WaterBriefs: USGS report details pesticides in nation's streams, groundwater

Also in this report: Pakistani group uses sustainability prize for endowment; Atlanta hosts AMTA Technology Transfer Workshop in May; NASCAR's Busch teams with Las Vegas water district on training program; Canby, Ore., awards long-term partnership for water treatment services to Veolia Water; Pentair renames Enclosure Group as Technical Products; Met-Pro's Duall Division draws $1.2M aerator order; ACWA honors Rep. Lois Capps for MTBE fight; South Bay mayors launch Clean Bay Campaign...

In other news below:
-- Pakistani group establishes endowment to leverage 2005 Alcan Prize for Sustainability
-- Adventus Americas targets groundwater bioremediation
-- Atlanta to host AMTA Technology Transfer Workshop in May
-- NASCAR's Busch teams with Las Vegas water district for training program
-- Hundreds of new coal-fired ethanol plants to add to water equipment market
-- Canby, Ore., awards long-term partnership for water treatment services to Veolia Water
-- Pentair renames Enclosure Group as Technical Products
-- Met-Pro's Duall Division receives equipment order totaling over $1.2 million
-- N.J. American Water adds to customer base through bulk water sales
-- BSI2000 wins security contract for state of Colorado
-- U.S. Energy Corp., Crested Corp. re-acquire Mount Emmons molybdenum mine
-- New York City receives 'best practices' plan for infrastructure
-- Americas come to New Orleans for 4th Latin American Leadership Forum on March 28
-- ACWA presents Legislative Leadership Award to Rep. Lois Capps for MTBE fight
-- South Bay mayors launch Clean Bay Campaign due to multiple water pollutants
-- California auto recycling group wins award for program to protect water
-- USW says DuPont contaminated Va.'s James River with 'likely' carcinogen

USGS report details pesticides in nation's streams, groundwater
WASHINGTON, DC, March 3, 2006 -- Today, the U.S. Geological Survey released a report describing the occurrence of pesticides in streams and ground water during 1992-2001. The report concludes that pesticides are typically present throughout the year in most streams in urban and agricultural areas of the Nation, but are less common in ground water. The report also concludes that pesticides are seldom at concentrations likely to affect humans. In many streams, however, particularly those draining urban and agricultural areas, pesticides were found at concentrations that may affect aquatic life or fish-eating wildlife.

Dr. Robert Hirsch, associate director for water, said, "While the use of pesticides has resulted in a wide range of benefits to control weeds, insects, and other pests, including increased food production and reduction of insect-borne disease, their use also raises questions about possible effects on the environment, including water quality." Hirsch also commented that "the USGS assessment provides the most comprehensive national-scale analysis to date of pesticide occurrence in streams and ground water. Findings show where, when, and why specific pesticides occur, and yield science-based implications for assessing and managing pesticides in our water resources."

The USGS findings show strong relations between the occurrence of pesticides and their use, and point out that some of the frequently detected pesticides, including the insecticide diazinon and the herbicides alachlor and cyanazine, are declining.

USGS has worked closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the 10-year study. EPA uses the data extensively in their exposure and risk assessments for regulating the use of pesticides. For example, EPA used USGS data in its risk assessments for the reevaluation of diazinon, chlorpyrifos, cyanazine and alachlor. Uses of three of these pesticides (diazinon, chlorpyrifos and cyanazine) have now been significantly limited, and usage of alachlor was voluntarily reduced and largely replaced by a registered alternative.

The USGS report is based on analysis of data collected from 51 major river basins and aquifer systems across the Nation from Florida to the Pacific Northwest and including Hawaii and Alaska, plus a regional study in the High Plains aquifer system.

Although none of the USGS stream sampling sites were located at drinking-water intakes, a screening-level assessment was done by USGS to provide an initial perspective on the relevance of the pesticide concentrations to human health. USGS measurements were compared to EPA drinking-water standards and guidelines. Concentrations of individual pesticides were almost always lower than the standards and guidelines, representing less than 10% of the sampled stream sites and about 1% of domestic and public-supply wells.

Pesticides however, may have substantially greater effects on aquatic ecosystems than on humans based on a screening-level comparison of USGS measurements to water-quality benchmarks for aquatic life and fish-eating wildlife. Over 80% of urban streams and over 50% of agricultural streams had concentrations in water of at least one pesticide -- mostly those in use during the study period -- that exceeded a water-quality benchmark for aquatic life. Water-quality benchmarks are estimates of concentrations above which pesticides may have adverse effects on human health, aquatic life, or fish-eating wildlife.

