Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in runoff from pavement with coal-tar-based sealcoat remain elevated for months following sealcoat application, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
PAHs are an environmental health concern because they are toxic to fish and other aquatic life. A 2012 human health-risk analysis found that people living near pavement sealed with coal-tar-based products have an elevated risk of cancer.
USGS scientists evaluated concentrations of PAHs and azaarenes (chemicals similar in structure to PAHs but containing a nitrogen atom in the place of a carbon atom) in runoff from test plots sealed with either coal-tar-based or asphalt-based sealcoat starting five hours after sealcoat application and continuing for as long as three months after application. The full report, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, is available online.
Concentrations of PAHs and azaarenes in runoff from the coal-tar-sealcoated pavement were about 20 times higher than in runoff from the asphalt-sealcoated pavement, and about 40 times higher than in runoff from unsealed asphalt. Concentrations and assemblages of PAHs indicated that the asphalt-based sealcoat might have contained a small amount (5-10%) of coal-tar-based sealcoat.
Although the total concentration of PAHs varied relatively little over the three months following application, the concentration of high molecular weight (large) PAHs increased and the concentration of low molecular weight (small) PAHs decreased. The low molecular weight PAHs are acutely toxic to aquatic life, but the high molecular weight PAHs are more likely to cause mutations, birth defects, and cancer. The high molecular weight PAHs in the runoff were mostly in the form of particles.
This study is the first to investigate concentrations of azaarenes associated with sealcoat runoff. Sources of azaarenes include coal-tar and oil-shale processing, wood preserving, and chemical manufacturing. In samples of runoff collected just hours after sealcoat application, concentrations of the azaarene carbazole exceeded those of any other PAH or azaarene measured. Azaarenes have a large range of ecotoxicological effects, including acute toxicity, but have been less well studied than PAHs.
Sealcoat products are widely used in the United States, both commercially and by homeowners. The products are commonly applied to commercial parking lots (including strip malls, schools, churches and shopping centers), residential driveways, apartment complexes and playgrounds.
@USGSLive (Twitter account) will be live-tweeting this event
It's 1964 in Alaska. Imagine 4.5 minutes of powerful ground shaking underneath you from a magnitude 9.2 earthquake. You and your loved ones are then faced with resulting landslides and a devastating tsunami. You just experienced the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America. In that moment, scientists did not know how or why it occurred.
That event marked a turning point for earthquake science. Come learn about the great leaps in research over the last 50 years, and the research still underway to understand the remaining mysteries of earthquake hazards.
It is essential to start with science, because we can't plan if we don’t know what we are planning for.
The USGS and the Hazards Caucus Alliance invite you to a congressional briefing on exploring earthquakes, focusing on analysis of the past and essential science still needed to protect lives and property.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Rayburn House Office Building
David Applegate, U.S. Geological Survey
Peter Haeussler, U.S. Geological Survey
Tom Jordan, Seismological Society of America
John Schelling, Washington State Military Department's Emergency Management Division
American Geosciences Institute
American Geophysical Union
Geological Society of America
Seismological Society of America
Please send your RSVP to Jessica Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend.
Refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Seismological Society of America.
FEMA, Arizona Host Leadership Conference to Discuss Emerging Trends in Emergency Management, Collaborate with Public, Private Sector before Next Disaster; Microsoft, Verizon, Facebook to Attend along with Many More
For Immediate Release: February 19, 2014
Media Contact: Mary Simms, email@example.com
FEMA, Arizona Host Leadership Conference to Discuss Emerging Trends in Emergency Management, Collaborate with Public, Private Sector before Next Disaster
Microsoft, Verizon, Facebook to Attend along with Many More
State of Delaware and University of Delaware partner to create electric vehicle charging station network
Clearer views of waters along the U.S. and Canadian border are now possible with new seamless digital maps. These maps make it easier to solve complex water issues that require a thorough understanding of drainage systems on both sides of the International Boundary.
