Technical Bulletins

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Technical Bulletin No. 1041: Implications of USEPA’S 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria to the Pulp and Paper Industry, with Mill Case Studies Characterizing Indicator Bacteria in Effluents

PDF , Source: Technical Bulletins Published: 12/2016 View Abstract

Abstract: This report summarizes key elements of EPA’s 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria (RWQC) recommendations for E. coli and enterococci and their implications for the forest products industry. RWQC limits, analytical test methods, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit monitoring requirements, strategies for conducting indicator bacteria assessments, and a discussion of studies conducted by mills to address issues with these criteria are included. Mills applied different approaches to assess analytical issues, track sources of indicator bacteria, or characterize species composition. Although different site-specific strategies were applied, overall, these studies demonstrate that indicator bacteria testing can lack the specificity needed to properly characterize sanitary sources in mill wastewaters. Mills often had to apply complex and expensive biochemical species or genetic marker testing to track sources or characterize the composition of indicator bacteria in their wastewaters. Species testing was instrumental in identifying non-target interfering species and species of bacteria from environmental sources that confound the value of indicator species testing. Genetic marker testing proved helpful in tracking and isolating sanitary and/or environmental sources. The case studies herein describe the strategies applied by different mills to address indicator bacteria water quality issues that helped facilitate discussions with the regulatory community, leading to a better understanding of the issues and potentially avoiding unnecessary implementation of costly disinfection programs. KEYWORDS: bacteria, E. coli, enterococci, enzyme substrate, genetic marker, water quality criteria

Technical Bulletin No. 1040: Evaluation of H2S Ambient Measurement Instruments for Use in Kraft Mill and Wastewater Treatment Plant Atmospheres

PDF , Source: Technical Bulletins Published: 12/2016 View Abstract

Abstract: Three commercially-available portable instruments for measuring hydrogen sulfide (H2S) concentration in ambient air were evaluated for use in kraft pulp and paper mill atmospheres, wherein the presence of other reduced sulfur compounds may interfere with instrument performance. The Jerome® 631-X™ H2S analyzer, the OdaLog® Low Range H2S Gas Logger, and the Honeywell Analytics SPM (single point monitor) were evaluated. Based on the results of laboratory and field tests, all instruments were found to be useful for different H2S measurement needs in kraft mill ambient air atmospheres. The Jerome® 631-XTM had a linear response to H2S concentrations but also responded significantly to organic reduced sulfur compounds. The OdaLog® was found to be a rugged, accurate instrument for ambient H2S measurement, with relatively minimal positive bias due to interference from dimethyl sulfide and dimethyl disulfide. However, methyl mercaptan produced a more significant positive bias, about 60% of the response for the equivalent H2S concentration. The SPM, when using the H2S-specific tape, had zero response to dimethyl sulfide and dimethyl disulfide, and its response to methyl mercaptan was only about 6% of its response to equivalent H2S concentration. However, the SPM was not as readily portable or as weather-resistant as the OdaLog. The specific needs of each H2S measurement/monitoring application would therefore determine monitor selection. KEYWORDS: ambient air, ambient H2S measurement, ambient monitors, H2S, Honeywell Analytics SPM, hydrogen sulfide, OdaLog® Low Range H2S Gas Logger, tapemeter

Technical Bulletin No. 1039: Evaluation of the Relationship Between Effluent Chemistry and Bioassay Response

PDF , Source: Technical Bulletins Published: 11/2016 View Abstract

Abstract: The relationships between effluent constituents, mill characteristics, and bioassay response were examined using a database maintained by NCASI comprised of effluent chemistry and bioassay data collected over a 27-year time period. Effluent samples from pulp and paper mills collected between 1988 and 2015 were analyzed for 60 individual effluent constituents with biological response measured using 7-d Ceriodaphnia dubia reproduction and 48-h Mytilus galloprovincialis embryo-larval development chronic whole effluent toxicity (WET) tests. Among the individual effluent constituents, color and polyphenols most strongly correlated with bioassay response in both test organisms. For both test organisms, a weaker relationship between effluent constituents and bioassay response was seen using effluents collected following Cluster Rule treatment changes compared to analyses using the full data set. Among the two bioassay methods, M. galloprovincialis normality showed a stronger relationship with effluent constituents compared to C. dubia reproduction. For a small subset of data composed of 13 mills and 18 effluents, there was a significant correlation between total dissolved solids (TDS) and C. dubia reproduction, but not between individual dissolved ions and bioassay response. Principal component analysis (PCA) demonstrated that differences in effluent chemistry were specific to a given mill rather than broader categorical characteristics such as mill process type, bleaching, etc. Analysis of this data set demonstrated that bioassay response is related to several effluent constituents and/or composite measures rather than specific agent(s), and that changes in effluent composition associated with implementation of process changes related to the Cluster Rule have reduced WET test response to effluent exposure. KEYWORDS: Ceriodaphnia dubia, dissolved ions, effluent chemistry, Mytilus galloprovincialis, total dissolved solids (TDS), whole effluent toxicity (WET)

