CEC Ecosystems Panel

Convened by SCCWRP in coordination with the California State Water Resources Control Board and the California Ocean Protection Council

2020 Reconvening of the Science Advisory Panel for Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in California’s Aquatic Ecosystems

Background and objectives

In 2009, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) asked SCCWRP to convene the Science Advisory Panel for Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in California’s Aquatic Ecosystems. The original charge of the CEC Ecosystems Panel was to provide unbiased, science-based recommendations for monitoring CECs in oceanic, brackish and fresh waters across the State that receive discharge of treated municipal wastewater effluent and stormwater. The original Panel deliberated over a series of meetings and published its recommendations in a 2012 report. At the time, it was envisioned that as the State made progress toward implementing the Panel’s recommendations and as fast-growing knowledge about CECs’ ecosystem risks grew, the Panel would be reconvened to update recommendations from the 2012 report to improve understanding of CECs to protect public health and the environment.

In April 2020, the State Board and the California Ocean Protection Council asked SCCWRP to reconvene the Panel to address the following management questions:

  1. Which classes of CECs, including those with data gaps, have the potential to impact adversely marine, estuarine, and freshwater wildlife, ecosystems, and beneficial uses of these aquatic environments?
  2. How should the risk prioritization framework of the initial panel’s 2012 report be updated to address classes of chemicals, structurally-related chemicals, and data-poor chemical classes?
  3. What are the sources, pathways, and rate of inputs leading to the presence of classes of CECs in the marine, estuarine, and freshwater ecosystems of the State?

Note: Inland freshwater systems refer to surface waters, including streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Coastal aquatic systems are the territorial marine waters of the State as defined by California law, i.e., those extending up to three miles offshore. This question also refers to releases outside three miles that impact state waters or any ground and surface waters (fresh, brackish, or saline) within state boundaries that are hydrologically connected to the coastal ocean.

The Panel was reconvened in April 2020 and is scheduled to publish its final report in December 2021.

Panel meeting registration information

The Panel will hold its first meeting via videoconferencing over a four-day period (October 12-15, 2020). The public portions of the meeting are scheduled each morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. PT. Registration is required to attend remotely. Upon registering, you will receive a confirmation email with additional instructions. Click here to register for all four sessions.

Panel members

Seven Panel members were chosen for their expertise in the following fields: biochemistry, analytical chemistry, civil and environmental engineering, environmental chemistry, epidemiology/risk assessment, ecotoxicology, and human health toxicology. This reconvened Panel will review the scientific literature regarding CECs in aquatic systems, hold multiple meetings to develop recommendations, and publish a final report for the management community.

  • Dr. Paul Anderson – Human Health Toxicologist
  • Dr. Nancy Denslow – Biochemist
  • Dr. Jörg Drewes – Civil/Environmental Engineer
  • Dr. Derek Muir – Environmental Chemist/Ecotoxicologist
  • Dr. Adam Olivieri – Epidemiologist/Risk Assessor
  • Dr. Daniel Schlenk – Environmental Toxicologist
  • Dr. Shane Snyder – Analytical Chemist


For more information on this CEC Ecosystems Panel, contact Dr. Charles Wong.

CEC Recycled Water Panel

In a separate but parallel effort, SCCWRP also convened an expert panel to develop recommendations for monitoring CECs in recycled water. The Panel published its original recommendations in a 2010 report. The Panel then reconvened and provided updated recommendations in a 2018 report