The 1997 version of the Listing of Fish and Wildife Advisories is PC-based and is available to the public free of charge on both CD-ROM (EPA document number EPA-823-C-98-001) and 3.5-inch diskettes (EPA-823-C-98-002). The disks are available free of charge by calling (513) 489-8190. Alternatively, the data may be retrieved from the EPA web site at http://www.epa.gov/.
Each record in the NLFWCA is associated with a population code, which indicates both the target population affected by the advisory and fish species affected by the advisory. Each record also specifies the chemical contaminant(s) responsible for the advisory. State health advisories (see Appendix B for an example) range from prohibitions against consumption of all or certain species of fish for all persons, to limited consumption for certain groups of individuals, e.g., pregnant women. In addition, each record contains a contact name and phone number.
Most advisories include more than one contaminant and may concern more than one species of fish and/or shellfish. While it is difficult to count advisories by contaminant, it is possible to tally the number of advisories that include a particular contaminant. For the sake of consistency, the EPA counts the advisories by waterbody, such as a bay, lake, or reach of a river.
Different states employ different counting and tissue sampling methods for issuing advisories. The threshold levels for contaminants detected in fish tissue also vary across the states. The EPA counts by waterbody affected to allow the states to be combined into a single format for nationwide reporting and analysis.
Total Number of Advisories
From the 1997 EPA NLFWCA, AET selected all states and U.S. territories, all pollutants, and all active advisories to obtain the total of 2,299 waterbodies currently under some type of fish consumption advisory nationwide.
Advisories for Dioxin
Following the EPA methodology, AET's analysis counts dioxin advisories by waterbody. For instance, two advisories for different reaches of the same river or for the same river running through two states, with both advisories attributed to the same source, are counted as one advisory. For each dioxin advisory -- its attributed source, and any lifting or advisory modification (reduction in number of fish species or extent of waterbody covered) -- AET obtained confirmation of status from the appropriate state agency.