Investigation of cause in pulp and paper environmental effects monitoring.
Water Qual. Res. J. Can. 40: 261-274.
Hewitt, L.M., Dubé, M.G, Ribey, S.C., Culp, J.M., Lowell, R., Hedley, K., Kilgour, B., Portt, C. and MacLatchy, D.L., and Munkittrick, K.R.
published: 2005 | Research publication | 2005
Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) Programs in Canada have been developed for the pulp and paper and metal mining industries. The EEM Program conducts cyclical evaluations of receiving environments to determine whether effects exist when facilities comply with existing regulations. Investigation of cause (IOC) is a specific stage in the EEM Program that is used after environmental effects in fish and/or benthos have been detected, confirmed and their extent and magnitude have been documented. This paper presents an overview of the processes associated with this phase of monitoring. The objective of an IOC is to obtain sufficient information so that the source of the effect can be identified and removed, or its effects reduced to an acceptable level. The initial direction of an IOC is dependent upon the type of response patterns observed for fish and/or benthos during EEM cycles and extent/magnitude studies. The framework presented in this paper is based on an amalgamation of research projects conducted at Canadian pulp mills over the last decade and selected studies are summarized as examples. It also represents an integration of several research philosophies and scientific disciplines. The framework is based on national response patterns from the second cycle of pulp and paper EEM studies. IOCs are directed into either an eutrophication-based investigation or a contaminant-based investigation (including metabolic disruption in fish). The framework is constructed with a progression of investigative levels designed to provide more information on the causative factors. Each of these phases also represents a decision point for stakeholders to determine if sufficient information has been attained about the causal factor(s) and whether the IOC should be concluded. It is expected that the framework will evolve with a growing knowledge base of causal factors, as facilities enter into this phase of the EEM Program.
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revised Sep 26/07
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