Services provided by EnviroSystems, Inc., Woman Owned Small Business

services

Risk Assessment

ESI offers an extensive variety of environmental risk assessment testing services designed to evaluate the impact of pollutants on various habitats.

Analytical Chemistry

ESI provides a full range of analytical chemistry services directed toward the analysis of soil, sediment, water and tissue matrices.

FETAX Assays

Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay Xenopus (FETAX) assays demonstrating potential adverse ecological impacts by monitoring development and growth of eggs and tadpoles.

Freshwater Toxicology

Freshwater toxicity testing programs incorporating acute and chronic exposure assays with, amphipods, midge larvae, daphnids, minnows, and aquatic worms

Terrestrial Toxicology

Testing services specifically designed to address issues related to detecting and quantifying toxicity of soils, sediments, leachates, and hazardous wastes

Sediment Evaluation

Marine dredged sediment testing programs and analytical chemistry services specifically designed to address issues related to permitting and monitoring of dredging and disposal projects.

Tissue Analysis

Extraction, recovery, and reliable detection of organic analytes from tissue samples to document body burdens.

Discharge Analysis

WET (Whole Effluent Testing) WER (Water Effects Ratio) studies designed to support the toxicological testing and analytical chemical programs requirements specified in State and Federal wastewater discharge permits.

Contaminants of Concern

Anaylsis of Contaminants of Concern (COCs) in sediment pore waters and elutrate solutions.

Ecological Risk Assessment

EnviroSystems, Inc. provides an extensive variety of environmental testing services designed to evaluate the impact of pollutants on various habitats. These services include: acute and chronic toxicological evaluations of; soils, sediments, effluents and leachates. Studies are designed specifically to address toxicological and bioaccumulative potential, standard drill mud and dispersant toxicity tests; on-site WET (Whole Effluent Testing) requirements, WER (Water Effects Ratio) studies, or in-stream toxicity and bioconcentration tests; sediment bioaccumulation studies; and fish avoidance studies.

All environmental toxicity and bioconcentration tests are available with standard or specially selected marine and freshwater fish, invertebrates and plants. Tests can be conducted under static, renewal or flow-through exposure conditions with natural or artificial freshwater and saltwater, depending on the required protocol.

 

Assays routinely conducted at ESI in support of Ecological Risk Assesments

Risk Assessment Evaluations

Analytical Chemistry

EnviroSystems, Inc. provides a full range of analytical chemistry services directed toward the analysis of soil, sediment, water and tissue matrices. ESI has tailored services specifically to address issues related to analysis of trace metals and organic compounds in sediments, soils, waters, tissues and plants for over 30 years.

EnviroSystems’ laboratory is equipped with automated instrumentation for the preparation and analysis of sediments, soils, waters and tissue samples. The laboratory functions in accordance with the standards of the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) accreditation.

In dealing with environmental samples special attention is paid by EnviroSystems’ chemists to recognize that standard reporting limits may exceed risk-based limits for some compounds of concern. By using a project-specific approach, analysts can apply the most sensitive techniques to achieve the lowest reporting limits and best quantitation for each study.

The EnviroSystems analytical chemistry team’s mission is to support each client’s analytical service needs with responsive, accurate and defensible analytical data. Close interaction of our biologists and chemists with field project scientists and engineers, produces data that consistently meets or exceeds the data quality objectives of environmental investigation and compliance monitoring programs.

 

Analytical Chemistry Testing Services:

In addition to custom testing, ESI offers routine tests for:

  • Inorganic Materials
    • Trace Metals
    • Anions
    • Cations
    • Nutrients
    • Flux Studies
    • Demand
  • Organic Materials
    • Volatile and Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds
    • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), both congeners and arochlors
    • Polynuclear Hydrocarbons
    • Pesticides
    • Explosive Residues

FETAX Assays

EnviroSystems, Inc. provides a full range of environmental toxicological and analytical chemistry testing services specifically designed to address issues related to detecting and quantifying toxicity of leachates, surface waters and sediments. Amphibian evaluations are conducted using Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay Xenopus, or FETAX assays.

