Groundwater Services, Inc.

Parameter Estimation Guidelines for Risk-Based Corrective Action (RBCA) Modeling

- By: , , , , , ,

Courtesy of Groundwater Services, Inc.

For use in risk-based corrective action (RBCA) analyses, simple analytical fate-and-transport models can provide a cost-effective means of estimating exposure concentrations and developing risk-based soil and groundwater remediation standards. Under ASTM E-1739 'Standard Guide for Risk-Based Corrective Action Applied at Petroleum Release Sites,' such models are recommended as a conservative first step under Tiers 1 and 2 of the site evaluation process, prior to use of more complex numerical modeling methods under Tier 3. However, the reliability of an analytical model as a conservative predictor of chronic exposure levels depends upon proper characterization of key physical and chemical parameters.

This paper reviews a system of analytical fate-and-transport models compiled expressly for use with the ASTM RBCA Standard and provides practical guidelines for measurement and/or estimation of key input parameters for each model. Contaminant transport pathways addressed in this paper include soil-to-air volatilization, soil-to-groundwater leaching, lateral air transport, and lateral groundwater transport. Parameter selection guidelines discussed in this paper relate specifically to the analytical expressions listed in Appendix X.2 of ASTM E-1739. However, these guidelines are generally applicable to a broad range of soil, air, and groundwater transport models.

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