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Water: Acrolein

Aquatic Life Criteria - Acrolein

Final Aquatic Life Criteria

August 2009; EPA-822-F-09-004

Download the final criteria (PDF) (49 pp, 360K; About PDF).

EPA has published in the Federal Register final national recommended ambient water quality criteria for acrolein for the protection of aquatic life. These criteria are based on EPA's Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses (1985), (EPA R-85-100; 104 pp, 3.3MB, About PDF). After internal and external peer review, EPA published draft criteria for acrolein on December 17, 2008 to receive scientific input from the public.

What are aquatic life water quality criteria?

Aquatic life water quality criteria are numeric values that protect aquatic life from the harmful effects of pollutants in surface water. Under section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), water quality criteria are based solely on data and scientific judgments about the relationship between pollutant concentrations and environmental and human health effects; economic or social impacts do not influence criteria recommendations.

EPA's national recommended water quality criteria provide guidance to states, territories and authorized tribes in adopting water quality criteria that meet the requirements of the CWA. They are not regulations themselves and do not impose legally binding requirements on EPA, states, territories, authorized tribes or the public.

How were these water quality criteria for acrolein derived?

EPA derived these aquatic life water quality criteria for acrolein based on the Agency's 1985 Aquatic Life Criteria Guidelines. These guidelines provide consistent, scientifically-based procedures for deriving ambient water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic organisms and their uses. Toxicity data and other information on the effects of acrolein were obtained from reliable sources and subjected to both internal and external peer review, including scientific input from the public.

Freshwater: Freshwater aquatic organisms and their uses should not be affected unacceptably if the acute (one-hour average) concentration of acrolein does not exceed 3.0 ug/l (parts per billion) more than once every three years on the average, and if the chronic (four-day average) concentration of acrolein does not exceed 3.0 µg/l more than once every three years on the average.

Saltwater: Saltwater criteria for acrolein cannot be developed at this time because of a lack of available saltwater acute and chronic toxicity data.

Where can I find more information on the final aquatic life water quality criteria for acrolein?

For more information, contact Dr. Frank Gostomski (gostomski.frank@epa.gov), Health and Ecological Criteria Division (4304T), U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20460; (202) 566-1105.

A Federal Register Notice is available September 10, 2009. EPA has also established an official public docket for this action (docket # EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0795).


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Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

In December 2008, EPA published in the Federal Register, and requested scientific views on, a draft ambient water quality criteria document for acrolein. We developed draft acute and chronic criteria recommendations for acrolein designed to protect aquatic life in freshwater.

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