The Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Section provides technical and liaison services within the Office of Water Quality (OWQ) in the areas of general and environmental toxicology, toxicity evaluation and risk assessment analysis, quality assurance of environmental sampling and analytical data results from analysis of environmental samples. Broadly speaking, the Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Section staff provides information regarding the current and future impact of various pollutants and toxic substances on aquatic life, human health and the environment. Quality assurance support is provided to various programs within the Assessment Branch and across OWQ for analytical data collected to meet individual project objectives.
The main mission and objectives of the Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Section are:
- Assure that State Water Quality Criteria (WQC) or standards are implemented through the of NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit limit compliance monitoring program to improve and maintain surface water quality and its designated uses. Regular and timely review of the pollutant monitoring data and toxicity biomonitoring reports submitted by the regulated community serves as a basis to accomplish this goal.
- Assess the potential for exposure and toxic effects of chemical pollutants or toxicants from environmental media (water, soil, sediments and fish tissue) that already exist or being released into the environment through point or nonpoint source discharges. This information is made available to management and other customers, both within and outside IDEM, to prevent further environmental pollution and improve both water quality and the environment.
- Provide quality assurance support to Assessment Branch data collection efforts and analysis of environmental samples (water, sediments, and fish tissue) through compliance with the integrated Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) prepared for surface water toxins monitoring programs. This work is performed not only to ascertain quality and accuracy of environmental data collected but to ensure that the analytical data gathered are of high quality and can be used with confidence in assessing surface water quality.