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WAC 173-204-315

Confirmatory marine sediment biological tests.

(1) The following five acute and chronic effects biological tests shall be used to confirm designation of Puget Sound marine sediments using the procedures described in WAC 173-204-310(2). Use of alternate biological tests shall be subject to the review and approval of the department using the procedures of WAC 173-204-130(4).
(a) Acute effects tests.
(i) Amphipod: Ten-day mortality sediment bioassay for the Amphipod, i.e., Rhepoxynius abronius, Ampelisca abdita, or Eohaustorius estuarius.
(ii) Larval: Any one of the following mortality/abnormality sediment bioassays:
(A) Crassostrea gigas, i.e., Pacific oyster;
(B) Mytilus (edulis) galloprovincialis, i.e., Blue mussel;
(C) Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, i.e., Purple sea urchin;
(D) Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, i.e., Green sea urchin; or
(E) Dendraster excentricus, i.e., Sand dollar.
(b) Chronic effects tests.
(i) Benthic infaunal abundance: Abundance of the following major taxa: Class Crustacea, Class Polychaeta, and Phylum Mollusca.
(ii) Juvenile polychaete: Twenty-day growth rate of the juvenile polychaete Neanthes arenaceodentata; or
(iii) Microtox saline extract: Decreased luminescence from the bacteria Vibrio fisheri after a fifteen minute exposure.
(2) Performance standards for control and reference sediment biological test results. The biological tests of this section shall not be considered valid unless test results for the appropriate control and reference sediments meet the performance standards of (a) through (e) of this subsection. The department may reject the results of a reference sediment biological test based on unacceptably high variability.
(a) Amphipod: The control sediment shall have less than ten percent mortality over the test period. The reference sediment shall have less than twenty-five percent mortality.
(b) Larval: The seawater control sample shall have less than thirty percent combined abnormality and mortality (i.e., a seventy percent normal survivorship at time-final).
(c) Benthic abundance: The reference benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage shall be representative of areas of Puget Sound removed from significant sources of contaminants, and to the extent possible shall have the following characteristics:
(i) The taxonomic richness of benthic macroinvertebrates and the abundances of higher taxonomic groups shall reflect seasonality and natural physical-chemical conditions (e.g., grain size composition and salinity of sediments, water depth) in a reference area, and not be obviously depressed as a result of chemical toxicity;
(ii) Normally abundant species that are known to be sensitive to chemical contaminants shall be present;
(iii) Normally rare species that are known to become abundant only under chemically disturbed conditions shall be rare or absent; and
(iv) The abundances of normally rare species that control community structure through physical modification of the sediment shall be similar to those observed at the test sediment site.
(d) Juvenile polychaete: The control sediment shall have less than ten percent mortality and mean individual growth of ≥ 0.72 mg/ind/day per dry weight basis. The reference sediment shall have a mean individual growth rate which is at least eighty percent of the mean individual growth rate found in the control sediment. Control sediments exhibiting growth below 0.72 mg/ind/day may be approved by the department on a case-by-case basis.
(e) Microtox: Reserved: The department shall determine performance standards on a case-by-case basis as necessary to meet the intent of this chapter.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 90.48.220. WSR 96-02-058, § 173-204-315, filed 12/29/95, effective 1/29/96. Statutory Authority: Chapters 43.21C, 70.105D, 90.48, 90.52, 90.54 and 90.70 RCW. WSR 91-08-019 (Order 90-41), § 173-204-315, filed 3/27/91, effective 4/27/91.]
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