Farmland landscapes make up a significant proportion of the land cover and bird habitat in North America where the use of toxic pesticides is still increasing, so further work is urgently needed to evaluate the magnitude of pesticide effects to migratory birds across their range.

Author / Presenter: Ryan Prosser
Affiliation: University of Guelph
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:30 – 10:50
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Thiamethoxam is a neonicotinoid insecticide that can reach wetlands in agro-ecosystems primarily through runoff. The effects of thiamethoxam on non-target organisms in shallow wetland ecosystems have not been well characterized. To this end, two separate mesocosm studies were conducted to characterize the response of invertebrates. The first study investigated the effect of a single-pulse application of thiamethoxam (0, 25, 50, 100, 250, and 500 ?g/L; n=3) on zooplankton communities in prairie wetland mesocosms over eight weeks. The mean half-life of thiamethoxam among the different treatments was 4.0 d in the water column, with dissipation attributed to photodegradation and biodegradation. The concentration of thiamethoxam was < 0.08 ?g/L in the majority of mesocosms by 56 d. There were no statistically significant differences in zooplankton abundance or diversity between control and treated systems. The second study examined more chronic exposure through a single application of coated canola seeds at three treatment levels based on recommended seeding rate (i.e., 6 kg/ha; 1x, 10x, and 100x seeding rate) on both zooplankton and emergent insects over ten weeks. The mean half-life of thiamethoxam in the water column of mesocosms was 6.2 d. Significant differences in zooplankton community structure and emergent insect abundance between control mesocosms and the two greatest treatments were observed. Consequently, data generated from these mesocosm studies indicates acute and chronic exposure to thiamethoxam at environmentally relevant concentrations likely does not represent a significant ecological risk to wetland zooplankton and emergent insects, in terms of abundance and community structure.

Author / Presenter: Daiana Duca
Affiliation: Stantec
Student: Yes

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 10:50 – 11:10
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

To support their re-registration of imidacloprid, Bayer CropScience (Bayer) submitted to the US EPA and Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), a probabilistic ecological risk assessment (ERA) on the effects of acute and chronic exposure of aquatic invertebrates to imidacloprid. In that ERA, chronic effects derived from mesocosm studies were used to create a taxon-sensitivity distribution (TSD) based on no observed effects concentrations (NOECs) for abundance, emergence and mortality. While these taxonomic-level endpoints are relevant for the given population in question, they may not be as relevant for the overall aquatic community. To expand upon the initial TSD assessment, sub-lethal community endpoints such as diversity, feeding rate and abundance as they related to the overall community structure, not just effects grouped by taxonomic hierarchies, were examined. This community-approach involved re-evaluating higher-tier mesocosm studies previously identified as acceptable based on transparency and data quality with an eye for the above mentioned community endpoints and compiling a dataset of their respective NOECs. The resulting dataset was organized based on organism taxonomy (i.e., class, subclass, family or subfamily), community effect and the sampling method (i.e., emergence traps, artificial substrate samplers, Ekman sediment samplers and leaf packs). For each grouping, the most sensitive acceptable NOEC from each study was carried forward to calculate a geometric mean NOEC. Each NOEC was converted to a time-weighted average (TWA) to account for differences in study durations, retreatments and environmental breakdown of imidacloprid in mesocosms. Results of this community assessment suggest that the structure and diversity of the emerging insect community (based on endpoints such as similarity indices, principal response, relative abundance and diversity index) is the most sensitive to imidacloprid (TWA NOEC between 0.39 and 2.47 µg/L) compared to other community components for which data were available (e.g., macrozoobenthos and zooplankton; TWA NOEC from 2.0 µg/L to 18.67 µg/L). This range in community-level effects is relatively the same as the range of TWA NOECs for organism-level effects (0.58-13.7 µg/L) used to derive the TSD from a previous study. Therefore, the overall conclusion of this analysis is that imidacloprid NOECs for sub-lethal community endpoints derived from mesocosm studies as they related to the overall community structure are similar to NOECs grouped by a less holistic level of organization (i.e., the taxon level). Endpoint selection for regulatory decision making should rely on environmentally relevant mesocosm studies when available and necessitated by lower tier risk assessment conclusions. This work demonstrates that effects on one, or a few, sensitive species or sensitive life stages do not necessarily translate to adverse effects on the aquatic invertebrate community structure or function. Therefore, regulatory authorities should consider the use of toxicity thresholds based on community level effects for regulatory decision making

Author / Presenter: Mark Hanson
Affiliation: University of Manitoba
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:10 – 11:30
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

The neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam is widely used in agriculture across North America. It is detected more and more frequently in surface waters, in part due to increasing adoption by farmers to control crop pests. As a result, questions related to the ecological risk of thiamethoxam to aquatic ecosystems need to be addressed. To move our understanding forward, we used a weight of evidence approach to quantify the risk posed by thiamethoxam. All available toxicity data in the open literature were scored for their strength of experimental methods and the ecological relevance (survival, growth, development, and reproduction) of the responses reported. Numerical scores were assigned for strength and relevance. The means of the scores were then used to weigh the evidence for thiamethoxam contributing to ecologically significant responses. Our focus was on Canada, where the vast majority of measured concentrations are in the ng/L range, with ?g/L observed under certain circumstances (e.g., downstream of greenhouses). There were also acute data of sufficient quality to create species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) for insects, generally seen as most sensitive, as well as less sensitive invertebrates (e.g., zooplankton). Together, the weight of evidence and SSDs revealed little likelihood of adverse outcomes for insects from acute exposure to thiamethoxam in terms of apical endpoints in most regions. There was effectively no risk observed for zooplankton, fish, and amphibians. Chronic exposures were less well characterized, and remain a point of significant uncertainty. We do know rapid removal (on the order of days) is expected for thiamethoxam barring continuous inputs. We recommend that chronic exposure in the environment be better characterized, and recognize the need for well conducted mesocosm studies to reduce uncertainty for pesticide risk assessors.

Author / Presenter: Vicki Marlatt
Affiliation: Simon Fraser Univsersity
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:30 – 11:50
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Aquatic herbicides are a group of pesticides used to control aquatic weeds and invasive plants in surface waters, but are poorly studied with respect to their adverse effects on non-target aquatic wildlife compared to agricultural use pesticides. Diquat dibromide is a commonly used non-selective contact herbicide used to control crops (potato, cotton, and other seed crops), but also aquatic submerged and floating weeds. The toxic mode of action of diquat dibromide is due to the production of superoxide generated during photosynthesis, which damages plant cell membranes and cytoplasm leading to dessication. Although diquat strongly adsorbs to soil, organic matter and plants in surface water, it is highly water soluble and is resistant to microbial degradation. Therefore, due to its complex nature and application methods, it not only has the potential for acute but also chronic exposure scenarios for non-target aquatic organisms. The present study examined the toxicity of diquat dibromide in a commercial formulation (Reward®) during acute, chronic and pulse waterborne exposure experiments in multiple life stages of the fathead minnow (Pimphales promales) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and larval stages of the Northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile). One of the main findings was that the early larval northwestern salamander was the least sensitive of these three species during acute exposures (LC50 between 33.7 and 152 mg/L), but during chronic exposures exhibited similar sensitivity compared to early life stage fathead minnows and rainbow trout. Comparisons to the peer-reviewed literature show that the most acutely sensitive species is larval Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum; 96 h LC50 = 0.75 mg/L), however, very few chronic exposure studies to diquat dibromide in fish and none in amphibians are reported. Therefore, this research presents novel chronic toxicity exposure data in two model fish and a poorly studied amphibian. These data will further aid in the development of risk assessment plans for managing invasive plant species, while mitigating effects on non-target aquatic wildlife.

Author / Presenter: Oana Birceanu
Affiliation: Wilfrid Laurier University
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 11:50 – 12:10
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

The lampricide 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) is used to control sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes. Typical treatments involve the application of TFM in lamprey nursery streams at the minimum lethal concentration (MLC) of the sea lamprey ammocoetes (99.9% mortality over 9h). Lake sturgeon, a culturally important fish in the Great Lakes, are particularly sensitive to TFM during early development (juveniles <15-20 cm). Since sturgeon can detoxify TFM via glucuronidation, we proposed that their detoxification capacity is overwhelmed during TFM treatments, leading to mortality. Therefore, we investigated the effectiveness of an alternative TFM regimen, where fish were exposed to a lower concentration of TFM for a longer time, to decrease the burden on their detoxification capacity. Consequently, ammocoetes and lake sturgeon were simultaneously treated with either the 9h or the 24h MLC of the lamprey, over 9 and 24 h, respectively. Lamprey mortality was 100% over the two treatments, while sturgeon mortality decreased from 65% during exposure to the 9h MLC, to <5% during exposure to the 24h MLC. In addition, the lake sturgeon were able to detoxify TFM three times more efficiently during the long and low TFM regimen compared to the 9h MLC exposure, typical of a TFM field application. This study revealed that when lamprey were exposed to the long and low TFM regimen, they exhibited a limited detoxification capacity of the lampricide. Analysis of mRNA expression of the glucuronidation gene, UDP-glucuronyl transferase (UDP-GT), UDP-GT protein activity and tissue specific energy reserves (glucose and glycogen), will offer insights into the TFM detoxification ability and energy allocation in both species and how these factors are influenced by exposure to TFM. Our current study has shown that the "long-and-low" TFM regimen is an effective treatment alternative, that eliminates lake sturgeon mortality without compromising the effectiveness of the lampricide, and it has offered insights into the ability of lake sturgeon and sea lamprey to detoxify TFM.

