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Methods and Metrics for Evaluating Environmental Dredging at the Ashtabula River Area of Concern (AOC)
Mills, M., R. Brenner, J. Schubauer-Berigan, Jim Lazorchak, J. Meier, L. Lefkovitz, H. Thurston, S. Pala, E. Foote, G. Durell, P. Sokoloff, M. Fitzpatrick, J. Tenzar, J. Hardin, C. Hunt, C. Jones, G. Chang, AND J. Magalen. Methods and Metrics for Evaluating Environmental Dredging at the Ashtabula River Area of Concern (AOC). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-16/322, 2016.
The objectives of the research study were to: 1) evaluate remedy effectiveness of environmental dredging as applied to contaminated sediments in the Ashtabula River in northeastern Ohio, and 2) monitor the recovery of the surrounding ecosystem.
This report documents the objectives, approach, methodologies, results, and interpretation of a collaborative research study conducted by the National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) and the National Exposure Research laboratory (NERL) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA’s) Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO). The objectives of the research study were to: 1) evaluate remedy effectiveness of environmental dredging as applied to contaminated sediments in the Ashtabula River in northeastern Ohio, and 2) monitor the recovery of the surrounding ecosystem. The project was carried out over 6 years from 2006 through 2011 and consisted of the development and evaluation of methods and approaches to assess river and ecosystem conditions prior to dredging (2006), during dredging (2006 and 2007), and following dredging, both short term (2008) and long term (2009-2011). This project report summarizes and interprets the results of this 6-year study to develop and assess methods for monitoring pollutant fate and transport and ecosystem recovery through the use of biological, chemical, and physical lines of evidence (LOEs) such as: 1) comprehensive sampling of and chemical analysis of contaminants in surface, suspended, and historic sediments; 2) extensive grab and multi-level real time water sampling and analysis of contaminants in the water column; 3) sampling, chemical analysis, and development of innovative toxicity endpoints for indigenous fish; 4) innovative bathymetry, suspended sediment, and plume monitoring and modeling; 5) innovative macrobenthos collection techniques for determining benthic conditions and contaminant exposure; and 6) the use of recently developed passive sampler technology and deployment techniques. The results of this project demonstrated that the application of multiple LOEs can be utilized on various spatial and temporal scales to inform a project manager on the short- and long-term impacts of sediment remediation accomplished via the application of environmental dredging.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
LAND REMEDIATION AND POLLUTION CONTROL DIVISION