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Water: Copper

2003 Updated Aquatic Life Copper Criteria

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

EPA has published a draft document, 2003 Draft Update of Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Copper (EPA-822-R-03-026), containing updated freshwater and saltwater aquatic life criteria for copper. These criteria revisions are based in part on new data that have become available since EPA's last comprehensive criteria updates for copper. In addition to incorporating new data, the freshwater criteria also incorporate the use of the biotic ligand model (BLM) in the criteria derivation procedures.

  • Fact Sheet
  • Federal Register Notice (December 31, 2003)
  • Background materials available at Regulations.gov. Search under "All Documents (Open and Closed for Comment)" with Keyword or ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2003-0079.
  • Biotic ligand model (BLM) (zip file) (3.50MB)
  • Draft Criteria Document (PDF) (71 pp, 868K)
  • Tables (PDF) (36 pp, 111K)
    • Table 1a. Acute Toxicity of Copper to Freshwater Animals
    • Table 1b. Acute Toxicity of Copper to Saltwater Animals
    • Table 2a. Chronic Toxicity of Copper to Freshwater Animals
    • Table 2b. Chronic Toxicity of Copper to Saltwater Animals
    • Table 2c. Acute-Chronic Ratios
    • Table 3a. Ranked Freshwater Genus Mean Acute Values with Species Mean Acute-Chronic Ratios
    • Table 3b. Ranked Saltwater Genus Mean Acute Values with Species Mean Acute-Chronic Ratios
    • Table 3c. Freshwater and Saltwater Final Acute Value (FAV) and Criteria Calculations
    • Table 4a. Toxicity of Copper to Freshwater Plants
    • Table 4b. Toxicity of Copper to Saltwater Plants
    • Table 5a. Bioaccumulation of Copper by Freshwater Organisms
    • Table 5b. Bioaccumulation of Copper by Saltwater Organisms
    • Table 6. Species Numbers Used in Figure 4
  • Appendices (PDF) (154 pp., 1.4 MB)
    • Appendix A. Ranges in Calibration and Application Data Sets
    • Appendix B. Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) User's Guide
    • Appendix C. Other Data on Effects of Copper on Freshwater and Saltwater Organisms
    • Appendix D. Estimation of Water Chemistry Parameters for Acute Copper Toxicity Tests
    • Appendix E. Saltwater Conversion Factors for Dissolved Values
    • Appendix F. BLM Input Data and Notes
    • Appendix G. Hardness Slopes
    • Appendix H. Regression Plots
    • Appendix I. Unused Data

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