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Publications: 2015

Papers & ReportsHome and Personal Care Products, Human Pharmaceuticals, Water/Wastewater Assessments2015

A framework for screening sites at risk from contaminants of emerging concern

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Trace levels of a variety of currently unregulated organic chemicals have been detected in treated wastewater effluents and surface waters that receive treated effluents. Many of these chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) originate from pharmaceuticals and personal care products that are used widely and that frequently are transported “down the drain” to a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Actual effects of CECs on aquatic life have been difficult to document, although biological effects consistent with effects of some CECs have been noted. There is a critical need to find appropriate ways to screen wastewater sites that have the greatest potential of CEC risk to biota. Building on the work of several researchers, the authors present a screening framework, as well as examples based on the framework, designed to identify high‐risk versus lower‐risk sites that are influenced by WWTP effluent. It is hoped that this framework can help researchers, utilities, and the larger water resource community focus efforts toward improving CEC risk determinations and management of these risks.

Diamond, J., Munkittrick, K., Kapo, K.E., Flippin, J. (2015), A framework for screening sites at risk from contaminants of emerging concern. Environ Toxicol Chem. 34: 2671-2681. doi:10.1002/etc.3177

Papers & ReportsCrop Protection2015

Effects of formulation on transport of pyrethroids in residential settings

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Washoff of 17 pyrethroid products resulting from a 1-h, 25.4-mm rainfall occurring 24 h after application was measured in indoor studies with concrete slabs. These products included different pyrethroid active ingredients and a range of formulation types. Based on this replicated study, 5 product pairs with contrasting washoff behaviors were chosen for an outdoor study using 6 full-scale house fronts in central California. Products in 4 of these pairs were applied once to different rectangular areas on the driveway (1 product in each pair to 3 house lots and the other to the remaining 3 house lots). The products in the fifth pair were applied 3 times at 2-mo intervals to vertical stucco walls above the driveway. All house lots received natural and simulated rainfall over 7 mo. Indoor studies showed differences up to 170-fold between paired products, whereas the maximum difference between paired products in the field was only 5-fold. In the pair applied to the wall, 1 product had 91 times the washoff of the other in the indoor study, whereas in the field the same product had 15% lower washoff. These results show that, although the formulation may influence washoff under actual use conditions, its influence is complex and not always as predicted by indoor experiments. Because the formulation also affects insect control, washoff research needs to be conducted together with efficacy testing. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:340–347. © 2015 The Authors. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.

Jones, R. L., Trask, J. R., Hendley, P., Cox, M. J., Chepega, J. C., Harbourt, C. M. and Davidson, P. C. (2016), Effects of formulation on transport of pyrethroids in residential settings. Environ Toxicol Chem, 35: 340–347. doi:10.1002/etc.3188

Papers & ReportsCrop Protection2015

Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling: Spatial and Temporal Considerations

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Hydrologic and water quality models are used to help manage water resources by investigating the effects of climate, land use, land management, and water management on water resources. Water-related issues are investigated over a range of scales, i.e., the extent and resolution of the spatial and temporal contexts, which can vary spatially from point to watershed and temporally from seconds to centuries. In addition, models’ formulations may place scale restrictions on their use. In 2012, ASABE published a collection of 22 articles on the calibration, validation, and use of 25 hydrologic and water quality models. Each article detailed the process to follow and the issues that could arise during calibration or application of a specific model. The objective of this article is to synthesize those articles with regard to common spatial and temporal scale principles that should guide selecting, parameterizing, and calibrating a hydrologic model. This article describes how the spatio-temporal extent and resolution of a model application should relate to the modeling objectives, the processes simulated, the parameterization and calibration process, data available for parameterization and calibration, and interpretation of results. Overall, the intended scale of the model should match the scale of the processes that need to be simulated given the modeling objectives, the scale of input and calibration data should be compatible with the scale of the model and with the objectives of the study, and the model should be calibrated at the scale at which the results will be analyzed and interpreted.

