Trace element exposure in benthic invertebrates from Grove Pond, Plow Shop Pond, and Nonacoicus Brook - Ayer, Massachusetts.
Steven E. Mierzykowski Kenneth C. Carr
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Remedial investigations associated with the Superfund Program of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) found highly elevated levels of several trace elements in sediment samples from Grove
Pond and Plow Shop Pond in Ayer, Massachusetts. Due to the nature and extent of contamination,
federal and Massachusetts regulatory and natural resource management agencies were concerned that
arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead and other trace elements may be accumulating in the
benthic community of the ponds or being transported downstream to Nonacoicus Brook and the
Nashua River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was asked by EPA to conduct a limited, screeninglevel
contaminant study of two benthic organisms inhabiting the ponds and brook.
The purposes of the study were:
- To determine arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and lead exposure in mussels and
- To provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of
Environmental Protection with site-specific data for human health and ecological risk
assessments of Grove Pond and Plow Shop Pond.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
http://www.fws.gov/northeast/mainecontaminants/pdf/BenthicInvert_Rep.pdf, 2 MB
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Maine Contaminants Program