Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC)

Ecological Risk Assessmwnt

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CEC has performed risk assessments for numerous types of facilities across the country to support the identification of real human health and environmental risks and the selection of remedial actions, if appropriate. Risk assessments have been a part of projects involving commercial and industrial real estate transactions, industrial operations, waste processing and disposal facilities, above and underground storage tanks, and CERCLA and RCRA sites.

CEC has performed risk assessments for numerous types of facilities across the country to support the identification of real human health and environmental risks and the selection of remedial actions, if appropriate. Risk assessments have been a part of projects involving commercial and industrial real estate transactions, industrial operations, waste processing and disposal facilities, above and underground storage tanks, and CERCLA and RCRA sites. Risk assessment services include:

  • Human health risk assessment
  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Litigation support
  • Site screening and site selection based on sisk
  • Remedial action alternative selection based on risk
  • Natural resource assessments
  • Regulatory interface and risk management assistance

CEC's involvement with the risk assessment aspects of projects has resulted in cleanup standards that are based on “real world ' assumptions and remedial actions that are protective of human health and the environment, while saving clients millions of dollars. The overall approach to risk assessment frequently includes:

  • Definition and focus of site/operable unit issues through the use of tools such as screening criteria
  • Identification of realistic exposure scenarios in order to accurately characterize risks
  • Evaluation of solutions that consider that the balance between environmental protection and cost
  • Understanding our clients needs and company structure in order to respond to financial, regulatory/legal, and day to day operational issues

In accordance with Federal guidance, most of the human health risk assessments integrate the following four components:

  • Hazard Identification - selection of the chemicals that can potentially cause and adverse effect
  • Dose-Response Assessment- description of the relationship between the chemical dose and anticipated response
  • Exposure Assessment- identification of current and potential pathways to receptors (e.g., adult, child, worker)
  • Risk Characterization - a comprehensive presentation of risk estimates and a thorough discussion of the uncertainties associated with these estimates.

In contrast ecological risk assessments typically have three components:

  • Problem Formulation - establishing the goals and focus of the risk assessment, which includes the conceptual model that identifies the environmental values to be protected (assessment endpoints)
  • Analysis - developing profiles of environmental exposure and the effects of the stressor
  • Risk Characterization - integrating the information from the first two components to provide an overall risk estimate and discussion of the confidence in the assessment.

The approach to ecological risk assessment differs from that applied to humans because

  1. The effects typically go beyond one species (e.g., humans) and may consider population, community, or ecosystem impacts
  2. The stressors can be both physical (e.g., habitat modification) and chemical in nature
  3. The process requires selection of practical measurement endpoints (e.g., mortality of fish) that can reasonably be measured within finite time and budget constraints and yet relate to the selected assessment endpoint (e.g., decline of a fish population)

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