FETAX assays demonstrate potential adverse ecological impacts by monitoring development and growth of eggs and tadpoles. Newly fertilized frog eggs are exposed to a range of sample types including, leachates, surface waters and sediments. Embryonic development is monitored along with tadpole growth and development to assess teratogenic developmental effects and chronic, sublethal effects on growth. Incorporation of FETAX assays into overall testing schemes designed to evaluate potential toxicity of leachates, ground water, surface waters and sediments is an additional tool to assess potential impacts. The assay generates both acute and chronic exposure endpoints for establishing site prioritization, characterization or for documentation of cleanup success and monitoring.

 

Benefits of an EnviroSystems’ FETAX Assay

  • Basic protocol, providing for the evaluation of waters and leachates, can be easily modified to allow assessment of sediments and soils.
  • Extension of exposure periods from the standard 96 hours to 240 hours (10-days) allows for assessment of long-term, chronic exposure effects.
  • Alternative species, including indigenous frogs and toads, may be used in place of Xenopus. Use of species other than Xenopus may however, limit test availability.
  • Standard FETAX assays, using relatively short exposure times, 96 hours, provide both mortality and sublethal effects data more quickly than other water column or sediment assays.

 

Adult frogs with fertilized eggs, male frog is the smaller of the pair.

Adult frogs with fertilized eggs, male frog is the smaller of the pair.

Frog embryos at the start of assay.

Frog embryos at the start of assay.

Tadpoles during the assay after 24 hours of exposure.

Tadpoles during the assay after 24 hours of exposure.

Tadpoles at the end of the assay after 96 hours of exposure.

Tadpoles at the end of the assay after 96 hours of exposure.

Freshwater Sediment Toxicity Testing Programs

EnviroSystems, Inc. provides a full range of environmental toxicological and analytical chemistry testing services specifically designed to address issues related to detecting and quantifying toxicity of sediments and hazardous wastes. ESI’s facility is designed so it can simultaneously evaluate over 100 samples with varying environmental conditions.

Freshwater toxicity testing programs incorporate acute and chronic exposure assays with, amphipods, midge larvae, daphnids, minnows and aquatic worms. Data generated from these programs are being used to document site prioritization and characterization, waste characterization, cleanup standards and site monitoring. Analytical chemistry provides for both sediment and tissue analysis. ESI’s scientists work with our clients to design program sampling and analysis plans to achieve data quality objectives. Toxicity and bioaccumulation testing programs are based on EPA and ASTM standard protocol.

 

Emergence traps used in midge, Chironomus dilutus, day 35 of life cycle assay.

Emergence traps used in midge, Chironomus dilutus, day 35 of life cycle assay.

 

Midge larvae recovered on day 28 of life cycle assay.

Midge larvae recovered on day 28 of life cycle assay.

Freshwater Sediment Toxicity Testing Services:

In addition to custom testing, ESI offers routine tests for:

  • Acute and chronic exposure evaluations using the amphipod Hyalella azteca.
  • Exposures range from 10 to 42-days with survival growth and reproduction endpoints.
  • Midge, Chironomus dilutus, evaluations ranging from acute exposure to life cycle.
    • Assay endpoints include survival, growth and reproduction.
    • Adult emergence, egg case production and hatch rate are part of the reproduction endpoint.
  • Freshwater bioaccumulation evaluations are conducted utilizing the oligochaete, Lumbriculus variegatus.
    • Bioaccumulation testing programs incorporate preliminary screening assays to establish sample toxicity.
    • Our comprehensive tissue analysis always includes testing for:
      • Trace metals
      • PAH compounds
      • PCB congeners
      • Semi-volatile organic compounds
      • Pesticides
      • Explosives
  • Fully accredited analytical support for analysis of project site sediments and overlying water.
    • Testing services tailored for project-specific needs include analysis of:
      • Trace metals
      • AVS/SEM
      • PCB congeners
      • PAH compounds
      • Pesticides
Egg case produced on day 48 of life cycle assay.

Egg case produced on day 48 of life cycle assay.

 

Freshwater oligochaetes, Lumbriculus variegatus, recovered at end of 28-day bioaccumulation evaluation.

Freshwater oligochaetes, Lumbriculus variegatus, recovered at end of 28-day bioaccumulation evaluation.

