For several years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been collecting occurrence data for a highly diverse set of contaminants, including pharmaceuticals and personal care products, flame retardants, and industrial chemicals. Many of these contaminants are present in the aquatic environment across all of Minnesota.
These contaminants may have a variety of adverse impacts on aquatic life, including the ability to disrupt the endocrine system or other biological systems. Toxicity data and regulatory or screening values for many of these contaminants do not exist. In the past, it was very difficult for us to put our monitoring data into context.
We have developed new methods — the Aquatic Toxicity Profile (ATP) — to help us understand how the contaminants we have found in the environment might be impacting ecological health. ATPs use a weight-of-evidence approach to gain a broad understanding of the potential impacts of specific contaminants in the aquatic environment. Minnesota’s Aquatic Toxicity profiles (wq-cec2-02)
ATPs differ from the traditional approach used to set regulations in many ways. The ATP is a non-regulatory screening tool that uses the precautionary principle. In other words, this is a conservative approach.
ATPs will help us prioritize contaminants for monitoring, plan more effective and targeted monitoring studies, identify contaminants that may be good candidates for water quality standards, determine which contaminants would be good candidates for pollution prevention efforts, and communicate risk to the public.
As we complete ATPs for individual contaminants we will post them to this site. Each ATP consists of two parts:
- a worksheet containing all the technical information used to determine the priority — or level of concern — of each contaminant.
- a summary profile that gives a brief but complete overview of the concerns related to each contaminant.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
National Park Service
National Park Service 2013 (see Table B-1)