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Open Access Developing Water Quality Criteria for Suspended and Bedded Sediments

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The U.S. EPA's Framework for Developing Suspended and Bedded Sediments (SABS) Water Quality Criteria (SABS Framework) is a nationally-consistent process for developing ambient sediment quality criteria for surface waters. The SABS Framework accommodates natural variation among waterbody types and local and regional conditions. An important aspect of the Framework is that it ties criteria to levels that protect Designated Uses as described in the U.S. Clean Water Act. Although nationally-consistent, this process allows flexibility in the choice of assessment endpoints, measures, protected uses, and analytical tools. The SABS Framework describes technical methods and examples for measuring, classifying, and associating various levels of SABS with Designated Uses. An application of the Framework using data typical of the U. S. mid-Atlantic streams is presented, and a special interest sub-population of forested basins is examined. Candidate criteria values were identified using a weight-of-evidence approach to demonstrate associations between levels of SABS and impacts on Designated Uses.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-01-01

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