Baffaut, C.,  S.M. Dabney, M. Smolen, M.A. Youssef, J.V. Bonta, M.L. Chu, J.A. Guzman, V. Shedekar, M. K. Jha, and J.G. Arnold. Hydrologic and water quality modeling: spatial and temporal considerations. T. ASABE 58(6): 1661-1680

Papers & ReportsCrop Protection2015

Uncertainty Considerations in Calibration and Validation of Hydrologic and Water Quality Models

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Hydrologic and water quality (H/WQ) models are widely used to support site-specific environmental assessment, design, planning, and decision making. Calibration and validation (C/V) are fundamental processes used to demonstrate that an H/WQ model can produce suitable results in a particular application. However, the lack of comprehensive guidelines has led to the use of ad hoc, inconsistent, and incomplete C/V processes, which have made it difficult to interpret the myriad of published modeling studies, reduced the utility of many modeling applications, and slowed the advancement of H/WQ modeling. The objective of this article is to provide a generalized structure and process to assist modelers in developing a C/V strategy for H/WQ modeling applications. These best practice recommendations were developed based on an expansive review of the modeling literature, including a special collection of articles on H/WQ model calibration, validation, and use, as well as extensive discussion and debate among the authors. The model C/V recommendations include careful consideration, execution, and documentation of the following elements: (1) goals of model use, (2) data and parameters used in C/V, and (3) model C/V processes. Considerations in element 3 include the warm-up period, C/V strategy complexity, C/V process staging, spatiotemporal allocation of C/V comparison data, manual vs. automatic C/V, and additional diagnostics. Notable examples from the literature are provided for each strategy element. The comprehensive C/V strategy described herein will allow for better interpretation of future modeling studies, improved utility of modeling applications, and more systematic advancement of H/WQ models.

Guzman, J.A.,  A. Shirmohammadi, A. Sadeghi, X. Wang, M.L. Chu, M.K. Jha, P. Parajuli, D. Harmel, Y. Khare, and J. Hernandez. Uncertainty considerations in calibration and validation of hydrologic and water quality models. T. ASABE 58(6): 1745-1762

Papers & ReportsCrop Protection2015

Hydrologic and Water Quality Models: Key Calibration and Validation Topics

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As a continuation of efforts to provide a common background and platform for development of calibration and validation (C/V) guidelines for hydrologic and water quality (H/WQ) modeling, ASABE members worked to determine critical topics related to model C/V, perform a synthesis of a previously published special collection of articles and other relevant literature, and provide topic-specific recommendations based on the synthesis as well as personal modeling expertise. This article introduces a special collection of nine research articles covering key topics related to calibration and validation of H/WQ models. The topics include: terminology, hydrologic processes and model representation, spatial and temporal scales, model parameterization, C/V strategies, sensitivity, uncertainty, performance measures and criteria, and documentation and reporting. The main objective of this introductory article is to introduce and summarize key aspects of these topics, including recommendations. Individually, the articles provide model practitioners with detailed topic-specific recommendations related to model calibration, validation, and use. Collectively, the articles present recommendations to enhance H/WQ modeling.

Moriasi, D.N., R.W. Zeckoski, J.G. Arnold, C.B. Baffaut, R.W. Malone, P. Daggupati, J.A. Guzman, D. Saraswat, Y. Yuan, B.W. Wilson, A. Shirmohammadi, and K.R. Douglas-Mankin. Hydrologic and water quality models: key calibration and validation topics. T. ASABE 58(6): 1609-1618

Papers & ReportsWater/Wastewater Assessments2015

Stream Vulnerability to Widespread and Emergent Stressors: A Focus on Unconventional Oil and Gas

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Multiple stressors threaten stream physical and biological quality, including elevated nutrients and other contaminants, riparian and in-stream habitat degradation and altered natural flow regime. Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) development is one emerging stressor that spans the U.S. UOG development could alter stream sedimentation, riparian extent and composition, in-stream flow, and water quality. We developed indices to describe the watershed sensitivity and exposure to natural and anthropogenic disturbances and computed a vulnerability index from these two scores across stream catchments in six productive shale plays. We predicted that catchment vulnerability scores would vary across plays due to climatic, geologic and anthropogenic differences. Across-shale averages supported this prediction revealing differences in catchment sensitivity, exposure, and vulnerability scores that resulted from different natural and anthropogenic environmental conditions. For example, semi-arid Western shale play catchments (Mowry, Hilliard, and Bakken) tended to be more sensitive to stressors due to low annual average precipitation and extensive grassland. Catchments in the Barnett and Marcellus-Utica were naturally sensitive from more erosive soils and steeper catchment slopes, but these catchments also experienced areas with greater UOG densities and urbanization. Our analysis suggested Fayetteville and Barnett catchments were vulnerable due to existing anthropogenic exposure. However, all shale plays had catchments that spanned a wide vulnerability gradient. Our results identify vulnerable catchments that can help prioritize stream protection and monitoring efforts. Resource managers can also use these findings to guide local development activities to help reduce possible environmental effects.

