Aquatic Life Criteria for Selenium - Bluegill Report
Notice of Availability of Data on the Toxicity of Selenium to Aquatic Life as Related to Developing an Aquatic Life Criterion
Fact Sheet, October 2008; EPA 822-F-08-005
EPA has released a technical report titled "Effect of Selenium on Juvenile Bluegill Sunfish at Reduced Temperature". It describes the results from testing the toxicity of selenium to juvenile bluegill sunfish under winter temperature conditions. EPA is also providing a list of "References for Selenium Chronic Toxicity Data Obtained Since 2004", indicating other information that EPA has recently obtained. Scientific data or views relevant to any of this new information may be submitted for 30 days following publication.
Selenium is a naturally-occurring element that is nutritionally essential for all life in small amounts but can be toxic when intake is excessive. EPA's current Clean Water Act §304(a) aquatic life criterion for selenium was originally published in 1987.
In 2004, EPA published a draft revision of this criterion and asked for scientific views. Several of the responses indicated that one of studies EPA used, a test with juvenile bluegill sunfish under winter temperature conditions, was problematic due to limitations of the study design and lack of corroboration. To address the uncertainties, EPA conducted a new study, designed to establish a threshold selenium concentration for the winter-condition effect on bluegill, a highly sensitive species.
How to Get the Report
Download the bluegill report here (PDF) (63 pp., 388 K; EPA 822-R-08-020). To submit scientific information or views relevant to the report, visit Regulations.gov (docket number EPA-HQ-OW-2004-0019). The Federal Register Notice (October 27, 2008) is also available.
Since reviewing the available data in 2004, EPA has also obtained and examined other new information listed in References for Selenium Chronic Toxicity Data Obtained Since 2004.
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