There is a widespread need to monitor the environment on a regional level (as opposed to points of discharge or specific sites), which may include benchmarking the current environmental state of a region or addressing existing impairment issues throughout a region, or both. The work may fall into TMDL type programs where assessment of impairment or elimination of impairment is required. Specific Federal protocols, such as those described in TMDLs or 303D regulations of the clean water act, or protocols developed to address regional needs from different regulatory authorities govern the scope of work. Generally, the groups that conduct this work may create a non-profit organization to represent and work with multiple stakeholders at a federal, state or provincial, municipal, private sector interests, and the public.
Where assessment of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) or Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) is required, or these compounds have been deemed to have impaired a regions natural resource in water or biota, AXYS is often involved in supplying analytical support to support assessment in all environmental compartments, track down, mass balance modeling, and biota monitoring. AXYS understands the unique challenges that TMDL and other regional studies represent and can provide methods and analyses in all matrices needed to accurately assess, model and monitor all environmental compartments. We bring our clients some important advantages:
Capacity: AXYS has the largest North American capacity for the support of regional monitoring needs.
Experienced at Lower Detection Limits with High Quality: Regional work typically requires much lower detection limits to meet water quality objectives that may include Clean Water Act Levels, NOEL levels, or protection of food and biota resources to support regulatory or more stringent tribal or indigenous needs. Since the results may determine actions over a region for years into the future, these programs need the highest level of data quality. AXYS excels at low detection with high quality, providing the best analysis of POPs and organic CECs, supported by 30 years of experience.
Innovative Method Development: AXYS works with regulatory agencies to develop and/or validate our POP and CEC methods (e.g EPA 1668A/C, 1614, 1694, 1698, 1699) to provide more effective and accepted tools for regional monitoring. AXYS understands the expense of collecting samples for regional needs and has developed fractionation processes where multiple analyte groups can be measured from a single common sample without compromising detection limit or data quality issues — providing a significant cost reduction in the collection of samples.
Data Excellence: All AXYS methods employ isotope dilution, extensive chromatographic clean-up options, and rigorous blank control under an IEC/ISO 17025 quality system. These attributes are required to meet regional monitoring data quality objectives.
Sampling Capabilities: AXYS capabilities include large-volume analysis media preparation, analysis of passive and active sampling device media (SPMDs, POCIS, SPMEs, PEDs), high-volume sampling devices (XAD variants plus filtered portions) to provide the ability to measure particulate bound, and dissolved contaminant loads or integrated dissolved or available contaminant loads. AXYS also has specific expertise in the preparation and analysis of all forms of tissue and biota.
AXYS has extensive tests and method development capabilities to support TMDL studies requiring POP and CEC analysis:
AXYS has worked with (and continues to provide analysis for) some of the leading TMDL efforts in the country, including for SFEI, the DRBC, Monterey Bay and others, as well as for significant regional monitoring efforts (including WA State Puget Sound, SRRTTF, the Great Lakes, AEMERA and many others). We’ve provided value to efforts large and small, from very initial organization and assessment through to source analysis and ongoing monitoring. Here’s just a few of our sample projects:
AXYS is “Reliable and Responsive Partner” to SFEI
Since 1998, AXYS has been providing San Francisco Estuary Institute with services to support their Regional Monitoring Progam for Water Quality in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the last 20 years, the RMP has provided exceptionally high quality scientific data in support of site-specific objectives, total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), Reasonable Potential Analyses for NPDES permit holders and other regulatory programs. AXYS has analyzed in excess of 4,000 samples to date in various matrices such as bivalves, cormorant eggs, harbor seal tissue, small fish, sport fish, sediments/soils, water and serum. As the RMP has expanded their testing to include pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, poly chlorinated biphenyls and perfluorinated compounds, AXYS has been a “stead-fast, reliable and responsive partner enabling SFEI to obtain the best possible data in the fastest manner possible”.
Quantifying Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products, and Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Marine Sediments
AXYS supported the Washington Department of Ecology in their studies of concentrations of 119 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and 13 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in marine sediments measured throughout Puget Sound and Bellingham Bay, Washington. These data are among the first comprehensive measurements of PPCPs and PFASs in marine sediments from the Pacific Northwest and provide a baseline occurrence data on a regional basis. These may be used for subsequent monitoring to assess change over time.