Depuration: An administrative overview

Other titles La purification, du point de vue administratif
Type Proceedings paper
Date 1992-04
Language English
Author(s) Somerset I
Meeting 2. Conference Internationale sur la Purification des Coquillages, Rennes (France), 6-8 Apr 1992
Source Actes de colloques. Ifremer. Brest [ACTES COLLOQ. IFREMER.]. 1995
Keyword(s) France, Bivalvia, Shellfish, Water quality, Legislation, Pollution control, Self purification, Public health
Abstract At the 1964 National Shellfish Sanitation Workshop, Mr. Eugene Jensen presented a thought-provoking paper outlining the rationale for the depuration of shellfish. Mr. Jensen noted that "we are committed to the principal that shellfish must be as safe to eat as other ordinary food" and that "the problems of assuring the sanitary quality of coastal areas will increase rather than diminish. This is not the same as saying that pollution will increase" (Jensen, 1964). It is recognised that additional use of the waters and shore areas will have adverse impacts on the water quality and shellfish resource quantity and quality. If we are to maintain a program which will permit the consumer to eat shellfish in any form they choose, we must develop the means to provide, in Mr. Jensen's words, "a reasonable level of security to the consumer" (Jensen, 1964). This requires establishing procedures to assure that the public health is protected, particularly by setting limitations on the type and quantity of contaminant to be depurated. This discussion is about public health protection - that is what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does, and that is what the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) does. The ISSC is an association of state public health and shellfish officials, FDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). There is a general assembly, three task forces (administration, growing areas, plant sanitation) and about 15 committees. The committees review issues submitted and present recommendations to the appropriate task force. Committee members consist of representatives from academia, industry, state regulators, FDA, and NMFS. Committee reports are sent to the task force where they are reviewed, debated, and voted upon (states and industry vote). Then they go before the general assembly where only states vote. FDA reviews the decisions later to insure that changes are consistent with federal regulations. Once concurrence has been obtained, the changes become part of the program and binding on all participants. This paper discusses the requirements for the depuration control authority and the plant operator. The procedures for designing the plant, writing the scheduled depuration process, verifying the process effectiveness, and the ongoing operation of the depuration plant heve been extracted from the NSSP Manual in a tabular form. The applicable sections of the Manual have been referenced for each requirement.
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