Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 113, Issue 1–3, pp 87–115 | Cite as

Development of a New Approach to Cumulative Effects Assessment: A Northern River Ecosystem Example

  • Monique Dubé
  • Brian Johnson
  • Gary Dunn
  • Joseph Culp
  • Kevin Cash
  • Kelly Munkittrick
  • Isaac Wong
  • Kathlene Hedley
  • William Booty
  • David Lam
  • Oskar Resler
  • Alex Storey
Article

Abstract

If sustainable development of Canadian waters is to be achieved, a realistic and manageable framework is required for assessing cumulative effects. The objective of this paper is to describe an approach for aquatic cumulative effects assessment that was developed under the Northern Rivers Ecosystem Initiative. The approach is based on a review of existing monitoring practices in Canada and the presence of existing thresholds for aquatic ecosystem health assessments. It suggests that a sustainable framework is possible for cumulative effects assessment of Canadian waters that would result in integration of national indicators of aquatic health, integration of national initiatives (e.g., water quality index, environmental effects monitoring), and provide an avenue where long-term monitoring programs could be integrated with baseline and follow-up monitoring conducted under the environmental assessment process.

Keywords

cumulative effect assessment environmental impact assessment environmental effects monitoring sustainable development water quality index 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alberta Environment: 1999, ‘Surface Water Quality Guidelines for Use in Alberta’, Environmental Sciences Division, Alberta Environmental Protection, Edmonton, AB, Canada.Google Scholar
  2. Ayles, G. B., Dubé, M. G. and Rosenberg, D.: 2004, Oil Sands Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program (RAMP), Scientific Peer Review of the Five Year Report (1997–2001), Report for RAMP Steering Committee, Calgary, AB, Canada.Google Scholar
  3. Bailey, R. C., Kennedy, M. G., Dervish, M. X. and Taylor, R. M.: 1998, ‘Biological assessment of freshwater ecosystems using a reference condition approach: Comparing predicted and actual benthic invertebrate communities in Yukon streams’, Freshw. Biology 39, 765–774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME): 1999, Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines, CCME, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.Google Scholar
  5. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME): 2001a, Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life: Canadian Water Quality Index 1.0, User's Manual Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines, 1999. CCME, Winnipeg, MB.Google Scholar
  6. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME): 2001b, Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life: Canadian Water Quality Index 1.0, Technical Report. In: Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines, 1999. CCME, Winnipeg, MB.Google Scholar
  7. Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency: 1999a, Operational Policy Statement: Addressing Cumulative Environmental Effects Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Cat No. OPS_EOP/3–1999, Hull, QC, Canada.Google Scholar
  8. Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency: 1999b, Review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment act A Discussion Paper for Public Consultation. Hull, QC, Canada. Available at http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/0007/0002/0001/index_e.htm,
  9. Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency: 1999c, Options and Tools for Improving Follow-up: A Discussion Paper. Hull, QC, Canada, Available at http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/0007/0002/0002/bkstd04_e.htm.
  10. Chambers, P. A., Brown, S., Culp, J. M., Lowell, R. B. and Pietroniro, A.: 2000a, ‘Dissolved oxygen decline in ice-covered rivers of northern Alberta and its effects on aquatic biota’, J. Aquat. Ecosystem Stress Recovery 8, 27–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chambers, P. A., Dale, A. R., Scrimgeour, G. J. and Bothwell, M. L.: 2000b, ‘Nutrient enrichment of northern rivers in response to pulp mill & municipal discharges’, J. Aquat. Ecosystem Stress Recovery 8, 53–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clark, R.: 1994, ‘Cumulative effects assessment: A tool for sustainable development’, Impact Assess 12, 319–331.Google Scholar
  13. Cocklin, C., Parker, S. and Hay, J.: 1992a, ‘Notes on cumulative environmental change I: Concepts and issues’, J. Environ. Manage 35, 31–49.Google Scholar
  14. Cocklin, C., Parker, S. and Hay, J.: 1992b, ‘Notes on cumulative environmental change II: A contribution to methodology’, J. Environ. Manage 35, 51–67.Google Scholar
  15. Culp, J. M., Cash, K. J. and Wrona, F. J.: 2000a, ‘Cumulative effects assessment for the Northern River Basins’, J. Aquat. Ecosystem Stress Recovery 8, 87–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Culp, J. M., Podemski, C. L. and Cash, K. J.: 2000b, ‘Interactive effects of nutrients and contaminants from pulp mill effluents on riverine benthos’, J. Aquat. Ecosystem Stress Recovery 8, 67–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dubé, M. G. and Munkittrick, K. R.: 2001, ‘Integration of effects-based and stressor-based approaches into a holistic framework for cumulative effects assessment in aquatic ecosystems’, Human Ecol. Risk Assess. 7, 247–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dubé, M. G.: 2003, ‘Cumulative effects assessment in Canada: A regional framework for aquatic ecosystems’, Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. 23, 723–745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Environment Canada: 1998, Pulp and Paper Technical Guidance for Aquatic Environmental Effects Monitoring. EEM/1998/1, National EEM Office, Science Policy and Environmental Quality Branch, Ottawa, ON, Canada.Google Scholar
