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From: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/engl/marling/60s/pages/richoux/. The Political Message Begins. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of From: cwru/artsci/engl/marling/60s/pages/richoux

Page 1: From: cwru/artsci/engl/marling/60s/pages/richoux

From: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/engl/marling/60s/pages/richoux/

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The Political Message Begins Some river!  Chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with

subsurface gases, it oozes rather than flows.  'Anyone who falls into the Cuyahoga does not drown,' Cleveland's citizens joke grimily.  'He decays.'  The Federal Water Pollution Control Administration dryly notes: 'The lower Cuyahoga has no visible life, not even low forms such as leeches and sludge worms that usually thrive on wastes.'  It is also--literally--a fire hazard.  A few weeks ago, the oil-slicked river burst into flames and burned with such intensity that two railroad bridges spanning it were nearly destroyed.  'What a terrible reflection on our city,' said Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes sadly 

Time Magazine, August, 1969, about a month after the fire.

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Federal Water Pollution Control Act (which ultimately became known as the Clear

Water Act )

Objective: “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.”

The legislation is not only intended to insure a safe supply of drinking water, but to provide high quality water for fish, wildlife, and recreational purposes (Kubasek and Silverman, 1997).

Since 1972, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act has been significantly amended, and other legislative mandates have been adopted, providing a strong, although complex, basis for protecting water quality in the U.S.

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From: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/engl/marling/60s/pages/richoux/

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Assessment: the means for determining the nature, extent and levels of existing contamination at a site and the actual or potential risk(s) that the contaminant poses to human or ecosystem health.

Contaminant is a chemical substance that can potentially threaten human health or the environment

A pollutant is thought to have already had an adverse affect on humans or other biota.

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Assessment Includes

quantification of types, concentrations, and distribution of chemical contaminants present within water, sediment and biota

analysis of rates and mode of transport constraints on bioavailibility and

bioaccumulation toxicity of the contaminants in question the potential exposure pathways and

health risks to humans and other biota

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Overall Assessment Process

Means of bring together data from a diversity of fields, manipulating it, and interpreting its significance to determine what, if any, action should be taken to remediate or restore the site.

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Characterization Site characterization: in general it is the

process of collecting data that quantitatively describes the river in terms of its physical, chemical, and biological conditions both now and in the past, including the flux of materials between each of the system’s components.

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Flow Direction



Channel Bed

Floodplain Terrace

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EPA (2005) General Objectives of Characterization

Identify the type of contaminants in the various media (water, sediment, biota, etc.) that are of concern;

Determine the three-dimensional (vertical and horizontal) distribution of contaminants within the channel bed, floodplain, and terrace deposits, and determine how this distribution changes through time;

Identify and characterize all sources that are currently or may have historically contributed contaminants to the site, including those located beyond the site boundaries;

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EPA (2005) General Objectives of Characterization

Quantify the key geomorphological processes that can remobilize and disperse contaminated particles within the river system;

Examine and quantify the primary chemical and biological processes that affect the transport, fate, and bioavailability of the contaminants;

Determine the pathways through which both human and ecological receptors may become exposed to the contaminants; and

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EPA (2005) General Objectives of Characterization

Obtain information to evaluate the potential effectiveness of natural processes in cleaning up the site.

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Conceptual Model

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Remediation vs. Restoration Remediation: the application of methods that prevent,

minimize, or mitigate the damage to human health or the environment by a contaminant; it can involve any method that removes, contains, destroys, or reduces the exposure of pollutants to biota.

Restoration: refers to the return of a riverine ecosystem to a more natural working order that is not only susbtainable over the long-term, but aims to recreate rivers that are more productive, aesthetically appealing, and valuable from a conservation perspective (after Hobbs and Norton, 1996).

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•Preliminary Assessment•Site Inspection•NPL Listing

Scopingof the RI/FS

• Collect & Analyze Existing Data

• Identify initial operable units, likely response scenarios & remedial action objectives

• Initiate federal/ state ARAR identification

• Identify initial data quality objectives

• Prepare project plans

Development and Screeningof Alternatives

Detailed Analysisof Alternatives

• Identify potential treatment technologies, containment/disposal requirements for residuals or untreated wastes

• Screen technologies

• Assemble technologies into alternatives

• Screen alternatives as necessary to reduce number requiring detailed analysis

• Preserve an appropriate range of options

• Identify action-specific ARARS

• Further refine alternatives as necessary

• Analyze alternatives against the nine criteria

• Compare alternatives against each other

Output to:•Remedy selection

•Record of decision

•Remedial Design

•Remedial Action

Remedial Investigation


Site Characterization

• Conduct field Investigation

• Define nature & extent of contamination (including types, concentrations & distribution)

• Identify federal/state chemical & location specific ARARs

• Conduct baseline risk assessment

Treatability Invesitigations

• Preform bench or pilot treatability tests as necessaryFlow diagram illustrating primary

components of the USEPA Superfund Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (from USEPA 1988).

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Cleanup Costs ~$750 Billion from 1990 to 2020 (in 1990 dollars)

(Russell et al. 1991). Record of Decision issued by the USEPA to tackle the

impacts of mining on the Cour d’Alene River basin in Idaho contains a “final remedy” to address metal-related human health risks and an “interim remedy” to initiate the process of addressing ecological risks.

Completion of the program is estimated to cost $360 million over 30 years, and a

review by the National Research Council suggests that this effort is insufficient to limit ecological risks to an acceptable level (NRC 2005).