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Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness (2007)

Chapter: Appendix A: Statement of Task for the Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task for the Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites." 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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Appendix A
Statement of Task for the Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites

An NRC committee will conduct an independent evaluation of dredging projects that will look at the expected effectiveness of dredging contaminated sediments at Superfund megasites. The assessment will consider whether EPA’s estimated risk reduction benefits are likely to be achieved in the time frame as predicted. Aspects of risk reduction include decreased potential for current and long-term exposure of human and ecological receptors and decreased potential for environmental dispersion of contaminants. The assessment will also consider the potential for short-term increases in risks due to resuspension during dredging. The committee will consider sites where information is available for assessing dredging effectiveness. It will strive to develop recommendations that will facilitate scientifically based and timely decision making for megasites in the future. In doing so, the committee will consider whether current monitoring regimens are sufficient to inform assessments of effectiveness and what practices should be implemented in monitoring strategies. The committee will not recommend particular remedial strategies at specific sites. The committee’s considerations will include:

  • Whether planned sediment cleanup levels have been reached and maintained after dredging.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task for the Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites." 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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  • If the predicted magnitude and timing of risk reduction as a result of dredging are likely to be achieved.

  • The key site-specific factors that contribute most to achieving high dredging effectiveness.

  • The short-term and long-term impacts on ecologic communities as a result of dredging.

  • Monitoring strategies in use and proposed for use at dredging sites and whether these strategies are sufficient to inform assessments of effectiveness.

  • The specific types of assessments useful for measuring effectiveness, in particular, measuring the reduction of risk.

  • How conclusions about completed and ongoing dredging operations can inform decisionmaking in the future.

It is expected that sources of information available for this assessment would include megasites for which dredging has been completed; megasites for which plans have been developed; partially implemented, and operations are ongoing; and smaller sites that exhibit lessons relevant to megasites.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task for the Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites." National Research Council. 2007. Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites: Assessing the Effectiveness. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11968.
×
Page 264
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task for the Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites." 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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Page 265
Next: Appendix B: Biographic Information on the Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Megasites »
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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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