Entrekin SA, Maloney KO, Kapo KE, Walters AW, Evans-White MA, Klemow KM (2015) Stream Vulnerability to Widespread and Emergent Stressors: A Focus on Unconventional Oil and Gas. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0137416. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137416

PresentationsCrop Protection2015

Risk Assessment for Mixtures of Agricultural Chemicals in Surface Water; A SETAC Pellston Workshop Update

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PRESENTATION DATE: Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 4:00PM

LOCATION: Ballroom E


In March of 2015, a SETAC Pellston workshop was held to help inform decision making around aquatic mixture risk assessments of chemicals using exposure scenarios and decision trees. The efforts were broadly grouped into three areas of chemical origination: agriculture, domestic, and urban influences (a separate integration group was charged with looking at overarching issues). The agricultural land use combined effect measures with exposure scenarios of chemical mixtures for field and catchment-scale using procedures that are recognized and used in regulatory schemes in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world. Chemicals modeled were those used in crop protection and livestock production, and were considered to occur as mixtures (in time and space). Two types of scenarios were defined including a single unit that could represent a variety of typical chemical input locations (e.g., feed lot, agricultural field, pasture, aquaculture, biosolids applications, etc). The second scenario was multi-unit, combining several different uses within a single catchment/watershed. These assessments considered inputs from spray drift, surface runoff and erosion, and/or tile drainage systems on a daily basis over an extended period of time (e.g., from one to 30 years). Case studies included a single unit scenario modeled as a wheat field in Eastern UK, consisting of crop protection applications of 13 substances over the course of the year. This scenario used standard FOCUS soil, weather and receiving water body information for consistency. The case study of a multi-unit catchment scenario consisted of a combination of corn fields, pasture, and feedlot inputs based in part on the US EPA Iowa corn scenario used in pesticide registration evaluations. Manure from treated cattle containing two different pharmaceutical substances (a parasiticide and a macrolide antibiotic) was applied to corn fields as fertilizer, and also originated from pastured cattle. Twelve different active substances for crop protection were modeled on the corn field. These applications ranged from a pre-plant herbicide to a late-year fungicide application. A risk assessment decision tree looked at estimated environmental concentrations of all active substances on a daily basis, with subsequent mixture risks evaluated according to methodologies developed under a separate effects workgroup within the same Pellston workshop. A summary of the framework, methodologies and results will be presented.

Christopher Holmes, Waterborne Environmental; Mick J. Hamer, Syngenta; Colin Brown, University of York ; Russell Jones, Bayer CropScience; Lorraine Maltby, The University of Sheffield; Eric Silberhorn, US Food & Drug Administration; Jerold Scott Teeter, Elanco Animal Health; Michael Warne, DSITI; Lennart Weltje, BASF SE.”Risk Assessment for Mixtures of Agricultural Chemicals in Surface Water; A SETAC Pellston Workshop Update”. SETAC Salt Lake City November 2015.

PresentationsCrop Protection2015

Development of Contributing Factors Influencing the Physical Description of Spray Drift Deposition

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PRESENTATION DATE: Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 3:40PM

LOCATION: Room 251 A-B


Agricultural spray drift management is an important component of risk mitigation in cases where there is potential exposure to non-target organisms in terrestrial and aquatic systems. Within the USEPA ecological risk assessment framework, spray drift characterization is of considerable importance, especially when considering herbicidal effects on non-target plants. Current tools for estimation of spray drift exposure are not consistent with farm equipment technologies and formulation-specific characteristics. These tools, such as AGDRIFT and AGDISP, are based on empirical relationships that are founded on datasets that do not represent current spray drift reduction technologies. By implementing a physically-based model, a risk assessor might be able to pair formulation specific information and a possible range of environmental variables to better characterize potential risk of from spray drift exposure. Unfortunately, a physically-based model that would better represent liquid spray dynamics and associated spray drift and deposition has not yet been developed. Furthermore, there are no clear indications of what parameters of liquid composition and environmental variables would be needed for use in development of a physically-based model. This work explores statistical relationships between liquid properties (e.g. surface tension, particle size spectra, liquid viscosity) and variable wind speed conditions using drift deposition data within a wind tunnel framework. A stepwise regression model was used to rank the importance of variables affecting the outcome from the deposition curves. Results suggest relative importance of measured formulation properties and environmental variables for consideration in the development of a physically-based model that may better represent estimates of spray drift.

