Ecology News: Subject: New Ecology poster Identifying sources of toxics using biofilms

The poster, Identifying sources of toxics using biofilms, is available at .
Biofilms (algae, microbial biomass, and organic detritus) growing on rocks contribute to the base of the food web in rivers and streams. In contaminated waterbodies, biofilms take up and bind contaminants from the water. Over the last few years, the Department of Ecology has been using the contaminant concentrations of biofilms to assess the spatial distribution of metals and organic contaminants. We have also been measuring the bioconcentration of toxics from the water to assess the accumulation in higher trophic levels.
Our results show a strong, statistically significant relationship between dissolved concentrations of PCBs and DDT in the water column and the concentrations bound in and on biofilms. We find metal concentrations in biofilms to be (1) correlated with changes in periphyton community structure and (2) a more sensitive sample media of metal contamination than water and sediment. The use of biofilms in source identification studies has proven to be highly effective under a number of hydrologic conditions and for various toxic contaminants.
This poster was presented at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN, Nov. 13-16, 2017.
If you have questions, contact Will Hobbs at 360-407-7512 or

EPA News: EPA P3 Grant

How to Apply for an EPA P3 Grant

Jan. 11, 2018

2 – 3 p.m. EST

Informational Webinar

Presentation will be livestreamed as a webinar via Adobe Connect.

Register now, as spaces are limited!

Meeting Information

Join us for an informational webinar on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 15th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Request for Applications (RFA). Learn about EPA’s P3 program, topics in this year’s funding opportunity, and how to apply. EPA P3 program experts will be available to answer questions during a question & answer (Q&A) session following the presentation. A copy of the webinar presentation will be available at for those unable to participate in the scheduled webinar.

Webinar Objectives:

  • Learn about the P3 Program
  • Review topics of open 2017-2018 P3 Phase I RFA
  • Learn how to apply for a P3 grant
  • Share frequently asked questions

2017-2018 P3 Research Topic Areas:

  • Improve Air Quality
  • Provide Clean and Safe Water
  • Prevent Contamination of Land, and
  • Ensure Safety of Chemicals in the Marketplace

EPA P3 Program

Through EPA’s P3 program, college students can benefit people, promote prosperity, and protect the planet by designing environmental solutions that move us toward a sustainable future. This year’s P3 Phase I RFA is open until Feb. 7, 2018.

The P3 award competition is a two-phase team contest. For the first phase, interdisciplinary student teams compete for $15,000 grants to research and develop their design projects during the academic year. In the spring, the teams have the opportunity to attend the National Sustainable Design Expo (NSDE) to showcase their research projects. Phase II grants are then awarded to student teams through a competitive process based on their Phase I projects. This final award is an opportunity for grant funding up to $75,000 to further the project design and/or implement in the field.

This research is supported by EPA’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities (SHC) Research Program, which provides useful science and tools for decision makers at all levels to help communities advance sustainability as well as achieve regulatory compliance.

January 10, 2018 Education and Outreach Work Group Meeting

The next meeting of the SRRTTF Education and Outreach Work group is:

Date: Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Time: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Location: Washington Department of Ecology
N. 4601 Monroe St.
Spokane, WA 99205

Click here for a map.

DRAFT Agenda:

  • Discussion of the status of the website (next steps that need to be completed)
  • Create a scope of work for 2018 (figuring out how to spend the $10K by 6/30/18) discussing (a-g from the comp plan goal table)
    • Goals:
      • Inventory which agencies have what in regards to PCB information
      • Work on 3-4 minute educational videos
  • Finalizing the work plan for 2018

Meeting Materials:
2017-11-8 Ed&Outreach Workrgoup mtg Notes (1)
Education and Outreach Goals 1-2-18
2018 Planning Calendar – E&O (1)
website content


January 9th, 2018 Fish Sampling (Fish Tissue/Sediment/Water Column) Work Group Meeting

