Application of the NRC Framework for Evaluation of Remedial Actions at a PCB Contaminated Sediment Site

by D. Reible,
D. Hayes,
C. Lue-Hing,
M. Johnson,
N. Bhowmik,
J. Patterson,
J. Teal,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Dredging '02: Key Technologies for Global Prosperity


The National Research Council recently proposed that the framework of the Presidents/Congressional Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management be applied to the selection and implementation of remedial approaches at PCB contaminated sediment sites. A key feature of the proposed framework is site-specific evaluation and comparison of the risks posed by various remedial approaches. This approach was employed to evaluate potential remedial approaches to the lower Fox River, Wisconsin. The lower Fox River contains PCBs introduced to the river primarily through recycling of carbonless copy paper. The unique physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the Fox River were identified and incorporated into an assessment of the potential effectiveness and potential risks of various remedial approaches including natural attenuation, capping and dredging. Expertise in a broad range of technical disciplines was required to conduct this evaluation. It was found that the effectiveness of a remedy was directly related to the speed at which surficial sediment average concentrations could be reduced. Capping was found to be the most effective means of rapidly reducing exposure and risk although there remains a residual risk of cap failure and contaminant release far into the future.

Subject Headings: Sediment | Risk management | PCB | Rivers and streams | Site investigation | Pollution | Dredging | Wisconsin | United States

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