"In the past, cross-border maps were not always accurate, but now these new digital maps are fully linked across the entire U.S. and Canadian border," said Peter Steeves, physical scientist with the USGS. "This cooperative project allows scientists on either side to look at the water just as nature does, irrespective of the artificial line separating the two nations."
Developed cooperatively by both countries, the digital maps make tackling difficult issues more effective. For example, levels of phosphorous flowing from Lake Champlain in Vermont into Quebec can now be better understood; flooding in the Red River Valley (which flows north from Minnesota and the Dakotas into Manitoba) can be traced; salmon fisheries in the Columbia River Basin in the Pacific Northwest can be efficiently restored; and understanding localized water use and water availability all along the border is now improved.
"The USA/Canada coordinated mapping efforts along the International Border have opened doors to joint scientific analysis that rely on hydrography integration", said David Harvey, National Manager with the Environment Service of Canada. "Water quality and quantity modelling are already being developed on top of this enriched database."
The advent of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) over the past 20 years has allowed for advancements in the analysis potential of digitally mapped water features to a degree hardly imagined when the USGS started mapping in the 19th century. As technology improves in the years to come, even more progress will be made, such as in the use of lasers to map the earth, new techniques to analyze information, and faster computers to process the data.
For more than 125 years, the USGS has provided accurate maps of the nation's surface waters. During the last two decades this mapping has become digital, using computers and new technologies to provide unprecedented knowledge of water resources. This data is stored in the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD).
The principle agencies involved in this effort are the USGS and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), with oversight by the International Joint Commission (IJC). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Agricultural Foods Canada, Environment Canada along with many provincial and in-state partners participated throughout the process.
Additional information on the NHD and WBD can be found at http://nhd.usgs.gov/.Digital Surface Watersheds along the U.S. and Candian International Boundary. (Larger image) U.S. and Canadian harmonized international sub-basins displaying Canadian 5-digit and U.S. 8-digit hydrologic unit codes; now available within the Watershed Boundary Dataset. (Larger image, 6.7 MB)
DENTON, Texas – More than $1.1 million is being awarded to the state of Arkansas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse Saline County for debris removal costs from a 2012 Christmas Day winter storm.Language English
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is requesting individuals who are interested in serving on the National Advisory Council (NAC) to apply for appointment. The NAC is an advisory council established to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.Language English
NEW YORK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Public Assistance grants to New York University, NYU Langone Medical Center and Services for the UnderServed (SUS)-Mental Health Program to reimburse costs for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
New York University has been awarded more than $1 million in funding. The grant covered a variety of needs including ensuring students’ safety, protection of campus data, temporary generators and a fuel oil tank.Language English
NEW YORK — Since Hurricane Sandy struck New York, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved more than $2.4 billion in Public Assistance grants to reimburse local, state and tribal governments and eligible private nonprofits for costs associated with emergency response, debris removal and repairing or rebuilding public facilities.
Recently approved grants include:Language English
DENVER – Since the September 2013 floods, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided nearly $6.6 million in Individual Assistance to Evans residents and obligated more than $1.4 million in Public Assistance to the City of Evans. At the same time, the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided more than $3.6 million in low-interest loans to 46 Evans homeowners and nine business owners.
As a part of its outreach to the citizens of Evans, FEMA Individual Assistance has provided:Language English
DENTON, Texas –Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 marks the 50th anniversary of what began as an underground facility designed to survive a nuclear war and provide for the continuity of U.S. government operations. The Federal Regional Center (FRC) was constructed between 1961 and late 1963 on 20 acres in Denton.Language English
FEMA Awards $351,066 Grant to Villa Grove: Hazard mitigation funds will be used to acquire and demolish nine flood prone structures
CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $351,066 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to Villa Grove, Ill., for the acquisition and demolition of eight residential structures and one public building located in the floodplains of the West Ditch and Embarras River. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />
LINCROFT, N.J. – The recent winter storm in Atlanta wreaked havoc on traffic and left motorists and vehicles stranded on the city’s highways for days. Many people were forced to stay in their cars overnight, while others abandoned their vehicles to escape the gridlock.Language English