North American Metals Council – Selenium Working Group (NAMC-SWG)
The Selenium Working Group of the North American Metals Council (NAMC-SWG) comprises professionals from industry and consulting engaged in sharing and commissioning technical research on issues pertaining to ecological and human health effects, regulation, and water treatment of selenium in the context of industrial discharges.
- Support of research to inform the development of water quality and biological tissue-based standards/guidelines for selenium;
- Implementation and application of standards/guidelines (e.g., sampling and analysis techniques and technologies);
- Development of effects thresholds;
- Identification of analytical methods pertinent to such standards/guidelines; and
- Review of technologies for the treatment of selenium in waste waters.
As part of its ongoing efforts, the NAMC-SWG develops white papers and peer-reviewed journal articles on these topics for public sharing. In addition, the NAMC-SWG provides scientific/technical input when there are opportunities to comment on revisions to various North American regulations regarding selenium in the context of environmental protection (see below).
The NAMC-SWG meets biannually in the United States (associated with the North American meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)) and once mid-year in Canada.
Membership in the NAMC-SWG is open to companies that have a need and an interest in managing, regulating, monitoring, or treating water for potential effects/impacts of selenium; this includes associations representing such companies. Consulting firms and water treatment suppliers may join the NAMC-SWG as Associate Members. The group occasionally invites academic and government scientists to its meetings, to present new research and to update the group on relevant regulatory developments.
NAMC-SWG Comments on Regulatory Documents
- Comments on Order Adding Toxic Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (Canada Gazette, Part I, Vol. 152, No. 7 - February 17, 2018).
- Comments on November 2017 Proposed Approach for the Coal Mining Effluent Regulations Consultation Document to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).
- Comments on Proposed Risk Management Approach for Selenium to ECCC.
- Comments of the Selenium Working Group in Response to EPA’s Draft Technical Support Materials for the Final Freshwater Aquatic Life Selenium Criterion.
- Comments of the Selenium Working Group in Response to Environment Canada/Health Canada Draft Screening Assessment for Selenium and Its Compounds.
- The North American Metals Council Selenium Working Group Comments in Response to the British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Environment (MOE) August 10, 2016, Draft Updated Source Drinking Water Quality Guideline (SDWQG) for Selenium.
- Comments of the Selenium Working Group in Response to EPA’s Draft Establishment of Revised Numeric Criteria for Selenium for the San Francisco Bay and Delta, State of California.
- Comments of the Selenium Working Group in Response to EPA’s Draft National Recommended Aquatic Life Criterion for the Pollutant Selenium.
Publications Commissioned by NAMC-SWG
- DeForest, D.K., Brix, K.V., Elphick, J.R., Rickwood, C.J., deBruyn, A.M.H., Tear, L.M., Gilron, G., Hughes, S.A., and W.J. Adams. 2017. Lentic, Lotic, and Sulphate-dependent Waterborne Selenium Screening Guidelines for Freshwater Systems. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.36: 2503-2513.
- DeForest, D., Gilron, G., Armstrong, S., and E. Robertson. 2012. Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD) Evaluation for Selenium in Fish Eggs: Considerations for Development of a Canadian Tissue-based Guideline. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 8: 6-12.
- Ohlendorf, H.M., S.M. Covington, E.R. Byron, C.A. Arenal. 2011. Conducting site-specific assessments of selenium bioaccumulation in aquatic systems. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 7: 314-324.
White Papers Commissioned by NAMC-SWG
- GEI/Windward/Borealis. Evaluation of the Effects of Updated Selenium Water Quality Criteria on Water Management in North America: Status of Selenium Criteria Development (2018). [In conjunction with the American Petroleum Institute.]
- Addendum to Review of Available Technologies for the Removal of Selenium from Water (2013).
- Review of Available Technologies for the Removal of Selenium from Water (2010).
- Database of Selenium Concentrations in Fish Tissues from Reference Sites (2009).
- Final Guide: Approach for Conducting Site-specific Assessments of Selenium Bioaccumulation in Aquatic Systems (2008).