Author / Presenter: Andrew Burton
Affiliation: Government of Manitoba
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 13:50 – 14:10
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides in a variety of agricultural and urban settings has been a concern for decades owing to a large body of research detailing negative environmental effects to exposures. Since 1972, the Government of Manitoba (in collaboration with other stake holders (e.g., Environment and Climate Change Canada) have carried out pesticide monitoring in surface waters. Since 1995, Manitoba has collected and analyzed over 3,300 water samples for approximately 90 pesticides from over 200 sites in the province. The objective of the current study is to summarize a comprehensive analysis of existing provincial and regional patterns of pesticides in Manitoba surface waters. More specifically, this study aims to identify the pesticides that occur most frequently in Manitoba rivers and lakes, and describes the locations of known pesticide hotspots. In addition, pesticide concentrations are compared to environmental quality guidelines for source drinking water, protection of aquatic life, and agriculture (i.e. irrigation and livestock water). Furthermore, spatial and temporal trends (including seasonality) were investigated to determine factors influencing their concentrations. Specific challenges and limitations can impact knowledge and understanding of monitoring pesticides in Manitoba surface waters (e.g., changing methodologies, dealing with concentrations below method detection limits, incorporating multiple levels of ‘censoring’ the data set, dealing with metabolites and isomers, pesticide mixtures). Recommendations are proposed to improve the efficiency and efficacy of Manitoba’s pesticide monitoring, interpretation, and reporting program.

Author / Presenter: Jamie Foss
Affiliation: PerkinElmer
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:10 – 14:30
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Glyphosate is a common herbicide used on crops to kill weeds. Due to its wide usage, it is not surprising that glyphosate has been detected in variety of foods. Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as ¡°probably carcinogenic in humans¡±. In lieu of regulatory bodies setting limits on glyphosate in food, it becomes imperative to develop robust and sensitive analytical methods for glyphosate detection. We present a study of glyphosate analysis in wine using triple quadruple mass spectrometer with a unique ¡°Stay Clean¡± interface. This allows for the direct analysis of wine with no sample preparation, detecting glyphosate in the low parts per billion and showing minimal signal loss (RSD¡Ü10%) over 300 injections highlighting instrument robustness.

Author / Presenter: Qingyun Diao
Affiliation: Institute of Apicultural Research,CAAS
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:30 – 14:50
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Honeybee plays a vital role in the pollination for plants and crops, especially for wild plants in mountain areas in China. However, there are increasing reports on the declines of honey bee in many regions of China, especially in the past several years. To understand better the possible factors affected honeybee health, we collected Apis mellifera samples from 14 provinces and detected the concentration of imidacloprid (IMD) residue in the honeybee under the natural conditions. The results showed that imidacloprid can be found in samples from all provinces and the levels of IMD from Zhejiang bee samples were significantly higher than those from Sichuan. And the highest concentration of IMD happened to the samples from Zhejiang province, up to 34.28 ppb per bee and the least was at 18.86 ppb per bee from samples from Sichuan province. These results indicated that pesticide should be considered as one of factors affecting the honey bee health and paid more attention in the future.

Author / Presenter: qiang wang
Affiliation: Institute of Apicultural Research
Student: No

Session: Pesticides in the Environment
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 14:50 – 15:10
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Free calcium ions in the neuroplasm of insects are important intracellular secondary messengers, which plays an important role in regulating the release and biological activity of the neurotransmitters, as well as insect behavior, in addition to being a target of many neurotoxic pesticides. As we all know, honeybees are sensitive to many insecticides, whose toxic mechanisms are not clear. This study investigated the effect of deltamethrin on calcium channel in the brain nerve cells of adult workers of Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola that were cultured in vitro. The results showed that the intracellular calcium concentration was significantly elevated even with a very low concentration of the deltamethrin (3.125×10-2 ppm). Further testing revealed that the target of deltamethrin on toxicity of honeybee is the T-type voltage-gated calcium channels, while it has no significant effect on the L-type voltage-gated channel, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-gated calcium channels and calcium store. As the only low voltage-dependent calcium channel in mammals, the T-type calcium channels can be activated at a very low membrane potential (-60 mV), resulting in depolarization of the membrane. This leads to the opening of the T-type calcium channels and influx of calcium, and further inducing activation of multiple enzymes and opening of channels as well as outbreak of action potential and nerve impulses, which impairs neurological function in higher animals, such as epilepsy and Perkins’ disease in human. The latest studies showed that abnormalities of T-type calcium channels will affect the learning and memory-related activities in animals. Combining the results of past studies, it was found that DM may cause swarming, feeding, learning and acquisition and other behavioral abnormalities, suggesting that the DM may act on T-type calcium channel in brain cells of honeybees and result in abnormalities. These results highlights the protective measures existing in honeybees against pyrethyroid poisoning.

