||Midwest Research Inst., Kansas City, MO. ;Sobotka and Co., Inc., Washington, DC.;Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Office of Policy Analysis.
The report was designed to illustrate the extent to which the assessment of risks was feasible for programs under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), using state-of-the-art methodologies and available data, with a focus on land disposal. The project examines whether changes in health risks could be estimated as a hazardous waste stream is shifted from one disposal technology to another. To determine whether the methodology could be applied in realistic situations, the report includes three case studies, with four or five management options appropriate for each. The case study wastes are mercury-contaminated brine muds from chlorine production, distillation residues from production of carbon tetrachloride, and dioxin contaminated soil. Potential sources, probabilities and magnitudes of releases are identified, along with their movement through all environmental media to estimate potential exposures at any point. Dose-response functions for each health effect are then combined with estimates of population distribution to yield risk estimates for the most exposed individual and the total number of cases over 200 years. Uncertainty analysis is applied to the health risk estimates, using a propagation of errors approach. Costs of installing and operating each alternative also are estimated.