Rohith Gali, Daniel Perkins, Farah Abi-Akar, Kevin Wright, Waterborne Environmental; Greg Kruger, University of Nebraska; Lincoln Robert Morriss, FMC Corp Global Regulatory Sciences. “Development of Contributing Factors Influencing the Physical Description of Spray Drift Deposition”. SETAC Salt Lake City November 2015.

PresentationsVeterinary Medicines2015

Expanding Our Knowledge of Exposure as Part of the Environmental Assessment for a Veterinary Medicine

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PRESENTATION DATE: Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 10:40AM

LOCATION: Ballroom H


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), evaluates whether significant environmental impacts would occur with the approval of new animal drugs pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The approval process may require the preparation of an environmental assessment (EA), which contains sections addressing problem formulation, environmental fate, exposure, effects and risk characterization. Using a recent EA as a framework, this presentation will focus on the refinement of environmental exposure estimates (i.e., Predicted Environmental Concentrations, or PECs) using spatial techniques to identify representative and protective environmental scenarios for the use of this product, and link them to exposure models commonly used in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) pesticide registration process. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to identify regions of high versus low exposure potential across the US based on beef cattle characteristics and climatic conditions. From within each region, a single vulnerable watershed was selected and characterized for watershed-scale modeling. This process of watershed selection places exposure results into national context and promotes confidence that they are representative of realistic intense-use scenarios protective of other U.S. beef regions. Watershed scale exposure modeling for surface water was conducted following the USEPA Tier-2 drinking water pesticide exposure modeling approach. Three potential sources of chemical were modeled: feedlots, agricultural fields applied with manure collected from the feedlots, and pasture. Runoff and erosion inputs to surface water from these sources were modeled over a 30-year timeframe to produce final PECs suitable for use in the effects portion of the EA. The framework, methodology, results and lessons learned will be presented as part of this platform.

Christopher Holmes, Ishadeep Khanijo, Joshua Amos, Amy Ritter, Mark Cheplick, W. Martin Williams, Waterborne Environmental; Joseph Robinson, Zoetis.”Expanding Our Knowledge of Exposure as Part of the Environmental Assessment for a Veterinary Medicine”. SETAC Salt Lake City November 2015.

PresentationsBiocides and Antimicrobials2015

Evaluating the Relative Sensitivity of Endpoints Generated During Midge Life-Cycle Sediment Toxicity Tests

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PRESENTATION DATE: Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 8:20AM

LOCATION: Ballroom D


Midges (Diptera: Chironomidae) are used as model test organisms for evaluating the potential toxicity of chemicals sorbed to sediments. The guidance document “Methods for Measuring the Toxicity and Bioaccumulation of Sediment-associated Contaminants with Freshwater Invertebrates” (EPA 600/R-99/064) released in March 2000 details procedures for conducting life-cycle tests with midges. There are ongoing efforts to revise certain aspects of the guidance document and members of the SETAC Midge Chronic Testing Working Group are providing technical insight with the aim of further advancing the test method. One area of potential revision pertains to the evaluation of appropriate test endpoints. Currently, lethality-based endpoints for the life-cycle test include larval, pupal and adult survival, while sublethal endpoints include larval growth, adult emergence (total/percent, cumulative rate, time to first emergence, and time to death), and reproduction (sex ratio, time to oviposition, mean eggs/female, egg cases/treatment, and egg hatchability). High variability in control response and redundancy of information gained from similar observations prompted scientific inquiry concerning the utility and/or necessity of some endpoints for defining biological effect thresholds. Streamlining the number of measured endpoints could improve the efficiency of the test method and also provide researchers with greater confidence that observed effects are indeed related to contaminant exposure and not manifested merely as a result of natural biological variability. Members of the Crop Life America Sediment Subcommittee team compiled midge toxicity data from studies completed with agrochemicals for retrospective analysis to gain greater understanding of the relative sensitivity of endpoints from the midge life-cycle study. The purpose of this presentation is to briefly review findings of the aforementioned effort and discuss implications for future midge life-cycle testing efforts.

Theodore Valenti, Syngenta; Michael Bradley, Smithers Viscient; Jennifer Gates, Mark Cafarella, Waterborne Environmental; Jeffrey Giddings, Compliance Services International; Hank Krueger, Wildlife International; Sean McGee, Bayer CropScience LP; Alan Samel, DuPont Crop Protection; Bibek Sharma, FMC Corp Global Regulatory Sciences; Jane Staveley, Exponent; Jiafan Wang, BASF Agriculture Solutions. “Evaluating the Relative Sensitivity of Endpoints Generated During Midge Life-Cycle Sediment Toxicity Tests”. SETAC Salt Lake City November 2015.