Author / Presenter: Kelly Munkittrick
Affiliation: COSIA
Student: No

Session: Assessing Natural Variability – How Different is Too Different?
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 15:40 – 16:00
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Environmental effects monitoring is a form of adaptive monitoring that is more than 25 years old. While there is generic guidance for designing monitoring programs, there is less formal guidance for interpretation. Although there has been a lot of work over the last 5 years in advancing the statistical approaches for triggers for initiating shifts in tiers of monitoring, there is not any structured formal guidance for decision-making beyond simple numerical comparison. As chemical analytical approaches become more sensitive, and as research and monitoring efforts intensify around the oil sands, the increased sensitivity and power improve our capacity to detect change. The capability to detect change needs to be balanced by more rigour in interpreting the information, especially in long term programs where overpower in designs is a concern. A structured, rigorous framework can be used to meaningfully inform environmental monitoring programs, and needs to consider potential exposure and adverse outcome pathways, potential ecological relevance, and relative risks to focus efforts. Understanding industry activities and processes, and decision contexts are important for orienting the research in a way that can drive change in environmental performance. This presentation will use case studies of recently published studies to evaluate an interpretation framework that could be used to focus monitoring and improve the translation of monitoring information into meaningful change.

Author / Presenter: Richard Nesbitt
Affiliation: Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd.
Student: No

Session: Assessing Natural Variability – How Different is Too Different?
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:00 – 16:20
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Accurately characterizing baseline conditions, including natural variability, is an essential component to understanding the existing environment, what has changed in it and defining appropriate responses to those changes. We make comparisons to baseline conditions to help direct future development and management decisions. Whether the data collected accurately reflects the system is a question approached by scientists, and the scientific answer is defended through statistical arguments. Baseline studies are often relatively short, only encompassing between 1 and 3 years of data. Comparisons to those data are only able to identify relatively large magnitude changes with statistical confidence. Monitoring programs capable of accurately characterizing baseline conditions and statistically distinguishing a subtle project related change in the environment from natural variability with reasonable power are often beyond reach of proponents. Even populated areas thought of as “data rich” often have significant gaps in available data, which impair statistical descriptions of natural conditions. An effective scientific study would be costly, and require far more samples over a longer term than is usually possible. Discussions of the significance of observations are reserved for statisticians digressing into nuance and whose conclusions are beyond the grasp of most decision makers or potentially affected parties. This often results in an incomplete understanding for decision makers to act upon, and for comparisons of environmental conditions to benchmarks rather than pre-existing baseline conditions, limiting our ability to determine whether the environment has drifted outside the range of natural variation and what the causes may be. We propose a three-pronged approach to characterize baseline conditions and natural variability as a supplement to statistically directed project specific sampling initiatives common to development projects. Regionally, variability present at project specific study areas would be compared to data generated over an expanded geographic focus to understand whether local variability is within the range of regional natural variation. This is possible through a broad regional assessment approach. The frequency and approximate magnitude of environmental extremes would be characterized through interviews with local populations, broadening the scope of consultation from understanding and approval of a project to data generation and increasing their understanding of project interactions. These interviews would help characterize the short term environmental changes characteristic of the statistical “tails” of natural variability often missed by traditional monitoring programs. Finally, a paleolimnological record would be used to understand whether the conditions observed in the scientific record and within living memory are characteristic of conditions over the long term (i.e. beyond 50 to 100 years). A case study where this approach has been applied will be discussed.