Fish Sampling (Fish Tissue/Sediment/Water Column) Work Group Meeting:

Date: Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Location: WDFW Region 1: 2315 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, 99216

Call-in number: 360-407-3780, PIN 159698 #

Meeting Materials:

SRRTTF Fish Tissue Work Group Agenda 1-9-18 (1) (corrected dial in number)

Previous information/discussion on Fish sampling that  may be of use:
fish tissue and water column data locations
fish tissue and water column data observations
Fish Sampling Workgroup Study Concepts

January 3, 2018 Technical Track Work Group Meeting

The next meeting of the SRRTTF Task Force and Technical Track Work group is:

Date: Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Location: Washington Department of Ecology
N. 4601 Monroe St.
Spokane, WA 99205
Click here for a map.

Conference call-in number: (509)335-2277
Pin code: 36812362 #

Meeting Documents:
TTWG 1.3.2018 Meeting Notes

TTWG agn 01-03-18_draft (2)
Comp-Plan-Elements-SRRTTF-work-for-01-03-18_for printing

SRRTTF Comp Plan p.72_Studies to Address Data Gaps
Lands Council: Use of Fungi to Degrade Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Final Report
Comp Plan Impl.ReviewSum_simple 1.3.17 updated
Draft Scope of Work 120117
Project Management Process 01-02-18

Ecology News: Revised Report “Spokane River PCBs and Other Toxics at the Spokane Tribal Boundary Recommendations for Development of a Long-Term Monitoring

The Task Force is asked to review the EAP report on the “Spokane River PCBs and Other Toxics at the Spokane Tribal Boundary Recommendations for Development of a Long-Term Monitoring” and provide any additional feedback by c.o.b on Tuesday December 19th, 2017 to Brandee Era-Miller at

Revised Report and Data
REPORT Spokane LT Monitoring 12-12-17
Table C-1_PCBs 20L and CLAM 12-12-17
Table C-2_PCBs 2L and XAD 12-12-17

Spokane-LT-Monitoring Spo County comments 171130
Avista_Comment_Letter_Long-Term Plan_11-15-17
Bud Leber Comments – Tribal Boundary Sampling Report
Post Falls Comments – Spokane-LT-Monitoring


Lands Council: Use of Fungi to Degrade Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Final Report

Final Report on study of the Use of Fungi to Degrade Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Task Force,

You are asked to review and provide feedback on the final report released from the Lands Council on the use of Fungi to Degrade Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). This review period fulfill a goal in Comp Plan element 5.12 (emerging end of pipe stormwater technologies) under which the Task Force decided to review the Lands Council Report in preparation for a decision on funding Phase 2 of this work. The report and all supporting data are posted below . Please send your comments to Mike Petersen ( no later than 12 noon on January 17th, 2018.

Mike will review all comments and will summarize them to the Task Force at the January 24th, 2018 full Task Force meeting. This will be in advance of the potential Task Force decision to allocate $15,000 in support of Phase 2 funding for this project. The Task Force could decide to table the funding decision, in the event the review/comment period elicits any issues needing resolution prior to Phase 2 funding being allocated.

Thank you.

Fungal breakdown of PCB’s FINAL REPORT-min

Ecology News: Ecology to launch new website

Here at the Department of Ecology, we are getting ready to launch a completely new website. As our valued partners, we wanted you to have an advanced notice.
We have rewritten, redesigned, and rebuilt our website and are planning to launch Dec. 11.
What you need to know before launch:
  • New web address: Our primary web address is changing to (Formerly
  • New links: We will have all new web links to all webpages and content. All links pointing to our old website will need to be updated.
  • Mobile friendly: You can now use our website from your phone or tablet.
  • Accessible: We are building our website to meet the highest level of accessibility requirements.
  • Continuing to add content: We’re launching with our highest priority content first. That means some content may not be available at launch. We will continue to build and add content.
We will have more information available as we get closer to the launch date. We will be sending another email in the coming week with a link to preview the new website.