Toxicity Testing Unit
Contact Information: Nicole Wright, Chief Toxicity Testing Unit
The bioluminescent bacteria
Vibrio fischeri (photo courtesy
of AZUR Environmental).
The Toxicity Testing Unit (TTU) uses bioassays to assess aquatic toxicity and subsequently monitor the condition of ambient surface waters and sediments. All toxicity testing is conducted at the Hale Creek Field Station, located in Gloversville, NY. Screening tests on ambient surface waters are conducted in conjunction with the RIBS program, utilizing the crustacean Ceriodaphnia dubia to investigate potential chronic effects on survival and reproduction. Porewater and sediment are also extracted from sediment samples and analyzed with the Microtox® Toxicity Testing System using the bioluminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri to investigate the potential acute effects on survival.
The TTU is also involved in the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (SPDES) permitting program and performs whole effluent toxicity testing on various industrial and municipal facilities statewide in accordance with the Technical and Operational Guidance Series - TOGS 1.3.2 (pdf, 203kb). In addition, TTU staff review all required toxicity testing reports for inconsistencies, make recommendations and maintain a SPDES database. Reports are generated quarterly from the database and distributed to NYSDEC and EPA staff.