Terrestrial Toxicological Evaluation

EnviroSystems, Inc. provides a full range of environmental toxicological and analytical chemistry testing services specifically designed to address issues related to detecting and quantifying toxicity of soils, sediments, leachates, and hazardous wastes. ESI’s analytical group also provides comprehensive chemical analysis of tissue samples, either from laboratory bioaccumulation evaluations or field collection programs.

Toxicity programs for evaluation of hazardous materials, including soils and sludges, based on the responses of vascular plants and soil invertebrates, generates information based on sensitive endpoints in relatively short periods. These data also have benefits over a purely chemical specific evaluation of wastes as the information can be used to draw direct conclusions as to potential impacts.

 

Benefits of an EnviroSystems’ Terrestrial Toxicological Evaluation

  • Plant seed and terrestrial invertebrate assays provide sensitive measurements of the overall toxicological impacts of complex mixtures.
  • Seed root tip elongation and germination assays provide comprehensive results after 3 and 5 days exposure.
  • Plant and earthworm assays provide data to assess probable effects of contaminated materials on survival and growth, and evaluate bioaccumulative potential of individual contaminants.
  • Plant and earthworm bioaccumulation evaluations used to demonstrate the absence of toxicity or bioaccumulative potential of sludge-based compost for soil amendment.
  • In-house environmental chemistry programs provide a full range of analytical services for analysis of tissues, soils, sediments and leachates.
  • ESI provides statistical analysis of bioaccumulation data plus full electronic data packages.
Rye grass, Lollium perenne, recovered on day 28 of chronic exposure assay.

Rye grass, Lollium perenne, recovered on day 28 of chronic exposure assay.

Mature Eisenia fetida recovered at end of 28-day survival and growth assay.

Mature Eisenia fetida recovered at end of 28-day survival and growth assay.

Flowered plants at end of 42-day Life Cycle Assay using Brassica rapa.

Flowered plants at end of 42-day Life Cycle Assay using Brassica rapa.

Marine Dredged Sediment Evaluation

EnviroSystems, Inc. provides a full range of toxicological testing programs and analytical chemistry services specifically designed to address issues related to permitting and monitoring of dredging and disposal projects. ESI has conducted Tier III sediment evaluations for private sector projects and Federal navigation maintenance projects at locations ranging from Maine to Mississippi to Puerto Rico.

Laboratory services are routinely available from ESI to cover all aspects for dredged material testing associated with Tier II, Bulk Sediment Analysis, through Tier III, acute sediment toxicity, water column analysis, Suspended Particulate Phase assays and elutriate analysis and Bioaccumulation Testing.

Envirosystems’ facility has been designed to accommodate the full range of testing services necessary to assess impacts of dredged sediments on both marine and freshwater environments. The facility is capable of conducting concurrent testing programs under multiple environments, allowing for the control of temperature, salinity and photoperiod.

While there is no State or Federal certification of laboratories conducting dredged sediment evaluations, ESI has an approved LQAP on file with the New England District Corps of Engineers covering all biological and analytical services necessary for conducting bulk sediment, biological, elutriate and bioaccumulation testing.

 

Benefits of an EnviroSystems’ Dredged Sediment Evaluation

  • The full range of testing services necessary to obtain Federal Permits are available.
  • ESI has extensive experience evaluating marine dredged sediments and has completed studies for over 130 projects involving over 425 samples.
  • The ability to handle multiple sample simultaneously: 20 samples can be evaluated together as part of an energy terminal permitting program.
  • Large volume Elutriate Preparation capabilities for producing both standard, offshore disposal modeling, and modified, confined disposal facility (CDF), options.
  • Full range of analytical services necessary for bulk, elutriate and bioaccumulation analyses.
  • Capabilities to conduct vascular plant assays associated with upland CDF disposal options.

 

10 Day Solid Phase Assay.

10 Day Solid Phase Assay.

Elutriate/Suspended Particulate Phase Preparation.

Elutriate / Suspended Particulate Phase Preparation.

Sea Urchin Larvae - Suspended Particulate Phase Assay.

Sea Urchin Larvae – Suspended Particulate Phase Assay.

PCB congener analysis using high resolution GC-MS Specific Ion Monitoring.

PCB congener analysis using high resolution GC-MS Specific Ion Monitoring.