Insecticides, particularly diazinon, chlorpyrifos, and malathion frequently exceeded aquatic-life benchmarks in urban streams. Most urban uses of diazinon and chlorpyrifos, such as on lawns and gardens, have been phased out since 2001 because of use restrictions imposed by the EPA. The USGS data indicate that concentrations of these pesticides may have been declining in some urban streams even before 2001 -- benchmark exceedences in urban streams were least frequent late in the study. A case study of diazinon shows declining concentrations in several urban streams in the Northeast during 1998-2004.

In agricultural streams, the pesticides chlorpyrifos, azinphos-methyl, p,p'-DDE, and alachlor were among those most often found at concentrations that may affect aquatic life, with each being most important in areas where its use on crops is or was greatest. According to senior author Robert Gilliom, however, "Pesticide use is constantly changing in response to such factors as regulations and market forces and findings from this decade-long study need to be examined in relation to changes in use during and after the study. For example, levels of the herbicide alachlor declined in streams in the Corn Belt (generally including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio, as well as parts of adjoining states) throughout the study period as its use on corn and soybeans declined, with no levels greater than its aquatic-life benchmark by the end of the study. In contrast, both the use and the levels of atrazine, the most heavily used herbicide in the Corn Belt region, remained relatively high throughout the study period."

In addition, DDT, dieldrin, and chlordane -- organochlorine pesticide compounds that were no longer in use when the study began -- were frequently detected in bed sediment and fish in urban and agricultural areas. Concentrations of these compounds in fish declined following reductions in their use during the 1960s and elimination of all uses in the 1970s and 1980s, and continue to slowly decline. Just as notable as the declines, however, is the finding that these persistent organochlorine pesticides still occur at levels greater than benchmarks for aquatic life and fish-eating wildlife in many urban and agricultural streams across the Nation.

The USGS study also reported that pesticides seldom occurred alone -- but almost always as complex mixtures. Most stream samples and about half of the well samples contained two or more pesticides, and frequently more.

Gilliom explained that "The potential effects of contaminant mixtures on people, aquatic life, and fish-eating wildlife are still poorly understood and most toxicity information, as well as the water-quality benchmarks used in this study, has been developed for individual chemicals. The common occurrence of pesticide mixtures, particularly in streams, means that the total combined toxicity of pesticides in water, sediment, and fish may be greater than that of any single pesticide compound that is present. Studies of the effects of mixtures are still in the early stages, and it may take years for researchers to attain major advances in understanding the actual potential for effects. Our results indicate, however, that studies of mixtures should be a high priority."

The report, "Pesticides in the Nation's Streams and Ground Water, 1992-2001," Circular 1291 -- including this press release -- is available at http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/circ./circ1291. In-depth information about the pesticide assessment may be found at: http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/ under "What's New."

The USGS (www.usgs.gov) serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Also see: "Widespread pesticide poisoning of water focus of landmark government study"

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Among other recent headlines:

Aga Khan-Pakistan establishes endowment to leverage 2005 Alcan Prize for Sustainability -- VANCOUVER, Canada, March 3, 2006 -- The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service-Pakistan (AKPBS-P), today received the US$1 million Alcan Prize for Sustainability for its efforts to improve housing conditions as well as water and sanitation facilities in Pakistan. The prize, which will be matched by Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), was accepted on behalf of the agency by Princess Zahra Aga Khan, head of the Social Welfare Department at the Secretariat of His Highness the Aga Khan, the umbrella institution of which AKPBS-P is a branch. In addition, His Highness the Aga Khan will make available a further US$1 million to match additional contributions to the Fund. The money will be used to establish the Fund for the Sustainability of the Built Environment (FSBE), an endowment to leverage further support for the work of AKPBS-P in reducing seismic vulnerability and improving rural housing, water and sanitation, for communities in Pakistan and neighboring countries...

New treatment technology for sediments impacted by PCBs, heavy metals and related compounds available from Adventus Americas -- FREEPORT, IL, March 3, 2006 -- Adventus Americas Inc., an international remediation biotechnology firm, announced its selection by AquaBlok Ltd. as the exclusive global distributor of customized AquaBlok® remediation products for environmental applications. In conjunction with AquaBlok Ltd., Adventus Americas Inc. is introducing AquaBlok+™ in situ horizontal reactive barrier (hPRB) technology as a means of mitigating both the diffusive and advective flux of various constituents from contaminated sediments to an overlying surface water column...
Also see: "Adventus Americas Outlines ISCR Advantages vs. ISCO - Remediation biotechnology firm clarifies differences between In Situ Chemical Reduction (ISCR) and In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) technologies"

Atlanta to host next AMTA Technology Transfer Workshop in May -- ATLANTA, GA, March 2, 2006 -- The American Membrane Technology Association's Technology Transfer Workshop scheduled for May 10-11 will include a tour of Gwinnett County's F. Wayne Hill Water Resource Center, which features UF technology and was recently expanded from 20 mgd to 60 mgd...

