Trace element behavior in the environment is highly variable, as various factors influence speciation, fate, and transport. Some metals and metalloids, such as mercury and selenium, can occur in both inorganic and organic forms the latter species behaving much differently than the former. Some metals are essential to most species of organisms, while other metals are not known to be essential to any organism. Some organisms actively regulate their internal concentrations of certain metals, while other organisms store excess metals in a detoxified form. In short, the toxicology of metals is not only highly variable among different metals, it is highly variable among different species of organisms. Windward staff have extensive experience with these complexities, experience critical when conducting ecotoxicological and risk-based evaluations of metals.
Windward staff have developed close relationships with metals industry associations and representatives by providing technical support and working with both public and private clients (e.g., ports, municipalities, and boatyards) on
metals-related issues. We support projects dealing with a wide range of topics: from broad-scale regulatory issues, such as water quality criteria (WQC) review and development of hazard classification methods for metals, to site-specific evaluations, including ecological and human health risk assessments and natural resource damage assessments (NRDAs). Windward has also collaborated with regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere to facilitate technical and regulatory dialogue in order to develop mutually agreeable solutions.