Tissue Body Burden Analysis

EnviroSystems, Inc. provides a full range of analytical chemistry services directed toward the analysis of soil, sediment, water and tissue matrices. ESI has tailored services specifically to address issues related to uptake of trace metals and organic compounds by invertebrates, vertebrates and plants for over 30 years.

Analysis of tissue samples to document body burdens poses a range of challenges not normally found in routine environmental samples. Extraction, recovery, and reliable detection of organic analytes from biogenic material requires the best equipment in the hands of specialists. Standard analytical methods must be optimized for biological samples to maintain responsive reporting limits in small sample volumes. EnviroSystems’ analytical protocols address these issues.

Routine analyses available for evaluation of tissue samples include; trace metals, PAH compounds, PCB congeners, pesticides, explosive residue and semi-volatile organic compounds.

Analyte Group Instrument Method
Trace Metals ICP-MS / ICP-OES EPA 200.8 / 200.7
Mercury CVAF EPA 245.7
PAHs GC-MS EPA 8270 SIM
PCB Congeners GC-MS EPA 680 SIM
Pesticides GC EPA 8081A
Explosive Residue GC-MS EPA 680 SIM

Discharge Analysis: WET & WER

EnviroSystems, Inc. provides an extensive range of toxicological testing services directly related to supporting biomonitoring requirements specified in State and Federal wastewater discharge permits issued in compliance with the Clean Water Act’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination Scheme (NPDES).

EnviroSystems has provided toxicological and analytical chemistry services to support Water Effects Ratio (WER) studies for more than 30 years. Studies have been completed for both individual clients and consortiums of dischargers working together to provide documentation for establishing either discharge specific or basin wide permit limits.

ESI’s facility has been specifically designed to support toxicological testing and analytical chemical programs necessary to meet all our client’s monitoring needs at a single location. For over 30 years ESI has provided NPDES biomonitoring support and services to clients throughout the continental United States as well as locations in Puerto Rico and America Samoa. ESI is NELAC accredited through the State of New Hampshire for a full ranges of toxicological and analytical parameters.

 

WET (Whole Effluent Testing) Biomonitoring Services:

  • NPDES Biomonitoring Testing
  • Acute and chronic exposure testing species routinely include:
    • Daphnids– Ceriodaphnia dubia and Daphnia pulex
    • Freshwaters– Pimephales promelas
    • Marine minnows– Menidia beryllina
    • Mysid shrimp– Americamysis bahia
  • Chronic exposure testing is regularly conducted on all of the acute species as well as:
    • The red macro alga Champia parvula
    • Embryos of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata
    • The green alga, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (Selenastrum)
  • Quality Assurance for Reliable Results
    • ESI’s comprehensive quality assurance program is supported by a Quality Assurance plan, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and study specific protocols all developed in compliance with the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP).
    • View our certificates of accreditation.
    • To ensure the highest level of performance, ESI regularly participates in external performance evaluations.
  • Analytical Chemistry Support
    • ESI provides a comprehensive range of in-house analytical services to support its NPDES biomonitoring programs. Support includes low level trace metals analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), Gas Chromatography (CG), (CG-MSM) plus automated analysis of ammonia, alkalinity and total organic carbon.
    • Additional analytical support includes standard wastewater wet chemical analyses.

WER (Water Effects Ratio) Studies Services:

  • Exposure Testing
  • ESI’s toxicology laboratory provides more than 30 years testing experience plus its 10,000 square feet capacity allows simultaneous acute and chronic exposure testing of multiple species under varying environmental conditions. The laboratory staff has extensive experience with the most common species used in WER studies: Ceriodaphnia dubia (daphnid); Pimephales promelas (minnow); and Oncorhynchus mykiss (trout). As part of a river basin program, EnviroSystems also conducted analytical chemistry evaluations to establish site specific limits for 3 metals for C. dubia and O. mykiss. ESI has also run a WER evaluating 4 metals with these species.
  • Quality Assurance for Reliable Results
  • Support data for a WER generated by ESI meets the highest industry quality standards. ESI’s quality assurance program is based on current TNI guidelines and is compliant with Department of Defense, ISO-17025, ELAP QSM 5.0. ESI maintains accreditation in a number of states through its NELAC and Department of Defense (DoD) accreditations.
  • View our certificates of accreditation.
  • Analytical Chemistry Support
  • ESI’s in-house analytical laboratory has the capability to provide all necessary analytical support for measuring the concentrations of target compounds. This includes: low-level metals by ICP-MS, ammonia, alkalinity, and organic carbon analysis. ESI has the ability to provide chemical analysis prior to starting testing, ensuring that actual target test concentrations are being achieved while the assays are being conducted. ESI’s clients can also benefit from our ability to conduct all testing at our facility, allowing for greater control of data analysis and processing, and potentially reducing costs associated with a project.

