SUPERFUND AND MINING MEGASITES

LESSONS FROM THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER BASIN

Committee on Superfund Site Assessment and Remediation in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin SUPERFUND AND MINING MEGASITES LESSONS FROM THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER BASIN Committee on Superfund Site Assessment and Remediation in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This project was supported by Contract No. X-82822101-0 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project. Cover photo courtesy of Coeur d’Alene Visitor’s Bureau. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09712-4 Library of Congress Control Number 2005936579 Additional copies of this report are available from: The National Academies Press 500 Fifth Street, NW Lockbox 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin COMMITTEE ON SUPERFUND SITE ASSESSMENT AND REMEDIATION IN THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER BASIN Members DAVID J. TOLLERUD (Chair), University of Louisville, Louisville, KY HERBERT L. ALLEN, University of Delaware, Newark LAWRENCE W. BARNTHOUSE, LWB Environmental Services, Oak Ridge, TN CORALE L. BRIERLEY, Brierley Consultancy LLC, Highlands Ranch, CO EDWIN H. CLARK II, Clean Sites Inc., Washington, DC THOMAS W. CLARKSON, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY EDMUND A.C. CROUCH, Cambridge Environmental, Inc., Cambridge, MA ALISON CULLEN, University of Washington, Seattle JOSEPH GRAZIANO, Columbia University, New York, NY DAVID L. JOHNSON, State University of New York, Syracuse RONALD J. KENDALL, Texas Tech University, Lubbock JOHN C. KISSEL, University of Washington, Seattle THOMAS W. LAPOINT, University of North Texas, Denton DAVID W. LAYTON, University of California, Livermore C. HERB WARD, Rice University, Houston, TX SPENCER WOOD, Boise State University, Boise, ID ROBERT WRIGHT, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, MA Project Staff KARL E. GUSTAVSON, Study Director RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Program Director CAY BUTLER, Editor MIRSADA KARALIC-LONCAREVIC, Research Associate OLUKEMI O. YAI, Program Assistant SAMMY BARDLEY, Librarian ALEXANDRA STUPPLE, Senior Editorial Assistant Sponsor U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY1 Members JONATHAN M. SAMET (Chair), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD RAMÓN ALVAREZ, Environmental Defense, Austin, TX THOMAS BURKE, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD JUDITH C. CHOW, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV COSTEL D. DENSON, University of Delaware, Newark E. DONALD ELLIOTT, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, Washington, DC CHRISTOPHER B. FIELD, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, CA SHERRI W. GOODMAN, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, VA JUDITH A. GRAHAM, American Chemistry Council, Arlington, VA DANIEL S. GREENBAUM, Health Effects Institute, Cambridge, MA ROBERT HUGGETT, Michigan State University, East Lansing BARRY L. JOHNSON, Emory University, Atlanta, GA JAMES H. JOHNSON, Howard University, Washington, DC JUDITH L. MEYER, University of Georgia, Athens PATRICK Y. O’BRIEN, ChevronTexaco Energy Technology Company, Richmond, CA DOROTHY E. PATTON, International Life Sciences Institute, Washington, DC STEWARD T.A. PICKETT, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY JOSEPH V. RODRICKS, ENVIRON Corporation, Arlington, VA ARMISTEAD G. RUSSELL, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta MITCHELL J. SMALL, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA LISA SPEER, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, NY KIMBERLY M. THOMPSON, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA G. DAVID TILMAN, University of Minnesota, St. Paul CHRIS G. WHIPPLE, ENVIRON Corporation, Emeryville, CA LAUREN ZEISE, California Environmental Protection Agency, Oakland Senior Staff JAMES J. REISA, Director DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Scholar RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Senior Program Officer for Environmental Sciences and Engineering KULBIR BAKSHI, Senior Program Officer for Toxicology EILEEN N. ABT, Senior Program Officer for Risk Analysis K. JOHN HOLMES, Senior Program Officer SUSAN N.J. MARTEL, Senior Program Officer SUZANNE VAN DRUNICK, Senior Program Officer ELLEN K. MANTUS, Senior Program Officer RUTH E. CROSSGROVE, Senior Editor 1   This study was planned, overseen, and supported by the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology.

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin OTHER REPORTS OF THE BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion (2005) Air Quality Management in the United States (2004) Endangered and Threatened Species of the Platte River (2004) Atlantic Salmon in Maine (2004) Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River Basin (2004) Cumulative Environmental Effects of Alaska North Slope Oil and Gas Development (2003) Estimating the Public Health Benefits of Proposed Air Pollution Regulations (2002) Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices (2002) The Airliner Cabin Environment and Health of Passengers and Crew (2002) Arsenic in Drinking Water: 2001 Update (2001) Evaluating Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Programs (2001) Compensating for Wetland Losses Under the Clean Water Act (2001) A Risk-Management Strategy for PCB-Contaminated Sediments (2001) Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals (4 volumes, 2000-2004) Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury (2000) Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2000) Scientific Frontiers in Developmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment (2000) Ecological Indicators for the Nation (2000) Waste Incineration and Public Health (1999) Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment (1999) Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter (4 volumes, 1998-2004) The National Research Council’s Committee on Toxicology: The First 50 Years (1997) Carcinogens and Anticarcinogens in the Human Diet (1996) Upstream: Salmon and Society in the Pacific Northwest (1996) Science and the Endangered Species Act (1995) Wetlands: Characteristics and Boundaries (1995) Biologic Markers (5 volumes, 1989-1995) Review of EPA’s Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (3 volumes, 1994-1995) Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment (1994) Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children (1993) Dolphins and the Tuna Industry (1992)

