CLEAR LAKE CYANOTOXIN ISSUES

EPA

The Environmental Protection Department (Big Valley EPA) researches, plans, funds, and implements projects that protect the Tribe’s environment.  Return to Big Valley EPA's page.

The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians began a cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin monitoring program on Clear Lake in 2014 with another shoreline Tribe, Elem Indian Colony. Together the two Tribes' Environmental Departments have collaborated with equipment, resources and time to test the water for toxins produced by cyanobacteria (AKA “Blue Green Algae”). These toxins are called cyanotoxins and can be neurotoxins, liver toxins and skin toxins. The Tribes began this program because despite the fact that Clear Lake had thick, noxious blooms covering its surface every summer since 2009, there was no regular and active monitoring of these blooms for the cyanotoxins that the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) had reviewed and suggested Action Levels for in 2012, and for which the World Health Organization provided guidance regarding exposure in the 1990’s.  OEHHA's Report  

CURRENT RESULTS - 2019 SAMPLING RESULTS/LOCATIONS 

 

LAB UPDATE ON CLEAR LAKE CYANOTOXIN LEVELS:
Because of an Aphanizomenon bloom in Upper Blue Lakes, a special sampling event occurred on 12/10/2019 to test for Anatoxin-a, a toxin produced by Aphanizomenon cyanobacteria.  Lab results  confirmed an Anatoxin result of 0.17
 µg/L.  Caution signs have been erected at the testing location at the eastern end of Upper Blue Lakes. Follow up sampling on 12/16/19 shows No Detect of Anatoxin-a. Per state recommendations, signage should remain until 2 sampling events with No Detect.
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At our last sampling event on 12/16/19, 7 sites were sampled for Microcystin and 2 sites for Anatoxin-a. One site had low detect of MICROCYSTIN and the remaining sites were NON DETECT for the specific toxins for which they were analyzed.
 

The most recent testing MICROCYSTIN results:

 

CLOAKS01  0.11 ug/L

AP01          ND

LC01          ND

UBL            ND

JB              ND

BVCL6        ND

KEYS03      ND

The most recent testing ANATOXIN-A results:

UBL                ND

AP01            ND

KEYS02      NS (NOT SAMPLED)

BP             NS

LS2            NS

HB             NS

RED01        NS

KP01          NS

SHADY01    NS 

RODS         NS

LPTNT        NS

CP              NS

SC01          NS

CLV7          NS

LUC01        NS

KEYS01      NS

ELEM01      NS

SBMMEL01 NS

CL-1          NS 

CL-5          NS

CL-3          NS  

CL-4          NS  

GH            NS 

KP01         NS  

RODS        NS

LS2           NS

UA-08        NS 

UA-07       NS 

UA-06       NS 

UA-01       NS 

NR-02       NS 

OA-04       NS  

LA-03        NS

Winter sampling on Clear Lake is monthly with fewer sites.  Our next sampling date is in January 7, 2020.

EPA STAFF:

Sarah Ryan, Environmental Director (707)263-3924 x132 and (707)349-4040 cell

John Gichuki, Assistant Envt'l Director (707)263-3924 x133

Elias Rodriguez, Recycling Center Manager

Pedro Miguel, Environmental Technician

Katherine Schrade, Environmental Technician

Michael Nevarez, Solid Waste Technician

Mark McCloud, Jr, Solid Waste Technician