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Project Name: Consultation Regarding the Bioavalibility of Metals
Country: None Listed
Description: The client is a major manufacturer of textile fabrics and carpets. During dyeing processes for these materials, dyes containing metals such as copper and chromium are used. The metals contained in these dyes are complexed and are stable in the environment. In their complex form, they do not exhibit toxicity to aquatic life. However, water quality standards require that metals present in discharges to receiving streams be regulated on the presumption that all forms of metals present are toxic and bioavailable. Studies performed had demonstrated most of the metals present were not toxic to aquatic life and should not be regulated. One of the client's manufacturing sites operates a wastewater treatment plant with direct discharge and holds a NPDES permit. During the permit renewal cycle, draft limitations for copper were proposed which were more stringent than previous permits. In addition, the costs for compliance with the proposed permit limits were considered to be excessive. Retained to perform laboratory analyses of the effluent to determine the fraction of metals in the effluent which was potentially bioavailable. Represented the client in meetings with DEHEC to assist in the negotiation of less stringent permit limits. During these meetings, data regarding the bioavailability of metals was presented and permitting alternatives were discussed. As a result of these and other negotiations by the client, specific limits for metals were removed from the permit. The final permit relied on whole effluent toxicity testing to assure compliance with water quality standards.
 

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