NASCAR's Busch teams with Las Vegas water district for training program -- LAS VEGAS, March 2, 2006 -- The Las Vegas Valley Water District and Water Works Industry Solutions join NASCAR champion and former waterworks employee Kurt Busch for lunch and a news briefing on March 9 at 12:30 p.m. at the NASCAR Cafe in Las Vegas to announce critical, exciting and new information about the waterworks industry. Busch is in town for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 12...

Hundreds of new coal-fired ethanol plants to add to water equipment market -- NORTHFIELD, IL, March 2, 2006 -- Like Brazil, the U.S. is building hundreds of ethanol plants to substitute this homegrown product for gasoline. While the first were built with gas-fired boilers, new plants are likely to use coal-fired steam generators. Some are already operating and others are in construction. The impact of the coal-firing will add billions of dollars in equipment revenues, including for water and wastewater treatment, predicts the McIlvaine Company in its "World Market for Your Products" report...

Canby, Ore., awards long-term partnership for water treatment services to Veolia Water -- HOUSTON, March 2, 2006 -- Access to global water experience and expertise was the key driver in the Canby, Ore., Utility Board's unanimous approval of a 10-year, $6.5 million water services contract to Veolia Water North America - West LLC. The public-private partnership calls for Veolia Water to manage the utility's water treatment system that serves approximately 15,000 people. The water treatment system includes a 6-mgd treatment plant, storage tanks, intake, sludge lagoons and related facilities...

Pentair renames Enclosure Group as Technical Products
-- New name reflects strategy for growth -- GOLDEN VALLEY, MN, March 2, 2006 -- Pentair today announced that it's renaming its Enclosures Group as Technical Products. Michael V. Schrock, president and chief operating officer, retains leadership for Technical Products as well as responsibility for the company's Filtration division in its Water Group...

Met-Pro's Duall Division receives equipment order totaling over $1.2 million -- HARLEYSVILLE, PA, March 2, 2006 -- Raymond J. De Hont, chairman and CEO of Met-Pro Corp., annnounced today that its Duall Division, in Owosso, MI, has received an order valued in excess of $1.2 million to supply six aeration systems, complete with Duall scrubbers and fans, to a municipal water treatment facility in the U.S. Southeast. Each aerator is designed to treat 5 mgd of groundwater with hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide. Two systems are expected to ship in the third quarter of the fiscal year. The balance of the order is expected to ship in the fourth quarter...

N.J. American Water adds to customer base through bulk water sales -- CHERRY HILL, NJ, March 2, 2006 -- New Jersey American Water announced today that it has increased its bulk water sales by over 2 mgd. The bulk sales, spread out across the state, will help communities that have water source needs supplement their water supply.
On a daily basis, New Jersey American Water will provide 1 mgd to South Brunswick, 0.12 mgd to Hopewell Borough, 0.28 mgd (October through April) to the Borough of Keansburg, and 0.64 mgd to the South Jersey Water Supply Company of Mullica Hill...

BSI2000 wins security contract for state of Colorado -- DENVER, March 2, 2006 -- BSI2000 Inc., a developer of high security systems for commercial and government use, announced today that it has been awarded a contract to install the MAXXNET2000 access control system throughout the state of Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) central campus site. The CDPHE campus site is located in Denver and has approximately 1,200 employees. BSI2000 teamed with Systems Integration Corporation (SI) of Niwot, Colorado for the winning bid. The contract calls for the system to provide complete entry exit access control and monitoring throughout the campus. Completion date for the installation, training, and cut-over process is in the late spring...

U.S. Energy Corp., Crested Corp. re-acquire Mount Emmons molybdenum mine -- RIVERTON, Wyoming, March 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- U.S. Energy Corp. and Crested Corp., d/b/a USECC, today announced that USEG and Crested have re-acquired the Mount Emmons molybdenum mining property located near Crested Butte, CO. The property was returned to USEG and Crested by Phelps Dodge Corporation in accordance with a 1987 Amended Royalty Deed and Agreement between USECC and Amax Inc. The Mount Emmons property includes a total of 25 patented and approximately 520 unpatented mining claims, which together approximate 5,400 acres -- or over 8 square miles of mining claims. It also includes significant water and wastewater treatment capabilities in support of the mining operation...
Also see: "Adanac's Ruby Creek process & infrastructure feasibility show reduced capital and operating costs"

New York City receives 'best practices' plan for infrastructure -- First-in-U.S. green guidelines for municipal infrastructure could reduce energy use, pollution, and make tax dollars go further -- NEW YORK, NY, March 2, 2006 -- The first comprehensive collection of "best practices" for designing, building and maintaining this infrastructure -- including all the utility delivery systems for water, electricity, wastewater, and stormwater -- has just been prepared for New York City: "High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines: Best Practices for the Public Right of Way" was published in late 2005, conceived and co-authored by New Civic Works' principal, Hillary Brown, and produced by the non-profit organization, Design Trust for Public Space, and New York City's Department of Design and Construction (DDC). The new infrastructure guidelines are a sequel to New York's "High Performance Building Guidelines" produced in 1999 by the same participants, when Brown headed the city's Office of Sustainable Design...

