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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
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Sediment Dredging at SUPERFUND MEGASITES

Assessing the Effectiveness

Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites

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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

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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 68-C-03-081 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 authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.

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Photograph of environmental dredging to remove contaminated sediments in the Fox River, Wisconsin. Courtesy of Gregory A. Hill, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

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. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


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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. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
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COMMITTEE ON SEDIMENT DREDGING AT SUPERFUND MEGASITES

Members

CHARLES R. O’MELIA (Chair),

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

G. ALLEN BURTON,

Wright State University, Dayton, OH

WILLIAM H. CLEMENTS,

Colorado State University, Fort Collins

FRANK C. CURRIERO,

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

DOMINIC DI TORO,

University of Delaware, Newark

NORMAN R. FRANCINGUES,

OA Systems Corporation, Vicksburg, MS

RICHARD G. LUTHY,

Stanford University, Stanford, CA

PERRY L. MCCARTY,

Stanford University, Stanford, CA

NANCY MUSGROVE,

Management of Environmental Resources, Inc., Seattle, WA

KATHERINE N. PROBST,

Resources for the Future, Washington, DC

DANNY D. REIBLE,

University of Texas, Austin

LOUIS J. THIBODEAUX,

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

DONNA J. VORHEES,

The Science Collaborative, Ipswich, MA

JOHN R. WOLFE,

Limno-Tech, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI

Project Staff

KARL E. GUSTAVSON, Project Director

RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Program Director

NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Senior Editor

MIRSADA KARALIC-LONCAREVIC, Manager,

Technical Information Center

MORGAN MOTTO, Senior Project Assistant

RADIAH ROSE, Senior Editorial Assistant

Sponsor

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY1

Members

JONATHAN M. SAMET (Chair),

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

RAMÓN ALVAREZ,

Environmental Defense, Austin, TX

JOHN M. BALBUS,

Environmental Defense, Washington, DC

DALLAS BURTRAW,

Resources for the Future, Washington, DC

JAMES S. BUS,

Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI

RUTH DEFRIES,

University of Maryland, College Park

COSTEL D. DENSON,

University of Delaware, Newark

E. DONALD ELLIOTT,

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, Washington, DC

MARY R. ENGLISH,

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

J. PAUL GILMAN,

Oak Ridge Center for Advanced Studies, Oak Ridge, TN

SHERRI W. GOODMAN,

Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, VA

JUDITH A. GRAHAM,

American Chemistry Council, Arlington, VA

WILLIAM P. HORN,

Birch, Horton, Bittner and Cherot, Washington, DC

WILLIAM M. LEWIS, JR.,

University of Colorado, Boulder

JUDITH L. MEYER,

University of Georgia, Athens

DENNIS D. MURPHY,

University of Nevada, Reno

PATRICK Y. O’BRIEN,

ChevronTexaco Energy Technology Company, Richmond, CA

DOROTHY E. PATTON (retired),

Chicago, IL

DANNY D. REIBLE,

University of Texas, Austin

JOSEPH V. RODRICKS,

ENVIRON International Corporation, Arlington, VA

ARMISTEAD G. RUSSELL,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

ROBERT F. SAWYER,

University of California, Berkeley

KIMBERLY M. THOMPSON,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

MONICA G. TURNER,

University of Wisconsin, Madison

MARK J. UTELL,

University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY

CHRIS G. WHIPPLE,

ENVIRON International 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

KARL E. GUSTAVSON, Senior Program Officer

ELLEN K. MANTUS, Senior Program Officer

SUSAN N.J. MARTEL, Senior Program Officer

STEVEN K. GIBB, Program Officer for Strategic Communications

RUTH E. CROSSGROVE, Senior Editor

1

This study was planned, overseen, and supported by the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

OTHER REPORTS OF THE BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY

Models in Environmental Regulatory Decision Making (2007)

Toxicity Testing in the Twenty-first Century: A Vision and a Strategy (2007)

Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects (2007)

Scientific Review of the Proposed Risk Assessment Bulletin from the Office of Management and Budget (2007)

Assessing the Human Health Risks of Trichloroethylene: Key Scientific Issues (2006)

New Source Review for Stationary Sources of Air Pollution (2006)

Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Chemicals (2006)

Health Risks from Dioxin and Related Compounds: Evaluation of the EPA Reassessment (2006)

Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards (2006)

State and Federal Standards for Mobile-Source Emissions (2006)

Superfund and Mining Megasites—Lessons from the Coeur d’Alene River Basin (2005)

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 (five volumes, 2000-2007)

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 (2000)

Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment (1999)

Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter (four 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 (five volumes, 1989-1995)

Review of EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (three volumes, 1994-1995)

Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment (1994)

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
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Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children (1993)

Dolphins and the Tuna Industry (1992)

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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

Preface

Contaminated sediments in aquatic environments pose health risks to humans and other organisms. Nationwide, the full extent of the problem is poorly documented, but it is well known that rivers, harbors, lakes, and estuaries fed by current or former industrial, agricultural, or mining areas frequently contain contaminated sediments. It is also well known that contaminants in the sediments can directly harm aquatic organisms or accumulate in their tissues, which can be consumed by humans. The potential adverse effects on human health and the environment are compelling reasons to reduce exposures.

