TABLE 7–3 Sediment Management Options and Associated Risks




Feasibility Cost

Risk of Implementing

Short-Term Risk

Long-Term Risk


Institutional controls

Sever exposure pathways


Source control


Eliminate source

In situ management

Natural attenuation

Containment and degradation

Thin-layer capping


Thick-layer capping


Ex situ management

Mechanical dredging


Hydraulic dredging


Dry excavation



Dewatering, size separation

Treatment and disposal

Separation or destruction

  • The first goal of any management activity for PCB-contaminated sediments should be to identify and, where possible, control the point and nonpoint sources that have caused and will continue to cause the contamination problem. The sources include, but are not limited to, run-off from contaminated soils, combined sewer overflows, and atmospheric inputs.

  • Effectively responding to the contaminated sediment at a site generally requires using options that involve multiple technological and institutional components, and the evaluation, screening, and selection of these options must consider all the components, their interrelationships, and their impacts. Seven broad rules govern the analysis of management options:

    1. All sites require a conceptual model of the system, and the interaction of the management options with the sediments and contaminants is required.

    2. The use of mass flows can assist in developing and testing the

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement