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Report for Preliminary Investigation of PCBs in Hudson River Bats Released
Date Posted: December 28, 2007The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released a "Work Summary and Data Report" for a preliminary investigation of PCBs in Hudson River bats. The Trustees are working cooperatively to conduct a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) for the Hudson River. The work entailed collection of bats from the Hudson River in 2001 and 2002 and analysis of selected samples, as part of the Hudson River NRDA. The Work Summary and Data Report can be found on the FWS Hudson River NRDA web site at: http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm. The Executive Summary for the report follows. A Fact Sheet providing an update on the "Preliminary Investigation of PCBs in Hudson River bats" is also available at that web site. Other documents for the Hudson River NRDA are also available at that web site.
Executive Summary: Natural resources of the Hudson River have been contaminated through past and ongoing discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees – New York State, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of the Interior – are conducting a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) to assess and restore those natural resources injured by PCBs. This Work Summary and Data Report documents a screening level survey of PCB contamination of select Hudson River bat species conducted pursuant to the NRDA. In July 2001 bats were collected from along the Hudson River at the Saratoga National Historic Park and from reference sites in New York State. A second collection of bats from the Hudson River in July 2002 supplemented the 2001 collection, and entailed collection of bats from three other sites along the Upper Hudson River. Thirty-one of the bats collected in 2001 (26 little brown bats and 5 big brown bats) were selected by the Trustees for sample preparation and analysis. The bats were dissected and the brains analyzed for PCB congeners, PCB homologue groups, and total PCBs. Percent lipids and percent moisture were not analyzed due to limited sample size. The results show that Hudson River bats have been exposed to PCBs. Total PCBs in the brains of big brown bat females range from 31.7-642 ppb. Total PCBs in the brains of little brown bat males and females range from 1,760-2,390 ppb and 274-1,820 ppb, respectively. By comparison, total PCBs in brains of little brown bat females from reference areas range from non-detect (ND)-662 ppb.