- Biogeochemistry and Analysis of Selenium and Its Species (2008).
- Selenium Tissue Thresholds: Tissue Selection Criteria, Threshold Development Endpoints, and Potential to Predict Population or Community Effects in the Field (2008).
Related Publications and Resources
- DeForest, D.K., S. Pargee, C. Claytor, S.P. Canton, K.V. Brix. 2016. Biokinetic food chain modeling of waterborne selenium pulses into aquatic food chains: Implications for water quality criteria. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 12: 230-246.
- Gilron, G. and J. Downie. 2016. The Practical Quantitation Limit: Implications for Regulating Selenium in the Context of Applying Aquatic Life Guidelines in North America. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 12: 593-595.
- Lo, B.P., J.R. Elphick, H.C. Bailey, J.A. Baker, C.J. Kennedy. 2015. The effect of sulphate on selenate bioaccumulation in two freshwater primary producers: a duckweed, Lemna minor, and a green alga, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. 34: 2841-2845.
- Nautilus Environmental. 2013. Evaluation of the effects of selenium on early lifestage development of mountain whitefish from the Elk Valley, BC. Burnaby, BC, Canada.
- Gilron, G. 2012. The Selenium Drinking Water Quality Guideline in Canada: The Case for a Re-evaluation. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 8: 194-196.
- Chapman, P.M., Adams, W.J., Brooks, M.L., Delos, C.G., Luoma, S.N., Maher, W.A., Ohlendorf, H.M., Presser, T.S., and D. P. Shaw (eds.). 2010. Ecological Assessment of Selenium in the Aquatic Environment. SETAC Press, Pensacola, FL, USA.
- Presser T.S. and S.N. Luoma. 2010. A methodology for ecosystem-scale modeling of selenium. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 6: 685-710.
- Brix, K.V., J.E. Toll, L.M. Tear, D.K. DeForest, W.J. Adams. 2005. Setting site-specific water-quality standards by using tissue residue thresholds and bioaccumulation data. Part 2. Calculating site-specific selenium water-quality standards for protecting fish and birds. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 24: 231-237.
- Teck Resources Limited. 2014. Elk Valley Water Quality Plan.
Links to Relevant Regulatory Documents
- British Columbia Ministry of Environment (BCMOE). 2014. Ambient Water Quality Guidelines for Selenium Technical Report Update. Water Protection and Sustainability Branch, Environmental Sustainability and Strategic Policy Division, 257 pp.
- California Regional Water Quality Control Board - San Francisco Bay Region (CRWQCB-SFB). 2015. Amending the Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay Basin to Establish a Total Maximum Daily Load and Implementation Plan for Selenium in North San Francisco Bay. Resolution No. R2-2015-0048.
- Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). 2017. Proposed Approach for Coal Mining Effluent Regulations – Consultation Document, November 2017. 29 pp. + Appendices. Ottawa, ON Canada.
- Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KYDEP). 2014. Methods for the Collection of Selenium Residue in Fish Tissue Used to Determine KPDES Permit Compliance. Version 1.0. Division of Water.
- Payne, R.G., Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KYDEP). 2013. Update to Kentucky Water Quality Standards for Protection of Aquatic Life: Acute Selenium Criterion and Tissue-Based Chronic Criteria.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2016a. Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criterion for Selenium – Freshwater 2016. Office of Water 4304T, Washington, D.C. EPA 822-R-16-006. June 2016.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2016b. DRAFT. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Implementing WQS that Include Elements Similar or Identical to EPA’s 2016 Selenium Criterion in Clean Water Act Section 402 NPDES Programs. Office of Water, Washington, D.C. EPA 820-F-16-009. September 2016.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2016c. DRAFT. Technical Support for Fish Tissue Monitoring for Implementation of EPA’s 2016 Selenium Criterion. Office of Water, Washington, D.C. EPA 820-F-16-007. September 2016.
- Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ). 2008. Development of a Selenium Standard for the Open Waters of the Great Salt Lake.