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E-M:/ Fish advisory information from US EPA



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Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com
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Fish advisory report from US EPA (includes references 
to Michigan fish advisories.


================
 United States
 Environmental Protection      Office of Water    EPA-823-97-007
 Agency                        Mail Code 4305     June 1997
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[Image] Fact Sheet

               Update: Listing of Fish and Wildlife Advisories

Summary

The 1996 update for the database, Listing of Fish and Wildlife Advisories
(LFWA), is now available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA). This database includes all available information describing state-,
tribal-, and federally issued fish consumption advisories in the United
States for the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and four U.S.
Territories, and has been expanded to include the 12 Canadian provinces and
territories. The database contains information provided to EPA by the
states, tribes, and Canada as of December 1996. This includes advisories
issued by several Native American tribes. The number of advisories in the
U.S. rose by 453 in 1996 to a total of 2,193, representing a 26% increase
over 1995. The number of waterbodies under advisory represents 15% of the
Nation's total lake acres and 5% of the Nation's total river miles. In
addition, 100% of the Great Lakes waters and their connecting waters and a
large portion of the Nation's coastal waters are also under advisory. The
number of advisories in the U.S. increased for four major contaminants
(mercury, PCBs, chlordane, and DDT).

In 1996, the U.S. EPA contacted health officials in Canada in an effort to
identify fish consumption advisories in effect. In Canada, a total of 2,617
advisories were in effect in 1996. All of the Canadian advisories resulted
from contamination from five pollutants: mercury, PCBs, dioxin/furans,
toxaphene, and mirex. Ninety-six percent of all the advisories resulted from
mercury contamination in fish tissues. In addition, 87% of the advisories
were issued by the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Background

The states and the four U.S. Territories and Native American tribes
(hereafter referred to as states) have primary responsibility for protecting
their residents from the health risks of consuming contaminated
noncommercially caught fish and wildlife. They do this by issuing
consumption advisories for the general population, including recreational
and subsistence fishers, as well as for sensitive subpopulations (such as
pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children). These advisories inform the
public that high concentrations of chemical contaminants (e.g., mercury and
dioxins) have been found in local fish and wildlife. The advisories include
recommendations to limit or avoid consumption of certain fish and wildlife
species from specific waterbodies or, in some cases, from specific waterbody
types (e.g., all lakes). Similarly, in Canada, the provinces and territories
have primary responsibility for issuing fish consumption advisories.

States typically issue five major types of advisories and bans to protect
both the general population and specific subpopulations (usually pregnant
women, nursing mothers, and young children). When levels of chemical
contamination pose a health risk to the general public, states may issue a
no consumption advisory for the general population (NCGP). When contaminant
levels pose a health risk to sensitive subpopulations, states may issue a no
consumption advisory for the sensitive subpopulation (NCSP). In waterbodies
where chemical contamination is less severe, states may issue an advisory
recommending that either the general population (RGP) or a sensitive
subpopulation (RSP) restrict their consumption of specific species for which
the advisory is issued. The fifth type of state-issued advisory is the
commercial fishing ban (CFB), which prohibits the commercial harvest and
sale of fish, shellfish, and/or wildlife species from a designated waterbody
and, by inference, the consumption of all species identified in the fishing
ban from that waterbody. As shown in Table 1, all types of advisories
increased in number from 1993 to 1996.

                                   [Image]

Advisories in Effect

The database includes information on

   + Species and size range of fish and/or wildlife
   + Chemical contaminants identified in the advisory
   + Geographic location of each advisory (including landmarks, river miles,
     or latitude and longitude coordinates of the affected waterbody)
   + Lake acreage or river miles under advisory
   + Date the advisory was issued
   + Percentage of waters assessed by states for fish advisories.

The 1994, 1995, and the new 1996 versions of the LFWA database can generate
national, regional, and state maps that illustrate any combination of these
advisory parameters. In addition, the 1996 database can provide information
on the percentage of waterbodies in each state that is currently under an
advisory and the percentage of waters assessed. The name of each state
contact, a phone number, and FAX number are also provided so that users can
obtain additional information concerning specific advisories. Comparable
advisory data and contacts for 1996 are provided for each Canadian province
or territory.