Author / Presenter: Tim Arciszewski
Affiliation: AER
Student: No

Session: Assessing Natural Variability – How Different is Too Different?
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:20 – 16:40
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Normal ranges of variation are more commonly being used to evaluate change in environmental monitoring programs. In an Adaptive Monitoring program normal ranges are delineated by thresholds and operationalized in general surveillance as a trigger to focus scientific attention and employ more specific and detailed diagnostic procedures. Ideally, sensitivity of the thresholds can be increased by accounting for known sources of variation, such as the influence of discharge on water chemistry. Using discharge as a covariate and regression techniques suitable for censoring, several types of thresholds (annual and 6-year occurrence rates computed for the observed exceedances of the 2.5, 50, and 97.5 percentiles and unusual sequences of data) were applied to residual concentrations of 4 selected water chemistry variables measured routinely in the lower Athabasca River: chloride (Cl-), sulphate (SO42-), total vanadium (Vt), and total aluminum (Alt). The normal ranges suggest the chemistry of water in the Athabasca River has been changing since 2010. Among the multiple thresholds used, Alt has shown changes at a site downstream of oil sands development since 2010, but Vt has not, suggesting an influence of mining dust. SO42- showed the most compelling results. Several hypothetical sources of SO42- are possible, including changes in local groundwater chemistry and discharge, sulphur emissions from upgrader stacks, export from wetlands, or basin-wide changes. Trends within the baseline period also suggest the changes detected here began prior to 2010. Regardless of the specific origin of the changes, the results here demonstrate the utility of flow-corrected thresholds and multiple analytical techniques to detect change in water chemistry.

Author / Presenter: Barry Zajdlik
Affiliation: Zajdlik & Associates Inc
Student: No

Session: Assessing Natural Variability – How Different is Too Different?
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 16:40 – 17:00
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

Water quality inevitably changes over time, by season, with flow, etc.  Depending upon how natural variability is defined, these naturally varying confounding factors (structural variables) may or may not be accounted for when estimating water quality triggers.  If it is deemed that some structural variables should be acknowledged when estimating triggers, the data may be simply subdivided and simple quantile estimators be used to estimate triggers.  One weakness of this approach is that subdividing data is only possible for discrete structural variables such as seasons.  Another is that the smaller sub data sets will lead to less precisely estimated triggers than triggers estimated using methods that allow for control of structural variables.   The effects of structural variables can be modeled using general linear models (GLMs).  Commonly used GLMs such as ANOVA and ANCOVA have particular assumptions (normality, lack of censoring, lack of correlation) that are not likely to be met when modelling water quality data.  Robust GLMs sidestep some of these issues.  Robust GLMS are used to estimate measures of central tendency while controlling for season.

Author / Presenter: Denina Simmons
Affiliation: McMaster University
Student: No

Session: Assessing Natural Variability – How Different is Too Different?
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 17:00 – 17:20
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

The white sucker (Catostomus commersonii) is a freshwater Cypriniform fish that is nearly ubiquitous in all middle-to-northern regions of North America. White sucker feed by sucking up organic matter, plants, algae, and invertebrates from the benthos of rivers and streams. Due to these features, white sucker is commonly used as an organism in Canadian environmental effects monitoring programs. Throughout the course of multiple multi-year filed collections and multiple laboratory exposure studies, we have collected an extensive proteomic dataset for white sucker plasma. Plasma has many advantages for use in bio-monitoring, particularly given its potential for non-lethal sampling, and as a circulating bio-fluid, it is representative of whole organism responses. A drawback of plasma, however, is that there is higher innate variation among individual protein levels. In this presentation, we will discuss plasma proteome variation in white sucker by comparing field versus laboratory, control/reference versus exposed, and male versus female fish. We will also describe how these data can have utility for future monitoring programs that include ‘omics studies using white sucker plasma.

Author / Presenter: Catherine Proulx
Affiliation: Kilgour & Associates Ltd.
Student: No

Session: Assessing Natural Variability – How Different is Too Different?
Date: Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 17:20 – 17:40
Location: Ballroom

Abstract:

The underlying natural relationship between conductivity and alkalinity was used to identify surface water quality monitoring sites that are in a “reference” or minimally disturbed condition. Data from over 40,500 surface water samples from 1,230 stations were combined for the time period of 2005-2015 from various federal, provincial, and joint federal-provincial/territorial freshwater monitoring programs (e.g. Freshwater Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Program, Ontario’s Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network). Of the samples, 30,357 provided conductivity and alkalinity data. Surface water samples with a measured conductivity that deviated (by more than 41 µs/cm) from the predicted conductivity calculated from the sample’s alkalinity were deemed to be non-representative of a reference condition, while samples within 41 µS/cm of the predicted value were deemed representative of a reference condition. The 41 µS/cm cutoff value was determined using signal detection theory. This approach to identifying reference condition was validated by demonstrating that samples producing ‘reference’ samples were typically from catchments that had minimal anthropogenic disturbances. The approach will be useful when establishing normal (background) range criteria for inorganics in freshwater, which represent acceptable or unimpaired conditions, within a specified management area.