Americas come to New Orleans for 4th Latin American Leadership Forum on March 28 -- First conference scheduled after Katrina boasts 50 infrastructure projects in 17 countries valued at $55 billion in business opportunities -- NEW ORLEANS, March 2, 2006 -- On March 28 and 29, 600 of the top infrastructure executives worldwide will meet at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans, to discuss the top 50 infrastructure projects in Latin America, presented by sponsors from 17 different countries. The 4th Annual Latin American Leadership Forum, an event normally held in Washington, has moved to New Orleans -- as a way to bring business to the city, and as a way of bringing the Americas together. In 2004, the state of Louisiana did $3.7 billion in trade with Latin America and the Caribbean, up from $3.1 billion the previous year...

ACWA presents Legislative Leadership Award to Rep. Lois Capps for MTBE fight -- WASHINGTON, DC, March 2, 2006 -- The Association of California Water Agencies' (ACWA) President Randy Fiorini today presented ACWA's Legislative Leadership Award to U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara during the association's annual conference in Washington, D.C. Rep. Capps represents the 23rd congressional district along California's central coast, encompassing parts of San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County. Rep. Capps succeeded in drawing more attention to the then-pending proposal to grant MTBE producers immunity from liability, a so-called "safe harbor," in the House energy bill (HR 6), which led to the provision's eventual defeat...

South Bay mayors launch Clean Bay Campaign, voicing concerns about multiple threats from water pollutants -- PALO ALTO, CA, March 1, 2006 -- Palo Alto Mayor Judy Kleinberg hosted other South Bay mayors and officials here today in launching the Clean Bay Campaign. City officials, environmental educators, and media launched canoes provided by Save The Bay into San Francisco Bay from the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve here this morning. The water was surprisingly tranquil, the temperature mild, and skies clear. Staff from the Regional Water Quality Control Plant provided an update on Bay health, including the challenge of keeping household pollutants such as pharmaceuticals, kitchen oils and grease, and pesticides out of waterways. Participants included: Mayor Judy Kleinberg, Palo Alto; Mayor Nick Galiotto, Mountain View; Joan Sykes-Miessi, President of East Palo Alto Sanitary District; Matthew Bahls, Assistant Community Director, Stanford University; Environmental Commission representatives Linda Demichiel and Joceyln Orr, Los Altos...

California auto recycling group wins award for environmental program to protect water, neighborhoods, profits -- SACRAMENTO, March 2, 2006 -- State of California Auto Dismantlers Association (SCADA) has received an Environmental Leadership Award from the California Unified Program Agency for an industry-led certification program called Partners in the Solution which ensures the industry is using best practices to protect the environment. The best practices were developed in collaboration with Sustainable Conservation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, and have achieved widespread industry adoption because they are practical, cost-effective and environmentally sound. Through education and audits, the Partners in the Solution program now covers all 179 SCADA members around the state. The program focuses on responsible recycling to effectively keep mercury and other contaminants from reaching waterways...
Also see: "NASA mission detects significant Antarctic ice mass loss"

USW says DuPont contaminated Va.'s James River with 'likely' carcinogen -- Discusses documents that show PFOA public officials, employees kept it in dark -- RICHMOND, VA, March 1, 2006 -- According to findings by the United Steelworkers International Union (USW), the controversial Teflon-related chemical, PFOA, was released to the James River from DuPont's Spruance plant in Richmond, VA. The Richmond plant is one of the about thirteen known DuPont locations nation-wide where PFOA or PFOA-related chemicals have been used. Contamination of groundwater, nearby rivers, and drinking water is known to have occurred at several of these locations. However, many of these plants, like the Richmond facility, still have not been investigated by state or federal regulatory agencies...

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In earlier newsbriefs, see: "WaterBriefs: Legislation drives EU industrial water treatment chemicals market" -- Also in this report (March 2, 2006): Northwest Pipe Co. announces $5 million Denver order; First AWWA Desalination Symposium to kick off Drinking Water Week 2006; Racine Federated celebrates 35 years in business; ABS Energy Research reports 2.2 billion utility meters installed worldwide; UltraStrip featured on ABC affiliate story about Hurricane Katrina and Waveland, Miss.; Ohio companies to pay $3.25 million to settle alleged natural resource damages claims; ADB boosting focus on roads, water infrastructure in Azerbaijan...

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