SETAC Spotlight: Collation and analysis of public environmental monitoring datasets for regulatory submissions.

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SETAC Spotlight: Collation and analysis of public environmental monitoring datasets for regulatory submissions.

CEA presented 17 posters and platforms at SETAC Copenhagen in May 2022. Since then we have been showcasing each of these presentations in a series of 'SETAC Spotlight' articles. This week it is:

Collation and Analysis of public environmental monitoring datasets for regulatory submissions

Author: Greg Hughes

For the authorization of plant protection products (PPP) under regulation 1107/2009/EC an overview and assessment of environmental monitoring data must be provided by the applicant. However, there are currently no guidelines for what data should be supplied or how the data should be processed, analysed, presented and interpreted. Data collection and analysis to meet this regulatory requirement draws on existing guidelines, guidance and directives e.g., FOCUSgw (EC, 2014), groundwater monitoring guidelines (Gimsing et al., 2019), Water Framework (2000/60/EC) and associated directives, QA/QC directive (2009/90/EC) and associated guidelines (e.g. SANTE/2020/12830).

The typical approach taken when preparing regulatory submissions utilises readily available public monitoring data from online data repositories, digital maps and reports. Public monitoring data sourced from different regions/Member States are collected for:

  • different purposes [e.g. incident investigation, surveillance, compliance assessment],

  • using different sampling strategies [e.g. flow proportional/grab, seasonal/monthly],

  • by different organisations [e.g. water company, environment agency] using different sampling protocols,

  • analysed to different standards [e.g. ISO17025] by different organisations/methods,

  • and reported differently [e.g. LOD or LOQ reported; data quality (un)reported].

These public monitoring data provide valuable insight into the state of the environment, emerging issues and possible impacts, and are therefore in principle good data sources to fulfil the regulatory requirement. However, caution is required when collating, analysing and interpreting these datasets. Extensive data exploration should be undertaken such that all aspects of the dataset characteristics are fully considered for the assessment of the data.

This poster outlines key issues in this context, relating to (i) data quality and harmonisation, (ii) data analysis e.g. dealing with outliers and non-detects, (iii) selection of robust science-based thresholds and (iv) derivation of relevant exposure values for compliance/impact assessment. It also considers interpretation of the results, confounding factors, and key aspects of conclusions on management and mitigation measures, e.g. ensuring that relevant uses, sources and pathway are addressed. The use of public monitoring data for local issue detection and for definition of local measures and stewardship programmes is also discussed.

You can download the poster for free.

You can find all of the other posters and platforms that CEA presented at SETAC Copenhagen here. You can also find all of our publications from previous conferences and links to journal articles we have authored on our library page.



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