From a regulatory standpoint, contaminated sediments are challenging to manage. The Superfund program, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is intended to protect human health and the environment from sites contaminated with hazardous substances. An array of techniques are available for remediating contaminated sediments, each with advantages and disadvantages. Decisions about which remedial measures to implement and, in particular, whether to dredge at contaminated sediment sites have proved to be among the most controversial at Superfund megasites. The scientific and technical difficulties of deciding on a remedial option are augmented by the challenges of implementing a regulatory authority that holds responsible parties liable for paying for the cleanup.

Regardless of cost or controversy, achieving the expected effect of remedial actions—improvements in the environment—is of primary importance. That is true for regulators who may require cleanup of a site, parties responsible for funding the cleanup, and communities and user groups affected by the contamination. This report, one piece of a continuing dialogue, seeks to assess the effectiveness of environmental dredging in reducing risks associated with contaminated sediments, particularly at large, complex Superfund sites (these sites are termed “megasites” when the cost of remedial activities is anticipated to exceed $50 million).

Over the course of its study, the Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites held three public sessions at which it heard presentations on dredging projects and received input from members of the public and other interested parties; two closed, deliberative sessions were held over the course of the year-long study. The report consists of six chapters. Chapters 1 through 3 introduce the problem, provide background on the issues, and describe the committee’s approach to addressing the statement of task. Chapter 4 considers the data on various dredging sites to develop recommendations for implement-

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

ing sediment-management techniques. Chapter 5 evaluates current monitoring approaches and suggests future approaches. Finally, Chapter 6 takes a broader look and considers sediment management at the national level, and it provides conclusions and recommendations to improve decision-making in the future.

The committee gratefully acknowledges the following for making presentations and for providing information during the committee’s meetings: Loretta Beaumont, U.S. House of Representatives; Stephen Ells, Leah Evison, Elizabeth Southerland, Dave Dickerson, James Brown, Young Chang, William “Skip” Nelson, and Marc Greenberg, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Michael Palermo, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (retired); Clay Patmont, Anchor Environmental; Steven Nadeau, Sediment Management Work Group; John Connolly, QEA; Larry McShea, Alcoa; Rick Fox, Natural Resource Technology; Mike Jury, CH2M Hill; John Kern, KERN Statistical Services; and Todd Bridges, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The committee is also grateful for the assistance of National Research Council staff in preparing this report: Karl Gustavson, study director; James Reisa, director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology; Ray Wassel, program director; Norman Grossblatt and Ruth Crossgrove, senior editors; Mirsada Karalic-Loncarevic, manager of the Technical Information Center; Morgan Motto, senior project assistant; and Radiah Rose, senior editorial assistant. Finally, I thank the members of the committee for their dedicated efforts throughout the development of this report.


Charles R. O’Melia, Chair

Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

Acknowledgment of Review Participants

This report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council (NRC) 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 of 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 for their review of this report:

Todd S. Bridges, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

Edwin H. Clark II, Earth Policy Institute

J. Paul Doody, Blasland, Bouck & Lee, Inc., an Arcadis Company

Rick Fox, Natural Resource Technology, Inc.

Paul Fuglevand, Dalton, Olmsted & Fuglevand, Inc.

John C. Henningson, Henningson Environmental Services

Chris Ingersoll, U.S. Geological Survey

Stephen U. Lester, Center for Health & Environmental Justice

Jeffrey S. Levinton, Stony Brook University

Victor S. Magar, ENVIRON

Larry McShea, Alcoa

Steven C. Nadeau, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, LLP

Clay Patmont, Anchor Environmental, LLC.

Harlee S. Strauss, H. Strauss Associates, Inc.