Contaminants of Concern

EnviroSystems, Inc. provides tailored services specifically to address issues related to levels of Contaminants of Concern (COCs) in the water column.

ESI’s services include the capability to provide a full range of analytical services for elutriate analysis for both freshwater and marine samples. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Evaluation of Dredged Material Proposed for Discharge in Waters of the U.S., Inland Testing Manual, and Evaluation of Dredged Material Proposed for Disposal at Island, Nearshore, or Upland Confined Disposal Facilities guidance documents specify use of elutriate testing procedures for assessing levels of Contaminants of Concern (COCs) in water column samples.

Passive samplers are being used to provide data on levels of Contaminants of Concern (COCs) in pore waters during acute and chronic exposure assays. ESI provides a range of passive sampling devices for direct deployment in assay test chambers. ESI also provides a full range of supporting chemistry services associated with sampler analysis. Sampler design is developed in conjunction with project staff to ensure that project scope of work and quality assurance plan objectives are achieved.

Please call for information on current MDLs, project specific reporting limits or for a quote.

 

Passive Pore-Water Samplers

To assess pore water trace metal concentrations, ESI designs and constructs passive pore-water samplers, "Peepers" using current best practices and take into account test chamber sediment volume and available pore water content. Peepers can be constructed of either polyethylene or glass. A polyethersulfone membrane, 0.45 µm pore diameter, separates outside sediments from the deoxygenated deionized water in the chamber. Peeper components are assembled in deoxygenated deionized water in small batches. Use of deoxygenated deionized water mitigates formation of metallic oxides which can clog the membrane. To further mitigate impacts of oxygen in the peepers units are prepared just prior to use. Assembled units are subjected to quality assurance analysis for COCs prior to use. Individual peeper volumes generally range from 2.0 to 4 mL and multiple samplers may be deployed in a chamber to increase final sample volume. Direct analysis of the peeper contents, using ICP-MS methods, is available from our in-house chemistry group.

Elutrate Solutions Preparation and Analysis

ESI routinely generates both standard and modified elutriate solutions for freshwater and marine waters and sediments. Standard elutriate solutions are prepared in glass or Teflon® lined stainless steel vessels incorporating Teflon® coated stainless steel stirring apparatus. Modified elutriate solution preparation utilizes the same containers with laboratory grade compressed air providing the mixing. Systems are available to provide elutriate volumes that range from 1 to 42 liters at a single time. The maximum volumes or standard and modified elutriate solution that can simultaneously be generated using glass/Teflon® systems is 40 liters while the all Teflon® coated stainless steel system is capable of generating 70 liters. The laboratory can prepare multiple batches each day.

After preparation, elutriate solutions are centrifuged to remove solids using high capacity/high volume refrigerated centrifuges. High volume units (4 to 6 Liters/run) are capable of providing a Relative Centrifical Force (RCF) of over 6,000 g while lower volume units (1.5 Liters/run) provide an RCF of over 15,000 g. Subsequent membrane filtration, for inorganic parameters, is also available.

Solid Phase Micro Extraction

Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME) fibers are used to monitor organic pore water constituents. ESI obtains SPME fibers from commercial sources with options for the fiber’s organic coating. ESI’s technical staff can provide technical assistance to optimize fiber length and coating plus number of fibers assigned to a test chamber. Fibers may be deployed directly in the sediment or in a protective mesh envelope during the assay. At the termination of an assay, lengths of the recovered fibers are documented. Fibers can then be transferred to appropriate chambers for extraction of COCs and subsequent analysis.