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Demonstration of an Integrated Compliance Model for Predicting Copper Fate and Effects in DoD Harbors

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Technical rept.

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Site-specific water quality standards WQS are developed in order to reach regulatory criteria appropriate for individual bodies of water. These WQS are required as the nationally suggested water quality criteria WQC for seawater was derived with clean coastal seawater that does not include the natural ingredients that buffer the toxic effects of contaminants. As such, federal WQC could be overprotective, enforcing effluent characteristics that are very difficult and expensive to attain. The regulatory community overcame this problem with the development of total maximum daily loads TMDL and water effects ratios WER, approaches that require long-term demanding and expensive studies. In an effort to speed up the development of WQS for copper Cu, the USEPA recently incorporated the Biotic Ligand Model BLM into a freshwater WQC USEPA, 2007. This model takes into account the natural characteristics of each body of water to derive a site-specific WQS. In a similar effort, the regulatory community is supporting the development of a seawater-BLM for application in marine waters. The object of this project is to demonstrate an integrated modeling system that provides an improved methodology for achieving compliance for Cu in Department of Defense DoD harbors in a manner consistent with the current regulatory framework for freshwater systems USEPA, 2007. This system also provides a management tool for the optimization of efforts on source control, as it is robust enough for forecasting their effects on ambient Cu concentration and the potential for toxicity in DoD harbors. The integrated model consists of the Curvilinear Hydrodynamics in Three Dimensions CH3D and a seawater Cu toxicity model seawater-BLM, for simultaneous evaluation of fate and transport FT and potential effects of Cu on a harbor-wide scale. Demonstration of the integrated model in San Diego Bay and Pearl Harbor fulfilled most of the performance objectives.

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  • Water Pollution and Control

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