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  • ACWA Stormwater Summit

    Assessing and Reducing Emerging Toxic Contaminants in Urban Waters

    May 9th, 2018Eugene, OR

    Kevin Masterson | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

  • Evaluating emerging toxics in urban waters and stormwater What does monitoring data tell us? Whats missing?

    Pollution Prevention Strategies for Emerging Toxic Contaminants Current Use Pesticides Phthalates Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Flame Retardants Taking an Integrated Approach to Toxics Reduction


  • What Are Emerging Toxic Contaminants?

    Chemicals we use in our everyday lives that are present in the environment and associated with sources such as municipal wastewater treatment plants, runoff from agricultural and urban land surfaces, and septic systems (

    Industrially produced, but much of the dispersal into the environment is through domestic sources

    Many are unregulated as pollutants, or subject to limited regulation

  • Between 2008-13 surface waters throughout Oregon monitored for over 500 unique toxic chemicals

    128 chemicals were detected The Willamette Basin had the largest

    variety of chemicals detected

    DEQ Statewide Toxics Monitoring

  • Oregon DEQ Statewide Toxics Surface Water Monitoring:Percent of Sites with Detections by Chemical Group

    From: Statewide Water Quality Toxics Assessment Report, April 2015, Oregon DEQ

    * Asterisks indicate chemical groups analyzed at sites sampled during 2012-2013.

  • 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80






    # of Unique Chemicals



    t Lan

    d U

    se T



    Industrial Chemicals

    Current-Use Pesticides

    Consumer Products Constituents

    Combustion By-Products


    Oregon Surface Water Toxics Monitoring:Number of Unique Chemicals Detected by Land Use

    From: Statewide Water Quality Toxics Assessment Report, April 2015, Oregon DEQ

  • * From: Reconnaissance of Contaminants in Selected Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent and Stormwater Runoff Entering the Columbia River, Columbia River Basin, Washington and Oregon, 200810, Morace,

    USGS Stormwater Monitoring 2008-10 Columbia Basin Stormwater

    Monitoring Study* 12 of 13 flame retardants analyzed were

    detected in stormwater 38 of 93 pesticides analyzed were detected Triclosan also detected (antibacterial soap


  • USGS Lower Columbia Monitoring Passive Sampling of Emerging Contaminants*

    Devices deployed at 11 locations Plasticizers (e.g., phthalates) found at all sites Personal Care Products found at most sites More chemicals & higher concentrations found at

    locations with greater urbanization Stream Sediment Monitoring of Contaminants**

    At least one endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) detected at 21 of 23 sites

    Several EDCs detected in sediment at most sites, including personal care products, fragrances & drugs

    * From: Spatial and Temporal Trends in Occurrence of Emerging and Legacy Contaminants in the Lower Columbia River 20082010, Nilsen,

    ** From: Reconnaissance of Pharmaceuticals and Wastewater Indicators in Streambed Sediments of the Lower Columbia River Basin, Oregon and Washington, Nilsen,, 2014

  • Oregon Municipal Pesticide Stormwater & UIC Monitoring Data

    2012-15 Data from Municipalities Assessed by DEQ

    Most frequently detected current use pesticides: Pentachlorophenol (wood preservative) 2,4-D, dichloroprop, dalapon, 3,5-dichlorobenzoic

    acid, diuron, dicamba (all herbicides) Propiconozole (fungicide)

    Current use pesticides exceeding benchmarks -aquatic life or human health:

    Pentachlorphenol Bifenthrin and Fipronil (insecticides) 2,4-D

  • DEQ Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Urban Surface Water Data

    Multi-use herbicides (e.g., Diuron, 2,4-D) are the most frequently detected in urban waters Also a significant number of detects of Carbaryl (insecticide) and Propiconozole (fungicide)

  • DEQ Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Urban Surface Water Data

    The pesticides exceeding benchmarks most frequently are insecticides, some of which are no longer registered for homeowner use

    Multiple herbicide detections over or close to benchmarks, but most herbicide detections are below 50% of a benchmark

  • 4C : Very High Concern (POC)