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin Science and the National Parks (1992) Human Exposure Assessment for Airborne Pollutants (1991) Rethinking the Ozone Problem in Urban and Regional Air Pollution (1991) Decline of the Sea Turtles (1990) Copies of these reports may be ordered from the National Academies Press (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 www.nap.edu

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin Preface The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 to protect human health and the natural environment. The agency’s mission includes enforcing and implementing environmental laws enacted by Congress, assessing environmental conditions, and solving current and anticipating future environmental issues. To assist EPA in addressing risks associated with chemical emergencies as well as abandoned hazardous waste sites, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980, better known as the Superfund Act. The Superfund program addresses short- and long-term risks of chemical spills and supports the permanent cleanup and rehabilitation of hazardous waste sites. In 2002, Congress instructed EPA to ask the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct an independent evaluation of the Coeur d’Alene River basin Superfund site in northern Idaho as a case study to examine EPA’s scientific and technical practices in Superfund megasites, including physical site definition, human and ecologic risk assessment, remedial planning, and decision making. NRC established the Committee on Superfund Site Assessment and Remediation in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin. In this report, the committee analyzes the record of decision and supporting documents from this Superfund site to assess the adequacy and application of EPA’s own Superfund guidance in terms of available scientific and technical knowledge and best practices. In the course of preparing this report, the committee held five meetings, including public sessions in Washington, DC; Wallace, Idaho; and Spokane, Washington—where local, state, tribal, and federal officials, as well as rep-

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin resentatives from the private sector and nongovernmental organizations, including regulated industries and citizen groups, were invited to meet with the committee and present their views on Superfund activities in the Coeur d’Alene River basin. Interested members of the public were also given an opportunity to speak on these occasions. The following individuals spoke at these meetings: U.S. Senator Larry Craig; U.S. Senator Michael Crapo; U.S. Congressman C. L. “Butch” Otter; Brian Cleary, counsel to Coeur d’Alene tribe; Ernest Stensgar, Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene tribe; Phillip Cernera, Coeur d’Alene tribe; Alfred Nomee, Coeur d’Alene tribe; Ian von Lindern, TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering; John Roland, Washington Department of Ecology; Robert Hanson, Mine Waste program manager; Stephen Allred, director, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality; Ron Roizen, Bill Rust, Frank Frutchey, Lee Haynes, Jack Riggs, Bob Hopper, Fred Brackebusch, Ivan Linscott, Shoshone Natural Resources Coalition Science Committee; Fred Kirschner, Spokane tribe; Rogers Hardy, Citizens Against Rail to Trail/Citizens Advocating Responsible Treatment; Thomas Pedersen, University of Victoria; David Moershel, Spokane physician and president of the Lands Council; Allen Isaacson, professor, Spokane Community College and former U.S. Forest Service supervisory hydrologist for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest; Bruce Lanphear, director, Cincinnati Children’s Environmental Health; Jerry Cobb, Panhandle Health District; Brad Sample, CH2M Hill; David Fortier, environment protection specialist, Bureau of Land Management; Paul Woods, Laura Balistrieri, Stephen Box, Nelson Beyer, U.S. Geological Survey; Daniel Audet, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Elizabeth Southerland, Michael Gearheard, Sheila Eckman, Anne Dailey, Mary Jane Nearman, Angela Chung, Marc Stifelman, Cami Grandinetti, Bill Adams, EPA. In addition to the information from those presentations, the committee made use of the peer-reviewed scientific literature; government agency reports; information submitted to the committee by citizens, advocacy groups, and industry; and unpublished database information as well as related statistics and data directly obtained from EPA and the states of Idaho and Washington. This report consists of nine chapters. The first chapter provides an overview of the committee’s charge, the issues related to this charge, and the approach the committee took in completing its task. Chapters 2 and 3 review the history of the Coeur d’Alene mining district and the relationship between the biologic, human, and physical environments in the river basin. Chapters 4-8 review scientific and technical questions relating to the remedial investigation, human and ecologic risk assessments, and remedial decisions set forth in EPA’s record of decision for the site and the supporting documents. Finally, Chapter 9 discusses lessons learned from the Coeur

