The State of California’s sediment quality objectives (SQOs) must accomplish several objectives. First, they must be protective of multiple beneficial uses, including healthy habitat for aquatic life, human health risk from the consumption of seafood, and risk to fish and wildlife from the bioaccumulation of contaminants. Second, the SQOs must be feasible for use by a variety of agencies with variable types of information. Third, the SQOs must be applicable to various regulatory programs that have different objectives, such as the assessment of entire waterbodies or the regulation of dredging at a localized site. Finally, the SQOs need to be based on current scientific understanding regarding the effects of sediment contamination on organisms. Accomplishing these objectives requires an assessment framework that includes a mechanism to integrate multiple types of information and produce a result upon which management decisions can be based. A critical decision in developing the SQO assessment framework is whether to base it on a single line of evidence (LOE) or multiple lines of evidence (MLOE). California’s water quality objectives are presently based on a single LOE, which are chemical thresholds. A single LOE is appropriate in the water column because the binding effects of other water column constituent
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