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Penobscot River Study to Begin on Aug. 13

Release Date: 08/09/2007
Contact Information: Tim Bridges, (617) 918-8603

(Boston, Mass. - Aug. 9, 2007) - Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New England Regional Laboratory will begin a research effort of the Penobscot River from Millinocket to Bucksport during the week beginning August 13th. The team of EPA scientist will collect sediments in the Penobscot River to analyze "sediment oxygen demand" (SOD), and other environmental indicators including total organic carbon and grain size.

SOD studies investigate the rate that dissolved oxygen is removed from the water column due to the decomposition of organic material in the sediments. SOD may be a significant cause of low dissolved oxygen in water bodies, thereby making them less able to support aquatic life.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection will use the SOD rates compiled by EPA for modeling "total maximum daily loads" (TMDL's) of the Penobscot River. Using this information, Maine's environmental agency can assess whether adequate protections are in place for the river.

EPA staff will set up the Biology Mobile Laboratory for onsite SOD analysis at the Penobscot Indian Nation and will collect data with the Penobscots from twelve stations along the river between Millinocket and Bucksport.

More information:

- EPA sediment oxygen demand research in New England (epa.gov/region1/lab/ecology/sod.html)

- How EPA and states use total maximum daily load information to protect waterways (epa.gov/region1/eco/tmdl/index.html)

    Additinoal Contact info:
    Tim Bridges, U.S. EPA, Office (617) 918-8603; cell (617) 223-1373
    Dan Kusnierz, Penobscot Indian Nation (207)827-7776
    Don Albert, Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection, (207) 287-3901

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