Chemical and Bioaccumulation Studies at Times Beach Dredge Disposal Area, Buffalo, New York,
CORPS OF ENGINEERS BUFFALO NY BUFFALO DISTRICT
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The data gathered from the Times Beach studies to date indicate that although there are high levels of organic pollutants contained in Times Beach dredge disposal sediments, there is no significant accumulation of these organics in plant material i.e., sedge or earthworms grown in the sediment. The data indicates that the heavy metals arsenic, cadmium, chromium and iron may accumulate in sedge grown in the sediments at levels above those found in natural wetlands in the Great Lakes Region. There appears to be no significant differences in plant uptakes of copper, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel or zinc. There was no accumulation of heavy metals in earthworms above the original whole body concentrations after 28 days of incubation in Times Beach sediment. Although there are evaluated concentrations of heavy metal and organic pollutants in Times Beach sediments, there is little transfer to the open water within the disposal area as evidenced by the water quality data. The presence of individual organic pollutants at concentrations less than 10 to 50 parts per billion in the water would not be detected at the analytical detection limits achieved. Water quality for heavy metals exceeded national drinking water standards. It is known that some fish can bioconcentrate organic pollutants from water by orders of magnitude. For that reason, fish indigenous to the contained water at Times Beach have been sampled and are presently being analyzed for those organic contaminants and heavy metals found at elevated concentrations in the sediments.