Technical Bulletin No. 1038: Effectiveness of BMPs for Reducing the Risk of Adverse Impacts of Herbicides on Aquatic Organisms

PDF , Source: Technical Bulletins Published: 10/2016 View Abstract

Abstract: The use of herbicides to control competing vegetation during stand establishment is a key component of intensive silviculture. When silvicultural chemicals are applied to forest land, they have the potential to impact stream water quality. However, forestry best management practices (BMPs) have been developed as the primary mechanism for achieving water quality protection from non-point source (NPS) pollutants that may result from forest management. Operational forestry herbicide applications using modern BMPs were made at three distinctly different sites in the Coastal Range of Oregon (Needle Branch), east Texas (Alto), and southwest Georgia (Dry Creek). Streamside management zones (SMZs), ranging from 12 m to 21 m, were installed as specified in each state’s BMP guidelines. No-spray zones equivalent to the SMZs were maintained at Alto and Dry Creek. At Needle Branch, an 18-m no-spray zone was observed, as specified in the Oregon Forest Practices Act guidelines, for the fish-bearing portion of the stream. In addition, half-boom spraying, while not required, was employed along the upper non-fish-bearing portion of the stream. At each study site, maximum herbicide concentrations in stream water were in the low ppb range and occurred as brief (<24 hour) pulses associated with stormwater runoff from the first few post-application storm events and declining in magnitude with successive storms. At all three sites, maximum stream water concentrations of herbicides were much lower than concentrations associated with toxicity to fish, amphibians, or aquatic invertebrates. The lowest reported concentrations affecting 50% of the test population (EC50) for some species of algae and macrophytes are below peak concentrations reported for imazapyr, hexazinone, and sulfometuron methyl at one or more sites. However, exposure durations, especially to peak concentrations, reported in these field studies were much shorter than those used in the laboratory toxicity testing . . . .

Technical Bulletin No. 1037: Conductivity in Streams: Science, Patterns, and Biotic Relationships

PDF , Source: Technical Bulletins Published: 09/2016 View Abstract

Abstract: Increasingly, the cumulative measures of dissolved ions such as specific conductance (commonly referred to as conductivity) and total dissolved solids (TDS) are being considered as formal water quality criteria intended to protect the health and integrity of aquatic systems. Conductivity and TDS are indirect and imperfect indicators of the concentration of dissolved ions in water and for this reason, their use as regulatory metrics in managing water quality has been under scrutiny. A review of published research showed that the ionic composition of a solution influences the response of organisms, and that background levels of ionic constituents in surface waters have natural ranges and are variable across stream systems. Laboratory studies consistently found that organisms respond to fluctuations in conductivity, TDS, and dissolved ion mixtures through changes in growth, reproduction, and survival, and that the magnitude of response is dependent on ionic composition, taxa, and life stage tested, as well as other conditions of water quality (e.g., presence or absence of other ions, hardness, pH). Similarly, shifts in community composition and biological metrics (e.g., number of pollution tolerant taxa, species richness, diversity) often occurred at sites with elevated conductivity and dissolved ions, but the magnitude of these changes was variable. Assessment of data from NCASI’s Long-Term Receiving Water Study (LTRWS) showed spatial and temporal patterns in conductivity and TDS, but these patterns were not consistent across all of the study streams. Examination of LTRWS data showed some significant, although weak, correlations between conductivity and biological metrics, but these patterns were not consistent across streams. . . . KEYWORDS: conductivity, dissolved ions, total dissolved solids (TDS), LTRWS

Technical Bulletin No. 1036: Long-term Receiving Water Study Data Compendium: January 2012 to December 2012

PDF , Source: Technical Bulletins Published: 06/2016 View Abstract

Abstract: In 1998, NCASI began a Long-Term Receiving Water Study (LTRWS) in four US pulp and paper mill effluent receiving waters: Codorus Creek (Pennsylvania), the Leaf River (Mississippi), and the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers (Oregon). Designed to extend >10 years, the objectives of the LTRWS are to evaluate spatial and temporal (season and year) patterns in the aquatic community at multiple sites relative to effluent discharge. Measured endpoints include water and effluent quality, effluent characterization with chronic bioassays, physical habitat parameters (temperature, flow, and substrate), and biotic community assessment (periphyton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish). This report provides a synopsis of the parameters collected during 2012, and summarizes changes in monitoring procedures, frequency, and sample location. Periphyton taxa richness in terms of diatom taxa was greatest in the Leaf River (n=53) and lowest in Codorus Creek (n=25), while macroinvertebrate species richness was lowest on woody debris in the Leaf River (n=8) and greatest in the McKenzie River (n=81). Codorus Creek in the spring and the Leaf River boat electrofish sampling both collected the greatest number of fish species in 2012 (n=18), with lower species richness in the Willamette (n=9) and McKenzie rivers (n=5). For greater detail regarding the use of these data to address effluent effects questions, readers should consult the 24 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, or 36 NCASI Technical Bulletins derived from the LTRWS. KEYWORDS: bioassay, data summary, effluent, fish, macroinvertebrate, periphyton, water quality

