LCBP Technical Report: Organic Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Lake Champlain Basin: A Review of Current Knowledge, 2016
In recent years there has been increasing concern nationwide about the amount of unregulated organic pollutants entering surface waters from storm drains, wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs), and agricultural activities. The presence, environmental fate, and effects of these Organic Contaminants of Emerging Concern (OCECs) have received widespread attention in the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Basin and elsewhere across the country. In the Lake Champlain Basin of Vermont, New York, and Québec, there have been several investigations of certain classes of OCECs in the last 20 years or so. This report seeks to bring all of this information together into a synoptic review in order to determine if there are gaps in our knowledge. The emphasis of this report is on the presence, extent, and sources of anthropogenic organic contaminants present in the water column of the Lake Champlain Basin. For many OCECs found at trace levels in surface waters, little is known as to whether the concentrations found have effects on fish, insects, plants or microbial life in the receiving waters. The emphasis of this report is presence/absence, not effects on the biota. Whenever possible, raw data is included in this report so that the reader can see exactly what data exists, what is missing, and draw his or her own conclusions about future needs.
This report is divided into four sections. The first section describes the characteristics of the Lake Champlain Basin, and likely sources of OCECs in the basin. The second section gives background information on the emerging contaminant problem, and major groups of OCECs as investigated worldwide. The third section summarizes what we know about OCECs in the Lake Champlain Basin (LCB) and what gaps there are in our current knowledge. The final section will discuss efforts of prioritization and a suggested scoping process for prioritizing which gaps in our knowledge are of most concern, if and how to move forward on collecting data to fill these gaps.