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Environmental Assessment

Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites (Final Report)

Notice

The Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) is announcing the release of the final report entitled, Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites.

Report Information

The report provides an overview of an approach for assessing risk to invertebrate receptors resulting from exposure to PAHs in contaminated sediments.

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Michael Kravitz
  • by phone at:   513-569-7740
  • by email at:  kravitz.michael@epa.gov

Background

This report was written in response to a request from EPA’s Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF) relating to the evaluation of ecological risk to vertebrate and benthic invertebrate receptors from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs) in sediment at hazardous waste sites. The report addressing this request provides an overview of an approach for assessing risk to invertebrate receptors resulting from exposure to PAHs in contaminated sediments. [Reaching a consensus scientific position on vertebrate risk issues is a longer-term prospect.]

The approach, based on procedures described in U.S. EPA (2003), involves the use of equilibrium partitioning techniques to determine exposure/bioavailability and narcosis theory to estimate sublethal toxicity of PAHs. Examples of how to use this approach with analytical data resulting from the analysis of contaminated sediments are provided. Additionally, this approach, particularly when used with other contaminated sediment assessment methods, offers risk assessors a useful tool for assessing the risk of PAHs to benthic invertebrates at hazardous waste sites.

History/Chronology

Jul 2005An Internal Review Draft was completed.
Dec 2006Internal review was completed and comments were addressed to produce the Sediment PAH External Review Draft.
Mar 2007A Federal Register Notice was published to elicit public comments on the ERASC Sediment PAH External Review Draft.
Oct 2009EPA published the final report incorporating external public and peer review comments.

Next Steps

This is the final report.

Citation

BURGESS, R. M. Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites (Final Report). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center, Cincinnati, OH, EPA/600/R-06/162F, 2009.

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