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Glossary of technical terms
    that appear in the LaMPs

Acronyms | Words and definitions

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33 CFR 320-330

Federal regulations which identify Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) general policies to implement Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Part 320 outlines the ACOE's general policies;
Part 321 -- permit regulations for dams and dikes;
Part 322 -- permit regulations for structures;
Part 323 -- permit regulations for dredged materials;
Part 324 -- permit regulations for ocean dumping;
Part 325 -- permit regulations for discharges to navigable waters and wetlands;
Part 326 -- enforcement policies;
Part 327 -- public hearings;
Part 328 -- definition on navigable waters regulations;
Part 330 -- nationwide permit program regulations.

40 CFR

Federal regulations for air, waste, and water-related programs. Water-related regulations include the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), water quality standards, discharges to navigable waters, other discharges, and test procedures. See also "Code of Federal Regulations."


Cadmium is identified in the LaMP as one of 11 pollutants of concern. It is a naturally occurring inorganic substance which is frequently generated as a byproduct from mining and smelting operations. Commercially, it is used for nickel-cadmium batteries.

Canada/Ontario Agreement (COA)

A federal/provincial agreement under which Canadaís obligations to the Canada/U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement are coordinated and implemented. This 1994 agreement lists and defines 50 commitments specific to the restoration, protection, and conservation of the Great Lakes.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA)

A 1988 federal act designed to protect the people and environment of Canada from the effects of toxic substances.


Any substance that is known (or suspected) to cause cancer.

Center for Lake Superior Environmental Studies (CLSES)

The original name for the Lake Superior Research Institute.

Center for Water and the Environment (CWE)

One of three centers within the University of Minnesota's Natural Resources Research Institute. CWE provides basic environmental information essential to safe and sustainable natural resource development.


A cladoceran related to Bythotrephes, which is a zooplankton predator. It is another non-indigenous invasive species poised to enter the Great Lakes.


A type of cladoceran. Helpful in bioassay studies to determine chemical water quality standards for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.

Chemical contaminants

Naturally occurring, anthropogenic, or synthetic chemicals in the air, land, water, fauna, or flora.


Used as a pesticide until banned by the United States in 1983 (except for use in controlling underground termites). Chlordane can accumulate in fish and wildlife tissue and is suspected to be a carcinogen.

Chlorinated Organic Compounds

Organic chemicals that contain PCBs, DDT, chlorinated dioxins and furans, dieldrin, and hexachlorobenzene. Also called organochlorines or chlorinated organics.


The addition of chlorine to water for disinfection. Used in drinking water purification and sewage treatment prior to discharge.


A common, naturally-occurring element. One form of chlorine is a highly poisonous gas that is typically used for water disinfection, sewage treatment, and the manufacture of bleach and other chemicals.

Chlorophyll a

The pigment that makes plants and algae green. Measurement of chlorophyll a is used to determine the quantity of algae in the water.


One of 11 pollutants of concern, chromium is a naturally occurring inorganic substance. It also has many uses in industry, such as in steel making and metal finishing. It is also used in lining industrial furnaces, the manufacture of dyes and pigments, leather tanning, and wood preserving.

Chronic Test

A comparative study in which organisms are subjected to different treatments and observed for a long period or a substantial portion of their life span.

Chronic Toxicity

A harmful and delayed response (such as death, unusual growth, reduced reproduction, or disorientation) to a chemical that causes adverse effects over a long period of time relative to an organismís natural life span. In standard laboratory tests an effect observed in 96 hours or more is considered a chronic effect. See also "toxicity test."

Cladocerans / Copepods

Zooplankton that together make up a major component of the zooplanktonic community. They live in the water column and eat phytoplankton, serving as a link between plants and fish.


A long filamentous type of green algae that attaches to hard surfaces, particularly near the shoreline. Abundant growth is an indicator of phosphorous enrichment.

Clean Air Act (CAA)

Federal law originally passed in 1970 for the purpose of protecting and enhancing the quality of the nationís air resources. See also "Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990."

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA)

Federal legislation passed in 1990 that amended the Clean Air Act. It resulted in major changes further limiting the generation of air pollution in the United States. Significant sections of the 1990 CAAA include:
Title I - National Ambient Air Quality Standards;
Title II - Mobile Sources (such as automobiles);
Title III - Air Toxics;
Title IV - Acid Rain;
Title V - Permit Program; and
Title VI - Ozone-depleting Chemicals.