Advisory Trends

The number of waterbodies in the U.S. under advisory reported in 1996
(2,193) represents a 26% increase from the number reported in 1995 (1,740
advisories) and a 72% increase from the number of advisories issued since
1993 (1,278 advisories). The increase in advisories issued by the states
generally reflects an increase in the number of assessments of the levels of
chemical contaminants in fish and wildlife tissues. These additional
assessments were conducted as a result of the increased awareness of health
risks associated with the consumption of chemically contaminated fish and
wildlife. Figure 1 shows the number of advisories currently in effect for
each state and the increase or decrease in the number of advisories since
1995. The number of advisories decreases if states determine that monitored
concentrations of chemical contaminants in fish or wildlife tissues have
decreased and no longer pose a risk to human health.

                                   [Image]

Bioaccumulative Pollutants

Although advisories in the U.S. have been issued for a total of 45 chemical
contaminants, most advisories issued have involved five primary
contaminants. These chemical contaminants are biologically accumulated in
the tissues of aquatic organisms at concentrations many times higher than
concentrations in the water. In addition, these chemical contaminants
persist in sediments for relatively long periods where they can be
accumulated by bottom-dwelling animals and passed up the food chain to fish.
Concentrations of these contaminants in the tissues of aquatic organisms may
be increased at each successive level of the food chain. As a result, top
predators in a food chain, such as trout, salmon, or walleye, may have
concentrations of these chemicals in their fatty tissues that can be a
million times higher than the concentrations in water. Mercury, PCBs,
chlordane, dioxins, and DDT (and its degradation products DDE and DDD) were
responsible for almost 95% of all fish consumption advisories in effect in
1996. This pattern was also seen in the 1993, 1994, and 1995 databases (see
Figure 2).

                                   [Image]

Mercury

Advisories for mercury increased 28% from 1995 to 1996 (1,308 to 1,675) and
increased 86% from 1993 to 1996 (899 to 1,675). The number of states that
have issued mercury advisories also has risen steadily from 27 to 34 to 35
to 38 in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996, respectively. The rise in the number of
mercury advisories in 1996 can be attributed primarily to issuance of new
mercury advisories in 12 states. The majority (89%) of these new advisories,
however, were issued in four states: Wisconsin (153), including 99 by the
Chippewa Tribes, Indiana (108), Minnesota (50), and Massachusetts (17).

It should also be noted that nine states (Connecticut, Florida, Indiana,
Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont) have
issued statewide advisories for mercury in certain waterbody types (e.g.,
lakes). To date, 90% of the 1,675 mercury advisories in effect have been
issued by the following 10 states: Minnesota (693), Wisconsin (389), Indiana
(116), Florida (94), Michigan (41), North Dakota (35), Massachusetts (34),
New Jersey (30), New Mexico (26), South Carolina (24), and Georgia (23).

PCBs

Similarly, advisories for PCBs increased 41% from 1995 to 1996 (438 to 616)
and increased 93% from 1993 to 1996 (319 to 616). The number of states that
have issued PCB advisories increased only slightly from 31 to 35 states from
1993 to 1994 and then declined to 34 states in 1995. The rise in the number
of advisories for PCBs in 1996 (178) can be attributed to the issuance of
new advisories by nine states. The majority (87%) of these 178 new
advisories, however, were issued by three states: Indiana (114), Wisconsin
(28), and Minnesota (12). To date, 84% of the 616 PCB advisories have been
issued by 11 states: Indiana (134), Minnesota (125), Michigan (52),
Wisconsin (52), New York (49), Georgia (21), Nebraska (19), Ohio (21),
Pennsylvania (18), Massachusetts (17), and New Jersey (12). Seven states
(Connecticut, District of Columbia, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York,
and Rhode Island) have issued statewide advisories for PCBs, including three
for marine waters. Only two of these statewide PCB advisories (District of
Columbia and Rhode Island) are for PCBs only, however.

Other Pollutants

The total number of advisories for chlordane and DDT (and its degradation
products) increased negligibly <1% and 3% from 1995 to 1996, respectively.
The total number of advisories for dioxins was 54 in 1993, then rose to 63
in 1994, held steady at 63 in 1995, and declined to 60 advisories in 1996.
Dioxins are one of several chemical contaminants for which advisories have
been rescinded by some states, in part because many pulp and paper mills
have changed their processes.