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 George M. Hornberger, University of Virginia, and C. Herb Ward, Rice University. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain 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 author committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
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Abbreviations

AOCs areas of concern

ARARs applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements

ARCS Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments

AVS acid volatile sulfide

BMPs best management practices

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

COCs contaminants of concern

COPCs contaminants of potential concern

CSO combined sewer outfalls

DGPs differential global positioning systems

ELISA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays

EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EQC environmental quality criteria

KDGPS kinematic differential global positioning systems

MC Main Channel

MCSS Major Contaminated Sediment Sites Database

MNR monitored natural recovery

MTCA Model Toxics Control Act

NHANES National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

NNS Northern Near Shore

NOAA National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

NPL National Priorities List

NSI National Sediment Inventory

OMC Outboard Marine Corporation

PAHs polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PCBs polychlorinated biphenyls

PED polyethylene device

PNEC probable no effect concentration

PRA probabilistic risk assessment

RAL remedial action level

RI/FS remedial investigation and feasibility study

ROD record of decision

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

ROPS remedial options pilot study

SMA sediment management area

SMS Sediment Management Standards

SMU Sediment Management Unit

SPI sediment profile imagery

SPMD semipermeable membrane device

SPME solid-phase microextraction

SQG sediment quality guidelines

SQO sediment quality objectives

TSCA Toxic Substances Control Act

UCL upper confidence limit

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

BOXES, TABLES, AND FIGURES

BOXES

S-1

 

Overview of Conclusions and Recommendations,

 

5

2-1

 

Evaluation Criteria for Superfund Remedial Alternatives,

 

25

2-2

 

How Large Is a Megasite?

 

31

2-3

 

Presidential/Congressional Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management,

 

38

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
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2-4

 

Eleven Principles of Contaminated Sediment Management,

 

43

2-5

 

Remedial Approaches to Contaminated Sediment in Situ Approaches,

 

47

2-6

 

Objectives of Environmental Dredging,

 

49

2-7

 

Equipment Commonly Used in Environmental Dredging,

 

51

2-8

 

Site-Specific Factors Affecting Resuspension, Release, and Residuals Sediment Physical and Chemical Properties,

 

59

2-9

 

Specific Processes Contributing to the Residual Layer During Dredging,

 

61

3-1

 

Framework for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Environmental Dredging Projects,

 

72

3-2

 

Compilations and Reviews of Sediment Remediation Projects,

 

73

3-3

 

Criteria Used To Select Environmental-Dredging Projects for Evaluation,

 

75

3-4

 

Measures of Sediment-Remedy Effectiveness in the Superfund Program,

 

85

4-1

 

Statistical Analysis of Fish PCB Body Burdens, Grasse River, New York,

 

117

4-2

 

Correlations between Suspended Solids and Contaminant Concentrations,

 

120

4-3

 

Statistical Analysis of Mercury Concentrations in Surficial Sediment, Lavaca Bay, Texas,

 

124

4-4

 

Description of the Substrate Topography of the Grasse River During Dredging,

 

126

4-5

 

Statistical Analysis of Surficial Sediment PCB Concentrations, Grasse River, New York,

 

127

4-6

 

Statistical Analysis of PCB Concentrations in Fish, Waukegan Harbor, Illinois,

 

146

5-1

 

Estimated Monitoring Costs for Lower Fox River and Green Bay, Wisconsin, ROD Remedy,

 

182

5-2

 

Common Physical, Chemical, and Biological Measurements Used To Characterize Contaminated Sediments,

 

186

5-3

 

Monitoring of Conditions During Hot-spot Dredging at the New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site for Effects on Human Exposure,

 

199

5-4

 

Verification Sampling at Harbor Island, Washington,

 

203

5-5

 

Delineating the Dredge Prism in the Fox River, Wisconsin,

 

204

5-6

 

Verification Sampling of Dredging Residuals at the Head of Hylebos Site, Commencement Bay, Washington,

 

205

5-7

 

Dredging and Later Sedimentation at Manistique Harbor, Michigan,

 

208

5-8

 

Collecting Aquatic Samples for Monitoring Human Exposure,

 

209

5-9

 

Biodynamic Modeling to Predict Organism PCB Concentrations,

 

221

6-1

 

Six-Step Adaptive-management Process,

 

246

6-2

 

Examples of the Application of Adaptive-management Principles in Sediment Remediation,

 

247

6-3

 

Importance of Quantifying Uncertainty in Risk Estimates,

 

254

FIGURES

2-1

 

Generic conceptual site model indicating contaminated sediment exposure pathways between sediment and ecologic receptors, including fish, shellfish, benthic invertebrates, birds, and mammals,

 

35

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

2-2

 

Historical changes in sediment core profiles of mercury concentrations collected from Bellingham Bay, WA, during natural recovery (dredging or capping was not performed),

 

36

2-3

 

Categories of dredging and sediment removal equipment,

 

52

2-4

 

Dredging-process train,

 

53

2-5

 

Cost breakdown of components of environmental dredging at the New Bedford Harbor (New Bedford, MA) project in 2004,

