Toxicity limits are appearing more frequently in permits for produced water discharges. A bioluminescent bacteria bioassay has been proposed as a screening tool to predict toxicity in higher organisms, which are more expensive and require longer testing times. Before such a surrogate screen can be used, a correlation must be demonstrated between toxicity in the surrogate and the species of interest.

This paper describes tests comparing produced water toxicity in the biolumnescent bacteria test and in the mysid shrimp chronic estimator test, which is frequently required in Gulf of Mexico discharge permits. Under these test conditions, the bacteria test was not adequately predictive of produced water chronic toxicity to the mysid shrimp.

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