Technical Bulletin No. 1035: Effects of Process Parameters on Emissions from Wood Products Dryers

PDF , Source: Technical Bulletins Published: 06/2016 View Abstract

Abstract: This NCASI Technical Bulletin provides information on the effects of certain process parameters on emissions of certain pollutants from wood drying operations in the wood panel and lumber industries. The majority of the information provided is in relation to the effects of dryer temperature on emissions. However, the effects of wood moisture content, wood species, particulate matter control device type and, to a lesser degree, the effects of harvest season, storage time, knots in lumber, and other variables are evaluated or discussed. Pollutants evaluated include acetaldehyde, acrolein, formaldehyde, methanol, volatile organic compound (VOC) as carbon, filterable particulate matter, and condensable particulate matter. The information reviewed for this report came from a variety of sources, including the open literature, NCASI field studies, and an NCASI database. The database contains information primarily from industry test reports and NCASI field studies. The report contains several hundred rows of data in tables and over 80 charts or graphs. KEYWORDS: acetaldehyde, acrolein, air toxics, condensable, control device, database, dryer, emissions, filterable, formaldehyde, hazardous air pollutants, kiln, literature review, lumber, methanol, moisture, OSB, panel, particleboard, particulate matter, rotary, temperature, veneer, VOC, wood

Technical Bulletin No. 1034: Summary of 2012 Chemical Data Reporting Rule Submissions by US Pulp and Paper Mills

PDF , Source: Technical Bulletins Published: 02/2016 View Abstract

Abstract: This report summarizes the information provided in Parts II and III of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Form U’s filed in 2012 (for calendar year 2011) by over 90 US pulp and paper mills. It is a companion to a previous summary of data reported in 2006 which covered the 2005 calendar year (NCASI Technical Bulletin No. 979, August 2010).

The report includes a brief background on TSCA and reporting using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) system as well a discussion of several matters deriving from discussions between industry and EPA concerning certain reporting practices that occurred around the time of the prior reporting period. It also includes summaries and analysis of forest products industry Form U reports for chemicals considered under TSCA to be manufactured at pulp and paper mills. These chemicals include spent pulping liquor; green, white, and pink liquor; calcium carbonate; calcium oxide; crude tall oil, tall oil soap and brine; turpentine; chlorine dioxide; sodium sulfate and bisulfate; sodium chlorate; other bleaching chemicals; starches, combustion ashes, wastewater treatment residuals; and other miscellaneous chemicals manufactured as byproducts or imported into the United States.

Technical Bulletin No. 1033: The Test of Significant Toxicity: Evaluation and Comparison to Existing Statistical Methods Used to Assess Whole Effluent Toxicity Test Data

PDF , Source: Technical Bulletins Published: 01/2016 View Abstract

Abstract: In the U.S., whole effluent toxicity (WET) testing is an integral part of monitoring effluents discharged under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) with standard WET methods and endpoints promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Currently, there are two approved methods to evaluate effluent WET. Hypothesis testing is used to determine the test concentration at which no effect (NOEC) or the lowest effect (LOEC) is observed, while dose-response curve fitting is used to estimate endpoints such as the median lethal concentration (LC50), median effective concentration (EC50), or 25% inhibition concentration (IC25). EPA has recently developed another statistical approach, the Test of Significant Toxicity (TST), to evaluate the results of WET tests. The TST has not been formally adopted through the rule-making process . . . . Using calculated toxicity endpoints (IC25, NOEC/LOEC, and TST) and known permit limits from chronic Ceriodaphnia dubia reproduction WET tests (n=198) from 23 U.S. mills, discrepancies in assessed toxicity between IC25 and TST occurred 15 times with the TST indicating effluent toxicity when the regulated endpoint determined no toxicity. Additionally, assessment of variability in these tests and in 22 reference toxicant tests found variability to be higher for organisms in test concentrations compared to the control. This may contribute to higher error rates using hypothesis testing methods, including the TST, because variation in response within and among test concentrations forms the basis of statistical calculations. Finally, a randomly generated data set of Ceriodaphnia reproduction was used to calculate the probability of failing the TST based on the WET test variance and difference between control and critical concentration means. A summary table and associated calculation spreadsheet were created to assist mills in determining the probability of TST pass/failure based on previous WET test performance.

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