    3C : Mod-High Concern


    2C : Moderate Concern


    1C : Low Concern>30% (Level C)

    4B : High Concern


    3B : Moderate Concern

    - Watch List

    2B : Moderate Concern

    1B : Low Concern11 - 30%

    (Level B)

    4A: Mod-High Concern (POC)

    3A: Moderate Concern

    2A:Low Concern

    1A : Low Concern0 - 10%

    (Level A)

    >100% (Level 4)*

    > 50% (Level 3)*

    20 - 50% (Level 2)

    0 - 20% (Level 1)

    Detection as % of Reference Concentration

    Decision Matrix Based on Water Monitoring DataDetected concentration relative to a reference concentration,

    Frequency of detection, and Trend Over Time

    * Actions @ levels 3 & 4 if detected 2 out of 3 years of monitoring

  • Emerging Toxics in Water:Data Gaps

    No in-stream criteria or non-regulatory benchmarks for most emerging toxics, including Flame Retardants and PFAS

    Flame retardants (FRs) Almost all monitoring focused on PBDEs (now legacy)

    Many other halogenated FRs in commerce DEQ added two new FRs to lab analyses in 2017 and

    recorded 12 detections in water Phthalates

    Not generally monitored in stormwater Geographically uneven data set

  • Emerging Toxics in Water:Data Gaps

    Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) OR and WA working on developing lab methods no data Groundwater detections in other states (NY, MN, MI, NC)

    above EPA drinking water advisory levels

    Current Use Pesticides Oregon has robust data set. but only 130 out of 900+

    registered active ingredients are included in lab analyses

  • Emerging Toxics: Sources and Pollution Prevention Options

    Current Use Pesticides Phthalates Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances

    (PFAS) Flame Retardants (FRs)

  • Pollution Prevention Hierarchy Capture and treatment of pollutants is often necessary, but source reduction preferred

  • Chemical Management Strategies

    Materials Production Processes



  • Common Uses & Sources of Current Use Pesticides

    Uses include: residential, rights-of-way, agriculture, forestry, golf courses, parks and more

  • Non-Point Sources

    Wide area Drift Runoff Leaching

    Point Sources

    1-2 locations Disposal sites Wells, sinkholes Storm drains

    Pesticide Movement in the EnvironmentThe Source is Often Hard to Trace

    Multiple Routes of Entry

  • Current Use Pesticide Reduction Activities and Opportunities

    Integrated Pest Management Biological controls (e.g., beneficial insects) Mechanical controls (e.g., weed flame burner) Physical controls (e.g., mulches covering soil) Cultural practices (e.g., soil improvement, pruning)

    Pesticide Risk Reduction Improved sprayer efficiency Drift reduction methods Lower toxicity chemistry Using weather and pest data totime applications to reduce losses

    Spray patternator ensures droplets make it to target crop

  • Outreach to industrial landownerson this fungicide concern

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic building and electrical materials

    Personal care products Plastic toys


    Vinyl flooring

    Common Uses & Sources of Phthalates

  • Phthalate Reduction Activities and Opportunities

    Third Party Certifications are increasingly limiting phthalate use On various Restricted Substance Lists

    e.g., Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive for electrical components (European Union)

    Alternatives to phthalates exist, but guidance is necessary to help manufacturers avoid regrettable substitutions

    8 phthalates on list of 66 chemicals that must be reported by kids product manufacturers under Oregon Toxics Free Kids Act

  • Examples of Phthalate Reduction and Substitution Initiatives

    Health Care Without Harm ( Reducing DEHP in PVC plastic used in hospital medical devices

    Healthy Building Networks Pharos Project Report on Phthalate-Free Plasticizers in PVC

    Personal Care Product Initiatives E.g., Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Environmental Defense

    Fund, State Organizations

    WA Ecology contracting to conduct Phthalate Alternatives Assessments Focusing on 6 phthalates regulated by Clean Water Act, and

    which are a concern to Puget Sound

  • Phthalate Reduction and Substitution

    What can individual consumers do? When possible, opt for glass, porcelain or stainless