Wildlife Advisories

In addition to advisories for fish and shellfish, the database also contains
several wildlife advisories. Four states have issued consumption advisories
for turtles: Arizona (3), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (5), and New York
(statewide advisory). One state (Massachusetts) has an advisory for frogs,
New York has a statewide advisory for waterfowl (mergansers), and Arkansas
recently issued an advisory for woodducks. Maine issued a statewide advisory
for moose liver and kidneys due to cadmium levels.

1996 Advisory Listing

The 1996 database lists 2,193 advisories in 47 states, the District of
Columbia, and the U.S. Territory of American Samoa. Some of these advisories
represent statewide advisories for certain types of waterbodies (e.g.,
lakes). An advisory may represent one waterbody or one type of waterbody
within a state's jurisdiction. Statewide advisories are counted as one
advisory. The database counts one advisory for each waterbody name or type
of waterbody regardless of the number of fish or wildlife species that are
affected or the number of chemical contaminants detected at concentrations
of human health concern. Thirteen states (Florida, Connecticut, Indiana,
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Michigan,
Missouri, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia) currently
have statewide advisories in effect. A statewide advisory is issued to warn
the public of the potential for widespread contamination of certain species
of fish in certain types of waterbodies (e.g., lakes or coastal marine
waters). In such a case, the state may have found a level of contamination
of a specific pollutant in a particular fish species over a relatively wide
geographic area that warrants advising the public of the situation.

The 13 statewide advisories and 2,193 specifically named waterbodies
represent approximately 15% of the Nation's total lake acreage and 5% of the
Nation's total river miles. In addition, 100% of the Great Lakes waters and
their connecting waters and a large portion of the Nation's coastal waters
are also under advisory. The Great Lakes waters are considered separately
from other lakes, and their connecting waters are considered separately from
other river miles. The percentages of lake acres and river miles in each
state that are currently under a fish advisory are shown in Figures 3 and 4,
respectively.

                                   [Image]

                                   [Image]

Summary of Canadian Advisories

Beginning in 1996, the U.S. EPA contacted health and environmental officials
in the 12 Canadian provinces and territories to obtain narrative and
geographic information systems (GIS) information on advisories throughout
Canada. The number of Canadian advisories in effect in 1996 was 2,617. This
includes one provincewide advisory for mercury for Nova Scotia. Figure 5
shows the number of waterbodies under advisory for each of the Canadian
provinces. Ontario and Quebec reported the highest number of advisories,
1,552 and 712, respectively. Based on all the advisories reported, 87% were
issued for waterbodies in these two provinces. With respect to chemical
contaminants, advisories in Canada have been issued for a total of five
bioaccumulative chemical contaminants including mercury, PCBs,
dioxins/furans, toxaphene, and mirex. More than 96% of all Canadian
advisories have been issued for mercury.

                                   [Image]

Database Use and Access

The database was developed by EPA to help federal, state, local government
agencies, and Native American tribes assess the potential for human health
risks associated with consumption of chemical contaminants in
noncommercially caught fish and wildlife. The data contained in this
database may also be used by the general public to make informed decisions
about the waterbodies in which they choose to fish or harvest wildlife; the
frequency with which they fish these waterbodies; the species, size, and
number of fish they collect; and the frequency with which they consume fish
from specific waterbodies.

The 1996 version of the Listing of Fish and Wildlife Advisories is PC-based
and is available to the public free of charge on both 3.5-inch diskettes
(EPA document number EPA-823-C-97-004) and CD-ROM (EPA document number
EPA-823-C-97-005). For copies of the diskettes or CD-ROM, contact:

     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     National Center for Environmental Publications and Information
     11029 Kenwood Road
     Cincinnati, Ohio 45242
     (513-489-8190).

EPA will make this 1996 update of the LFWA database available for
downloading from the Internet through the following URL:

     http:// www.epa.gov/OST

In addition, the LFWA database is available for on-line viewing at the
following URL:

     http://www.epa.gov/surf/surf_search.html

For further information on specific advisories within a particular state,
contact the appropriate state agency contact given in the database. For
further information on Canadian advisories, contact the appropriate
provincial contact given in the database.

For more information concerning the National Fish Contamination Program,
contact:

     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     Office of Science and Technology
     401 M Street SW
     Washington, DC 20460
     U.S. EPA contact: Jeffrey Bigler
     Phone (202-260-1305) FAX (202-260-9830).

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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)


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