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin d’Alene experience and suggests a new paradigm for addressing environmental and health concerns at large complex mining sites. We wish to thank Earl Bennett, University of Idaho, and Teresa Bowers, Gradient Corporation, for their valuable service while they served on the committee. The committee is also grateful for the assistance of NRC staff in preparing this report: Karl Gustavson, study director; James Reisa, director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology; Ray Wassel, program director; Ruth E. Crossgrove, senior editor; Cay Butler, editor; Mirsada Karalic-Loncarevic and Bryan Shipley, research associates; and Olukemi Yai, program assistant; as well as John Brown, Emily Brady, Dominic Brose, Alexandra Stupple, and others who supported the project as part of the Board’s staff. Finally, I thank the members of the committee for their dedicated efforts throughout the development of this report. David J. Tollerud, MD, MPH Chair, Committee on Superfund Site Assessment and Remediation in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin Acknowledgment of Review Participants This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Craig Boreiko, International Lead Zinc Research Organization; Stephen E. Box, U.S. Geological Survey; Gary Diamond, Syracuse Research Corporation; Lorne G. Everett, Lakehead University and Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc.; Michael C. Kavanaugh, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.; Phillip E. LaMoreaux, P.E. LaMoreaux & Associates; Bruce P. Lanphear, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Dwayne Moore, Cantox Environmental, Inc.; Darrell K. Nordstrom, U.S. Geological Survey; Dianne Nielson, Utah Department of Environmental Quality; Benjamin Parkhurst, HAF Inc.; Katherine N. Probst, Resources for the Future; Joyce S. Tsuji, Exponent, Inc.; and Stephen Washburn, ENVIRON. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. David G. Hoel, Medical University of South Carolina, and Dr. Perry L. McCarty, Stanford University. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin Contents     SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   15 2   HISTORICAL BACKGROUND   22      The Early Years,   23      The Middle Years,   29      The Later Years,   39      Superfund,   42      References,   44 3   THE COEUR D’ALENE SYSTEM   47      Overview,   47      The Upper Basin,   56      The Middle Basin,   67      The Lower Basin,   81      Lake Coeur d’Alene,   87      Spokane River,   92      Looking Ahead,   95      References,   99 4   REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION ASSESSMENT   108      Introduction,   108      EPA’s Recognition of the Basin Systems and Their Interactions,   109      Sampling and Analysis,   114

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin      Determining Background Concentrations,   122      Chemical Speciation and Transport of Metals,   128      Conclusions and Recommendations,   149      References,   153 5   HUMAN HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT IN THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER BASIN   161      Introduction,   161      Chemicals of Concern in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin: Hazard Identification,   165      Approach Used to Assess Human Hazards: Exposure Assessment,   167      Human Health: Toxicity Assessment,   170      Risk Characterization,   172      Plausible Health Risks from Living in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin,   175      Blood Lead Studies in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin,   180      Strategies to Manage the Risks to Human Health,   191      Adherence of the Proposed Actions to Superfund Guidance,   209      Conclusions and Recommendations,   210      References,   214 6   HUMAN HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT: LEAD EXPOSURE AND UPTAKE—USE OF THE IEUBK MODEL   223      Model Development Background,   223      Description of the IEUBK Model,   229      Application of IEUBK to OU-3 (Coeur d’Alene River Basin),   241      Conclusions and Recommendations,   269      References,   275 7   ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT   284      Introduction,   284      Consistency of the ERA with EPA Guidance Concerning the ERA Process,   286      Consistency of the ERA with Best Scientific Practice,   293      Validity of Conclusions,   313      Use of the ERA in Risk Management,   314      Conclusions and Recommendations,   319      References,   322 8   REMEDIATION OBJECTIVES AND APPROACHES   327      Introduction,   327      Remediation Objectives and Incorporation of Cleanup Goals,   328      Description and Comparison of Remedial Alternatives,   329      Selected Remedy: Geographic Areas, Levels of Remediation, and Remediation Plans,   341

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin      Consideration of NCP Criteria and Adherence of Actions to Superfund Guidance,   385      Conclusions and Recommendations,   397      References,   405 9   MINING MEGASITES: LESSONS LEARNED   411      Applicability of the Superfund Processes to Megasites,   412      Problems Observed in Applying Superfund to Mega-Mining Sites,   413      Opportunities Under Superfund,   422      Conclusions and Recommendations,   425      References,   428     APPENDIXES     A   STATEMENT OF TASK AND COMMITTEE BIOSKETCHES   431 B   EVALUATION OF THE METHODOLOGY TO DETERMINE BACKGROUND CONCENTRATIONS IN THE LOWER BASIN   440 C   DETAILED COMMENTS ON THE INTEGRATED EXPOSURE UPTAKE BIOKINETIC IMPLEMENTATION CODE   444 D   PROCEDURES USED IN MODEL COMPARISONS   447 E   CRUSTAL ELEMENT ANALYSES FOR FOLLOWING SOIL LEAD TRANSPORT   453 F   ASSESSMENT OF THE PROBABILISTIC MODEL FOR ESTIMATING METAL LOADING AND EFFECTIVENESS OF REMEDIAL ACTION   459

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Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’alene River Basin SUPERFUND AND MINING MEGASITES LESSONS FROM THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER BASIN

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