The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District awarded a contract in the amount of around $265.000 to SOL Engineering Service LLC, a small business, for environmental services to include the collection and analyses of water and sediment samples from the federally maintained Houston Ship Channel Mid Bay Segment.
According to Aron Edwards, a biologist with the USACE Galveston District’s Navigation Branch, the contract requires collection and analyses of sediment including elutriate samples; grain-size analyses; suspended particulate phase bioassays; solid phase bioassays and bioaccumulation assessments.
“The testing will analyze dredged material planned for excavation during routine maintenance dredging with disposal to the Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site, regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency,” said Edwards. “The bioassays are special tests on sensitive benthic marine organisms such as worms and clams. The testing exposes the organisms to dredged material to see if there is any toxicity and bioaccumulation in their tissue.”
The district performs bioassay testing every five years in advance of ODMDS disposal events. The testing is in coordination with the EPA and is expected to begin this month.