Ecological Risk Assessment for Site Remediation
This one-day course will provide a concise overview of ecological risk assessment (ERA) as it applies to site remediation. Students will be walked through the tiered ERA process, including the screening level Ecological Evaluation (EE) and baseline ERA as outlined in the NJDEP and USEPA guidance. The application of principles, such as bioavailability, weight-of-evidence, and comparing risks to background will be illustrated with real-world examples and case studies. Topics shall include: problem formulation, developing the conceptual site model, determining data needs, assessing groundwater-to-surface water discharges, the sediment quality triad, measuring effects on wildlife, and developing risk-based remediation goals.
Case studies shall be used to illustrate how hotspot remediation can be combined with habitat conservation and restoration to minimize environmental impacts. Students will leave the course with an understanding of the difference between an EE and an ERA, an idea of the data required to reach management decisions, and how professional judgment can be applied when evaluating ecological risks.