Ecological Risk Assessment for Contaminated Sites: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ecological Risk Assessment for Contaminated Sites

1st Edition

By Glenn W. Suter II, Rebecca A. Efroymson, Bradley E. Sample, Daniel S. Jones

CRC Press

460 pages

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Hardback: 9781566705257
pub: 2000-04-21
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Love Canal. Exxon Valdez. Times Beach. Sacramento River Spill. Amoco Cadiz. Seveso. Every area of the world has been affected by improper waste disposal and chemical spills. Common hazardous waste sites include abandoned warehouses, manufacturing facilities, processing plants, and landfills. These sites poison the land and contaminate groundwater and drinking water.

A sequel to the bestselling Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecological Risk Assessment for Contaminated Sites focuses on how to perform ecological risk assessments for Superfund sites and locations contaminated by improper disposal of wastes, or chemical spills. It integrates the authors' extensive experience in assessing ecological risks at U.S. government sites with techniques and examples from assessments performed by others.

Conducting an ecological risk assessment on a contaminated site provides the information needed to make decisions concerning site remediation. The first rule of good risk assessment is "don't do anything stupid". With the practical preparation you get from Ecological Risk Assessment for Contaminated Sites you won't.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Definitions and Concepts

Scope and Definitions

Regulatory Context

Ecorisk Framework

The Remedial Process

Site Characterization and Scoping Assessment

The Assessment Planning Process

The Assessment Plan

Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment

Remedial Alternatives Assessment

Efficacy Assessment

Damage Assessment

Tiers: Scoping, Screening, and Definitive Assessments

Relationship to Human Health Risk Assessment

Differences in Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment

Why Ecological Endpoints May be More Sensitive than Humans

Scale in Human Health and Ecological Risk

Participants in Ecological Risk Assessments

Problem Formation

Risk Managers and Risk Assessors

Physical Scope

Spatial Extant

Spatial Units

Source Units

Watershed Units

Groundwater Units

Terrestrial Integrator Units

Spatial Subunits

Site Description

Source Description

Assessment Endpoints Selection

Selection of Endpoint Properties

Selection of Levels of Effect on Properties of Endpoint Entities

Conceptual Models

Conceptual Models of Alternative Baseline Scenarios

Components of a Conceptual Model

Unit Types and Default Conceptual Models


Routes of Transport

Exposure Media


Indirect Exposure and Effects

Output to Other Units

Relationship to Other Conceptual Models

Form of the Conceptual Model

Analysis Plan

Measures of Exposure, Effects, and Environmental Conditions

Sampling and Analysis Plan

Reference Sites and Reference Information

Field Verification of the Plan

Deviations and Contingencies

Analysis of Exposure

Components of Analysis of Exposure

Sampling and Chemical Analysis of Media

Chemical Analysis of Biota and Biomarkers



Transport and Fate Models

Exposure Models

Exposure to Contaminants in Surface Water

Exposure to Contaminants in Soil

Sampling, Extraction, and Chemical Analysis

Partial Chemical Extraction and Normalization

Nonaqueous Phase Liquids

Soil Depth Profile

Future Exposure

Exposure of Aquatic Organisms

Exposure of Plants

Rooting Depth



Soil Properties

Chemical Form

Chemical Interactions

Interspecies Differences

Air as an Exposure Route

Exposure of Soil Invertebrates

Depth of Exposure and Ingested Material

Soil Properties and Chemical Interactions

Exposure of Soil Microbial Communities

Exposure of Wildlife

Exposure Based on Internal Measures

Exposure Based on External Measures

Parameters for Estimation of Exposure

Uptake Models

Aquatic Organism Uptake

Terrestrial Arthropod Uptake

Terrestrial Vertebrate Uptake

Petroleum and Other Chemical Mixtures

Summary of Exposure Characterization

Screening Against Ecotoxicological Benchmarks

Exposure Concentrations

Screening Media

Screening Receptors

Screening Sites

Data Collection and Evaluation

Data Adequacy and Uncertainties

Presentation of a Screening Assessment

Risk Characterization: Definitive

Single Chemical Toxicity

Aqueous Exposure of Aquatic Organisms

Sediment Exposure of Benthic Invertibrate

Soil Exposure of Plants, Invertebrates and Microbial Communities

Multi-Media Exposure of Wildlife

Body Burdens of Endpoint Organisms

Ambient Media Toxicity Tests

Biological Surveys


Weight of Evidence

Triad Alternatives

Future Risks


Reporting Ecological Risks


Concepts and Definitions

Why Analyze Uncertainty?

Quantitative Techniques for Analysis of Uncertainty

Making Sense of Uncertainty and Probability

Methods for Exposure

Methods for Effects

Methods for Risk Characterization

Parameters to Treat as Uncertain

Remedial Goals

Preliminary Remedial Goals

Prigs for Surface Water



Modification of PRGs

Land Use

Remedial Goal Options

Human Health

Remedial Decisions

Risks From Remediation

Problem Formulation

Conceptual Models for Alternatives Assessment

Assessment Endpoints

Exposure and Effects Assessment

Case Studies


Time to Recovery

Hastening Recovery

Balancing Risks

Different Risk Metrics

Win/Lose Outcomes

Land Use Conflicts, Etc.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Post-Remedial Assessment

Post-Remedial Monitoring

Residual Risks

Preassessment Screen Phase

Assessment Plan Phase

Assessment Phase

Quantification Phase

Damage Determination

Post-Assessment Phase

Alternative Approaches





Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Chemical & Biochemical
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General