Clean Water Act (CWA)

Public Law 92-500. The United States federal law that set national policy for improving and protecting the quality of the Nation's waters. The law set a timetable for cleanup of the Nation's waters and stated they are to be fishable and swimmable. It also required all pollutant dischargers to obtain a permit and meet the conditions of the permit. To accomplish this pollution cleanup, billions of dollars have been made available to help communities pay the cost of building sewage treatment facilities. The Clean Water Act was amended in 1977, 1981, and 1989. The CWA is divided into six subchapters:
Subchapter I - Research and Related Programs;
Subchapter II - Grants for Construction of Treatment Works;
Subchapter III - Standards and Enforcement;
Subchapter IV - Permits and Licenses;
Subchapter V - General Provisions; and
Subchapter VI - State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund

Clean Water Act Reauthorization (CWAR)

The name for a federal legislative process to amend the Clean Water Act. It is anticipated that the CWA will be reauthorized in the mid- to late-1990s.


Waters in the Great Lakes basin, coastal waters are defined in the Coastal Zone Management Act as the waters within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, consisting of the Great Lakes, their connecting waters, harbors, roadsteads, and estuary-type areas such as bays, shallows, and marshes. See also "Coastal Zone Management Act."

Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990 (CZARA)

Federal legislation reauthorized by Congress in 1990, resulting in states being asked to combat the problems of coastal water quality, specifically nonpoint source pollution. CZARA also encourages states to tackle issues such as wetland loss, cumulative and secondary impacts of growth, increased threats to life and property from coastal hazards, and dwindling opportunities for public access to the shoreline. See also "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration" and "U.S. EPA."

Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA)

A federal law enacted in 1972 to deal with increasing stresses on the nationís coastal areas including the Great Lakes. Administered by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the CZMA provides money, technical help, and policy guidance to states for balancing conservation and development of coastal resources. Under CZMA, states voluntarily develop their own Coastal Zone Management programs. See also "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

Federal regulations on how to implement federal law.

Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO)

A pipe that, during storms, discharges untreated wastewater from a sewer system that carries both sanitary wastewater and stormwater. The overflow occurs because the system does not have the capacity to transport and treat the increased flow caused by stormwater runoff. Also refers to the outfall structures themselves.

Comparative Risk Analysis

A procedure for ranking environmental problems by their seriousness (relative risk) for the purpose of assigning program priorities. Typically, teams of experts put together a list of problems, sort the problems by types of risk, then rank them by measuring them against standards, such as the severity of effects, the likelihood of the problem occurring among those exposed, the number of people exposed, and the like. Relative risk is then used to set priorities. See also "risk assessment," "risk management," and "ecological risk assessment."

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Superfund

A federal law, better known as Superfund, enacted in 1980 to give the EPA authority and money to take corrective measures and clean up hazardous waste sites. The 1986 Superfund Amendment Reauthorization Act (SARA) outlined preferred cleanup methods, including permanent on-site treatment.

Confined disposal facility (CDF)

A facility built specifically for the disposal of dredged sediment. Often referred to by the acronym CDF.

Consumption advisory

A health warning issued by a public agency recommending that people limit their eating fish or wildlife from certain areas based on the levels of toxic contaminants found in tissues.


Copper is a naturally occurring inorganic substance which is extensively mined and processed in the U.S. It is a pollutant of concern in Lake Michigan. Copper compounds are most commonly used in agriculture to treat plant diseases, for water treatment, and as a wood, leather, and fabric preservative.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

The determination of how much it will cost to achieve a benefit, for example from pollution control, and the comparison of this amount to the cost of obtaining a higher or lower level of the benefit, or the cost of using some other alternative method.

Council of Great Lakes Governors (CGLG)

An organization comprised of the governors of the eight Great Lakes States who declared their shared intention to manage and protect the water resources of the Great Lakes basin through the Great Lakes Charter and the Great Lakes Toxic Substances Control Agreement.

Council of Great Lakes Industries (CGLI)

An organization that represents businesses with significant investments, facilities, products, and/or services in the Great Lakes basin, including manufacturing, utilities, telecommunications, transportation, financial, and trade. CGLI provides a focal point for offering industryís views and resources. It strengthens regional efforts to integrate social, economic, and environmental issues as a way to build a more vital Great Lakes basin.

Council of Great Lakes Research Managers

A binational advisory group to the International Joint Commission to evaluate the status of Great Lakes research.

County Water Plan

Also called Comprehensive Water Management Plans. These plans are developed by Minnesota counties to identify water resource problems and provide sound planning to prevent future problems. A bill was passed by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1985 encouraging counties to develop and implement County Water Plans.

Criteria Pollutants

A group of air and water pollutants regulated by the EPA under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act on the basis of criteria that includes information on health and environmental effects. Criteria pollutants include particulates, some metals, organic compounds, and other substances attributable to discharges.

Critical contaminants / pollutants

Substances that persist in Great Lakes waters and bioaccumulate in organisms living in or near the lake at levels that cause or are likely to cause impairment of beneficial uses. Chemicals that persist at levels that are causing or could cause impairment of beneficial uses lakewide.


One of 11 pollutants of concern, cyanide is a naturally occurring inorganic substance with many industrial uses. The major cyanide users are the steel, electroplating, mining, and chemical industries.

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