A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan

Committee to Review the Department of the Interior's Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

Commission to Review the Department of the Interior's Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1995



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A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan Committee to Review the Department of the Interior's Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Commission to Review the Department of the Interior's Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1995

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A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The project was supported by the Department of the Interior under contract #14-48-0009-93-016. Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Cover: Photograph taken in Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota by David Policansky

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A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan Committee to Review the Department of the Interior's Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program DIANA W. FRECKMAN (Chair), Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado LAWRENCE BARNTHOUSE, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Oak Ridge, Tennessee ELIZABETH BLOOD, Joseph Jones Ecological Research Center, Newton, Georgia P. DEE BOERSMA, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington THEODORA COLBORN, World Wildlife Fund,Washington, D.C. FRANK DAVIS, University of California, Santa Barbara, California FRANK GREGG, University of Arizona (retired), Tucson, Arizona NANCY J. HUNTLY, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho FRANCES C. JAMES, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida RONALD KENDALL, The Institute of Wildlife and Environmental Toxicology, Pendleton, South Carolina PAUL MCCORMICK, South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, Florida ERIC P. SMITH, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia WILLIAM H. SMITH, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut GUNTHER STENT, University of California, Berkeley, California Staff DAVID POLICANSKY, Program Director DEBORAH D. STINE, Project Director TANIA WILLIAMS, Research Associate ADRIÉNNE DAVIS, Senior Program Assistant JEFFREY PECK, Project Assistant NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Editor RUTH CROSSGROVE, Copy Editor

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A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology PAUL G. RISSER (Chair), Miami University, Oxford, Ohio MICHAEL J. BEAN, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, D.C. EULA BINGHAM, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio EDWIN H. CLARK II, Clean Sites, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia ALLAN H. CONNEY, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey ELLIS COWLING, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina JOHN L. EMMERSON, Eli Lilly & Company, Greenfield, Indiana ROBERT C. FORNEY, Unionville, Pennsylvania ROBERT A. FROSCH, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts KAI LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts JANE LUBCHENCO, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon GORDON ORIANS, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennesee GEOFFREY PLACE, Hilton Head, South Carolina DAVID P. RALL, Washington, D.C. LESLIE A. REAL, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana KRISTIN SHRADER-FRECHETTE, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida BURTON H. SINGER, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey MARGARET STRAND, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, Washington, D.C. GERALD VAN BELLE, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington BAILUS WALKER, JR., Howard University, Washington, D.C. Staff JAMES J. REISA, Director DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Associate Director and Program Director for Natural Resources and Applied Ecology CAROL A. MACZKA, Program Director for Toxicology and Risk Assessment LEE R. PAULSON, Program Director for Information Systems and Statistics RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Program Director for Environmental Sciences and Engineering

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A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan Other Recent Reports of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment (1994) Ranking Hazardous Sites for Remedial Action (1994) Review of EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program: Forests and Estuaries (1994) Review of EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program: Surface Waters (1994) Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children (1993) Issues in Risk Assessment (1993) Setting Priorities for Land Conservation (1993) Protecting Visibility in National Parks and Wilderness Areas (1993) Biologic Markers in Immunotoxicology (1992) Dolphins and the Tuna Industry (1992) Environmental Neurotoxicology (1992) Hazardous Materials on the Public Lands (1992) Science and the National Parks (1992) Animals as Sentinels of Environmental Health Hazards (1991) Assessment of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Studies Program, Volumes I-IV (1991-1993) Human Exposure Assessment for Airborne Pollutants (1991) Monitoring Human Tissues for Toxic Substances (1991) Rethinking the Ozone Problem in Urban and Regional Air Pollution (1991) Decline of the Sea Turtles (1990) Tracking Toxic Substances at Industrial Facilities (1990) Biologic Markers in Pulmonary Toxicology (1989) Biologic Markers in Reproductive Toxicology (1989) Copies of these reports may be ordered from the National Academy Press (800) 624-6242 (202) 334-3313

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A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan Preface In 1993, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) asked the National Research Council to review FWS's proposed Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program to help ensure that its design was scientifically sound and defensible, that it will be effective in identifying and evaluating contaminant threats to FWS trust resources, and that redundancy will be minimized with other agencies' monitoring programs. In response to this request, the Committee to Evaluate the Department of the Interior's Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program was formed by the Research Council's Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. The committee's first report is provided here in partial response to the request. The biomonitoring program was recently transferred to the newly created National Biological Survey (NBS), and the NBS requested that this study be broken into several phases. During the first phase, the committee was asked to evaluate the overall concept of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program as outlined in the draft detailed plan. The evaluation—the topic of this report—would review the aims and goals of the program and would indicate whether the program is feasible and whether there is potential duplication with other efforts. It would then be used to improve the biomonitoring program plan when it is revised by the NBS over the next year. In the last phase of the NRC study, the committee will also review the final version of the detailed plan. The interim phases, if any, are yet to be defined. Although the program is now part of the NBS, NBS Director Ronald Pulliam asked the committee to evaluate the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program relative to FWS needs, not NBS needs. NBS needs will likely respond to the needs of the Department of the Interior (DOI) as a whole instead of just FWS—for which the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program was designed. The committee has complied with the request, but in this report also suggests some directions in case the NBS subsequently decides to expand the program beyond FWS to the NBS or DOI as a whole. In this report, the committee agrees that there is a need for a program to evaluate the presence and impact of contaminants potentially affecting the FWS trust lands and species; however, a great deal of work remains to be done before implementation of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program if it is to be successful. In particular, FWS should re-evaluate the fundamental nature of the program, take a more hypothesis-driven approach,

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A Review of the Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Program: The Draft Detailed Plan and be more responsive to clearly stated questions than is indicated in the current draft of the detailed plan. Although this report represents the work of the committee, it benefited greatly from the support of staff of the National Research Council: Program Director David Policansky, Project Director Deborah Stine, Research Associate Tania Williams, Editor Norman Grossblatt, Copy Editor Ruth Crossgrove, Sr. Project Assistant Adrienne Davis, and Project Assistant Jeffrey Peck. The committee also acknowledges with appreciation presentations made at its meetings by the following persons: Christine Bunck, John Moeller, Ronald Pulliam, Christopher Schmitt, James Coyle, and Wayne Wilford of the National Biological Survey; Timothy Hall and Pamela Mathes of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Pamela Eaton of the Wilderness Society; Ruth Fleischer of the House of Representatives Committee on Government Operations, Subcommittee on Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources; and Myra Hyde of the National Cattleman's Association. Diana W. Freckman Chair