Oct 5, 2018

The SFEI Emerging Contaminant team, led by Dr. Rebecca Sutton, has helped local and state leaders to identify new pollution issues that threaten the health of San Francisco Bay.  This team has released two important   documents to guide monitoring for years to come.  The first, Contaminants of Emerging Concern in San Francisco Bay: A Strategy for Future Investigations 2018 Update, is the latest version of the overarching plan for CEC monitoring in the RMP.  The second report, Alternative Flame Retardants in San Francisco Bay: Synthesis and Strategy, presents a conceptual model for stormwater-related alternative flame retardants. 

The SFEI Emerging Contaminant team, led by Dr. Rebecca Sutton, has released two important Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) planning documents that will guide monitoring for years to come. 

The first, Contaminants of Emerging Concern in San Francisco Bay: A Strategy for Future Investigations 2018 Update, is the latest version of the overarching plan for CEC monitoring in the RMP. The Strategy is a living document that guides RMP special studies on CECs, assuring continued focus on the issues of highest priority to the health of the Bay. A key focus of the Strategy is a tiered risk and management action framework that guides future monitoring proposals. The Strategy also features a multi-year plan indicating potential future research priorities. The 2018 CEC Strategy Update is a brief summary document that features revised tier designations for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the addition of recently monitored CECs to the tiered risk and management action framework. Reviews of findings relevant to San Francisco Bay are provided. The 2018 Update also outlines the RMP’s strategy for monitoring CECs in pathways, particularly stormwater and wastewater.  


The second report, Alternative Flame Retardants in San Francisco Bay: Synthesis and Strategy, presents a conceptual model for stormwater-related alternative flame retardants. Recent RMP monitoring that characterized a wide range of flame retardants has led to the conclusion that among the many categories of alternative flame retardants, organophosphate esters should be prioritized for further investigation. Key data gaps prioritized for additional monitoring include the stormwater and linked air deposition pathways. A 2019 special study proposal will include screening of organophosphate esters in stormwater. As improved estimates of these pathways are developed, a modeling effort is recommended to gain insights regarding the relative importance of these and other pathways by which organophosphate esters enter the Bay.

Programs and Focus Areas: 
Bay Regional Monitoring Program