 

55

2-6

 

Cost breakdown of components of environmental dredging at the head of the Hylebos Waterway (Commencement Bay, WA),

 

55

2-7

 

Conceptual illustration of environmental dredging and processes,

 

58

3-1

 

Locations of environmental-dredging projects selected for evaluation,

 

82

4-1

 

Prevalence of cancer and pre-cancerous lesions in Black River bullheads before and after dredging,

 

99

4-2

 

Map showing the Marathon Battery Superfund site on the Hudson River, NY, adjacent to Cold Spring, NY,

 

100

4-3

 

Median sediment cadmium concentrations, East Foundry Cove, Marathon Battery Site, NY,

 

102

4-4

 

Log probability plot of sediment cadmium concentrations, East Foundry Cove, Marathon Battery, NY,

 

103

4-5

 

Ratio of cadmium body burdens in various animals and plants after dredging to pre-dredging levels for the period 1996-2000, Marathon Battery Site, NY,

 

104

4-6

 

Sediment or contaminant mass resuspended or left as a residual,

 

108

4-7

 

Estimated generated residuals for 11 projects with data broken down on whether debris, rock, or hardpan was prevalent at the site,

 

110

4-8

 

Average water-column PCBs and TSS during debris and sediment removal activities (conducted simultaneously) in the Grasse River during 2005 demonstration dredging program,

 

113

4-9

 

PCB concentrations in water samples collected approximately 0.5 miles downstream of the dredging operations in the Grasse River (NY),

 

114

4-10

 

Lipid-normalized PCB concentration in resident spottail shiners in Grasse River, Massena, NY,

 

115

4-11

 

PCB concentrations in fish collected at the Duwamish Diagonal site pre- and post-dredging,

 

119

4-12

 

Left, mean and 95% confidence intervals of surficial mercury concentrations (mg/kg) (log base 10 scale) before dredging and after each of four dredging passes. Right, concentration distribution and sample sizes (N) of surficial mercury stratified by geographic region—Capa (CA), North Capa (NC), AA, and the Trench Wall (TW)—and dredging pass (Pre, 1, 2, 3, 4; pre = pre-dredging),

 

125

4-13

 

Distribution and sample sizes for Grasse River surficial sediment PCB concentrations (mg/kg dry weight) stratified by geographic region,

 

128

4-14

 

Upstream to downstream transects of the Grasse River remediation area showing: elevations of probing based cut line (dotted lines) based on the pre-dredging (Spring 2005) estimated depth of contamination; post-dredging (Fall 2005) extent of contamination (diamonds) determined by vibracore sampling; and the post-dredging (Fall 2005) bottom elevation determined by bathymetry,

 

142

4-15

 

Lipid-normalized PCB concentrations in carp in Waukegan Harbor, IL,

 

147

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×

5-1

 

Sediment profile imagery (SPI) equipment (two left photos) and sediment profile photograph (right) from New Bedford Harbor Superfund site,

 

187

6-1

 

EPA’s tiered approach to the use of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA),

 

253

TABLES

2-1

 

Sediment Megasites (Sites at Which Remediation of the Sediment Component Is Expected To Be at Least $50 million),

 

30

3-1

 

Summary of 26 Environmental-Dredging Projects Selected for Evaluation,

 

77

4-1

 

Summary of Pre-dredging and Post-dredging Verification Sampling Results (2005) from Three Subunits of Operable Unit 1 in the Lower Fox River,

 

134

4-2

 

Spottail Shiner PCB Concentrations After Remediation of the GM Massena, NY, Site in 1995,

 

150

5-1

 

Strengths and Limitations of Methods for Assessing Biologic Effects in Aquatic Ecosystems,

 

190

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
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Sediment Dredging at SUPERFUND MEGASITES


Assessing the Effectiveness

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Some of the nation's estuaries, lakes and other water bodies contain contaminated sediments that can adversely affect fish and wildlife and may then find their way into people's diets. Dredging is one of the few options available for attempting to clean up contaminated sediments, but it can uncover and re-suspend buried contaminants, creating additional exposures for wildlife and people. At the request of Congress, EPA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to evaluate dredging as a cleanup technique. The book finds that, based on a review of available evidence, dredging's ability to decrease environmental and health risks is still an open question. Analysis of pre-dredging and post-dredging at about 20 sites found a wide range of outcomes in terms of surface sediment concentrations of contaminants: some sites showed increases, some no change, and some decreases in concentrations. Evaluating the potential long-term benefits of dredging will require that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency step up monitoring activities before, during and after individual cleanups to determine whether it is working there and what combinations of techniques are most effective.

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