  20. Environment Canada: 2001. Metal Mining Guidance Document for Aquatic Environmental Effects Monitoring. Available at http://www.ec.gc.ca/eem, National EEM Office, Science Policy and Environmental Quality Branch, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
  21. Gray, M. A., Curry, R. A. and Munkittrick, K. R.: 2002, ‘Non-lethal sampling methods for assessing environmental impacts using a small-bodied sentinel fish species. Water Qual. Res. J. Canada 37, 195–211.Google Scholar
  22. Gummer, W. D., Cash, K. J., Wrona, F. J. and Prowse, T. D.: 2000, ‘The Northern Rivers Basins Study: context and design’, J. Aquat. Ecosystem Stress Recovery 8, 7–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hegmann, G., Cocklin, C., Creasey, R., Dupuis, S., Kennedy, A., Kingsley, L., Ross, W., Spaling, H. and Stalker, D.: 1999, Cumulative Effects Assessment Practitioners Guide. Prepared by AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. and CEA Working Group for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Hull, QC, Canada.Google Scholar
  24. Lawrence, D. P.: 1997, ‘Integrating sustainability and environmental impact assessment’, Environ. Manage. 21, 23–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lowell, R. B., Ribey, S., Ellis, I. K., Porter, E., Culp, J. M., Grapentine, L. C., McMaster, M. E., Munkittrick, K. R. and Scroggins, R. P.: 2003, National Assessment of the Pulp and Paper Environmental Effects Monitoring Data. National EEM Office, National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada.Google Scholar
  26. Lyon, W. A.: 1987, ‘Environmental Impact Analysis as Related to River Basin Management’, Water Pollution, Control Assoc. Pennsylvania Mag., pp. 17–21.Google Scholar
  27. Mackenzie River Basin Board (Mackenzie River Basin Board): 2004, Mackenzie River Basin State of the Aquatic Ecosystem Report 2003. Fort Smith, NT, ISBN 0-662-35973–9.Google Scholar
  28. MacLock, R. B., Lyons, B. and Ellehoj, E.: 1996, ‘Northern River Basins Study Synthesis Report No. 8’, Environmental Overview of the Northern River Basins, Northern River Basins Study, Edmonton.Google Scholar
  29. Munkittrick, K. R., McMaster, M. E., Van Der Kraak, G., Portt, C., Gibbons, W. N., Farwell, A. and Gray, M.: 2000, Development of Methods for Effects- Driven Cumulative Effects Assessment Using Fish Populations: Moose River Project. Florida, USA: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.Google Scholar
  30. Northern River Ecosystem Initiative: 2004, Northern River Ecosystem Initiative – Synthesis Report. Environment Canada, Hull, QC, ISBN 0-662–37739-7.Google Scholar
  31. Reynoldson, T. B., Logan, C., Milani, D., Pascoe, T. and Shompson, S. P.: 1999a, Methods Manual: I. Creation of Reference-Condition Databases for Benthic Invertebrate Community Structure. Environment Canada, National Water Research Institute, Burlington/Saskatoon, NWRI Contribution No. 99–212.Google Scholar
  32. Reynoldson, T. B., Bombardier, M., Donald, D. B., O'Neill, H., Rosenberg, D. M., Shear, H. Tuominen, T. M. and Vaughan, H. H.: 1999b, ‘Strategy for a Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network’, Environment Canada, National Water Research Institute, Burlington/Saskatoon, NWRI Contribution No. 99–248.Google Scholar
  33. Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management: 1997, Surface Water Quality Objectives. Environmental Protection Branch Available at (http://www.se.gov.sk.ca/environment/protection.water), SERM, Regina SK. 24 pp.
  34. Shelast, B., Luoma, M. E., Fraiken, C. G. J. and Kovats, Z.: 2000, Cycle 2 Environmental Effects Monitoring for Athabasca River Basin Pulp Mills. Volume 1: Interpretive Report. Prepared for Athabasca River Basin Pulp Mills by Stantec Consulting Ltd., and Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB.Google Scholar
  35. Smit, B. and Spaling, H.: 1995, ‘Methods for cumulative effects assessment’, Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. 5, 81–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Spaling, H.: 1994, ‘Cumulative effects assessment: Concepts and principles’, Impact Assess. 12, 231–252.Google Scholar
  37. Williamson, D. A.: 2001, Manitoba Water Quality Standards, Objectives and Guidelines. Technical Draft: February 1, 2001. Manitoba Conservation Report 2001–01 Available at http://www.gov.mb.ca/environ. Manitoba Conservation, Water Quality Management Section. Winnipeg, MB. 75pp.
  38. Wrona, F. J., Gummer, W. D., Cash, K. J. and Crutchfield, K.: 1996, Northern River Basins Study Synthesis Report No. 11. Cumulative Impacts Within the Northern River Basins. Northern River Basins Study, Edmonton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monique Dubé
    • 1
  • Brian Johnson
    • 2
  • Gary Dunn
    • 2
  • Joseph Culp
    • 3
  • Kevin Cash
    • 2
  • Kelly Munkittrick
    • 4
  • Isaac Wong
    • 5
  • Kathlene Hedley
    • 6
  • William Booty
    • 5
  • David Lam
    • 5
  • Oskar Resler
    • 7
  • Alex Storey
    • 7
  1. 1.National Water Research Institute (NWRI)Environment CanadaSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Prairie and Northern RegionEnvironment CanadaReginaCanada
  3. 3.NWRIUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversity of New BrunswickSaint JohnCanada
  5. 5.NWRI, Environment CanadaBurlingtonCanada
  6. 6.NWRI, National Environmental Effects Monitoring OfficeGatineauCanada
  7. 7.Department Computing & Information ScienceUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

Personalised recommendations