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TMDL Development for PCBs in Lake Ontario

The objective of the proposed project is to provide the necessary   technical support to assist in development of a TMDL for PCBs in   Lake Ontario.  The approach consists of tasks that address the basic   regulatory requirements for TMDLs, supplemented by tasks that will   improve the modeling analysis and reduce the margin of safety.    These supplemental tasks include development of a Niagara River   loading model, linking the Niagara River model to the existing   LOTOX2 model of PCB fate, transport, and bioaccumulation in Lake   Ontario, and incorporation of recent atmospheric, sediment,   tributary, point source, and fish data into the coupled model   framework.  The Niagara River model will permit the allocation of   specific loads within the Niagara River rather than merely being   able to specify the load reduction at Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Challenges associated with developing a PCB TMDL for the Niagara   River-Lake Ontario system include data needs, issues related   to quantifying loading sources, and spatial and temporal scale   issues with regard to establishing target conditions for defining a   TMDL.  The TMDL analysis also depends on the geographical location   and the jurisdictions of the land adjacent to the lake.  For   example, management of the lake and its main tributary, the Niagara   River, is under the jurisdiction of the Four Parties, which account   for both state (provincial) and federal agencies from both Canada   and the United States.  In addition, the challenge of developing a   TMDL is complicated by the different criteria for human health   versus the ecological health of the system.  Another confounding   factor is that most of the PCB sources are not controllable through   existing programs.  Sediment feedback (there is a significant time   lag before the lake reaches steady state with existing loads),   upstream sources (Lake Erie represents a significant load via the   Niagara River), and the atmosphere (currently about half the load of   PCBs to the lake is via gas phase absorption) are the major loading   sources affecting PCB concentrations in the lake.      (PCBs); (PCB's); (PCB); (polychlorinated biphenyl); (polychlorinated   biphenyls); (toxic organic); (toxic organics); (organochloride);   (organochlorides); (POP's); (POP); (POPs); (persistent organic   pollutant); (persistent organic pollutants); (flame retardant);   (flame retardants); (Lake Ontario); (chemicals of concern);   (chemical of concern)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Literature / Existing Data
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Toxic Organics
Natural Ecological Processes
Natural Physical/Geological Processes
Resource Management
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Niagara River
State Province
New York
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Annex 17
Ecotoxicity and toxicity effects of pollutants related to developing Annex 1 specific objectives
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Ecotoxicity and toxicity effects of pollutants related to developing Annex 1 specific objectives

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