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Project Code [2016-W-LS-10]

The table below provides an overview of the project with code 2016-W-LS-10. This information is correct as of today and is updated from time to time by the EPA to reflected changes in the management of the project. Please check back regularly for updates.

Project Attribute Project Details
Project Title Sources, Pathways and Environmental Fate of Microplastics
EPA Project Code 2016-W-LS-10
Lead Organisation Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT)
Coordinator Ian O'Connor
EPA Research 2014 - 2020 Theme(s) Water: Theme 1: Safe Water
EPA Research Pillars
Project Start and End Dates Start: 17/01/2017
End (if applicable): 16/01/2020
Revised End Date (if applicable):
EPA Project Type Large Scale Project
EPA Award Type STRIVE - Project Based Awards
Current Project Status Grant Awarded
Total Funding Amount 496568.19
Project Abstract/Description This large scale study will expand on the previous desk-top study (2014-HW-DS-2) to inform the development and implementation of policy through improved understanding of the sources of microplastics and furthermore the pathways, from the sources to aquatic receptors, dispersal within the freshwater system and transfer along the biological food chain. Crucially, this study will investigate in detail, through a series of controlled experiments and field monitoring, the effects of abiotic factors, such as rainfall, soil type, river flow, velocity and depth on the pathway attenuation. Information collected will be used to identify critical source areas using the Catchment Characterisation Tool (CCT) ensuring outputs are easily incorporated into the EPA’s catchment characterisation toolbox. It also will characterise the potential for point source microplastics derived from treatment plants to be transported long distances and to deposit in stream beds or lake sediments and the potential for subsequent re-mobilisation. This systematic approach to understanding the movement of microplastics in the freshwater environment will contribute to a current important knowledge gap and allow a greater understanding of risk to the environment and to humans. Project outputs will achieve two over-arching and complementary outcomes: 1 Contribution to policy development through analytical products and reports; and 2. Publication in open access primary literature to ensure state of the art standards. This approach ensures the quality of outputs and will highlight the important contribution made to research in Ireland to a diverse audience, whilst also serving national needs. Specifically, the project reports will: -Characterise important sources not already covered by previous studies in Ireland -Evaluate pathways of MPs and determine factors import for their dispersal in aquatic systems -Provide recommendations for monitoring -Provide recommendations for policy development By combining the expertise of scientists and engineers and building on the investment by the EPA in the microplastic Desktop and Small Scale Studies, SILTFLUX and PATHWAYS the project team will build significant national capacity in this emerging research area.
EPA Scientific Officer RachelClarke
Linkage to SAFER Currently no project resources for this project on SAFER


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