Integration of Risk and Ecology into Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Life
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The demand for increased consideration of ecology has been an important driver of developments in ecotoxicology, a field that originally relied more heavily on the principles of human toxicology. However, translating these developments into policy-level applications has been hindered by a lack of formalized acceptance and guidance. This study analyzes the potential for applying advances in ecotoxicology and risk assessment to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s process for developing water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life. The current status of ecology in this process is assessed and suggestions for further integration of ecological principles are provided. By increasing consideration of ecology in the criteria development process, water quality criteria will be more realistic and achieve optimum protection of aquatic ecosystems.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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