Northwest Environmental Training Center (NWETC)

Planning and Preparing an Ecological Risk Assessment


In this 2-day course, attendees will learn and review both the technical and regulatory approaches to completing ecological risk assessments. Participants will come away with an understanding of the planning and preparation process for the completion of an ERA, including data development needs, selection of endpoints, and the development of lines of evidence. Understanding the topics covered will give attendees the ability to accurately assess the potential for ecological risk, which is paramount to the remedial decision-making process. In today’s environmental project planning, this can make the difference between the success or failure of a recommended action or approach.

Course ID: REM-405
Status: OPEN
Date(s): November 19, 2015: 8:30am - 4:30pm
November 20, 2015: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Location: University of Phoenix Classrooms - Denver, CO
10004 Park Meadows Drive
Lone Tree, CO
Instructor: Charles R. Harman, P.W.S.
Tuition: $595 / $545*
    $495 / $445* (Before October 10, 2015)

During the course, attendees will examine the development of ERAs in both aquatic and terrestrial settings, and will receive a broad overview of the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process as it is used in evaluating potential environmental risks and liabilities associated with hazardous waste sites. Emphasis will be placed on providing a hands-on understanding of ecological risk assessment using the basic ERA paradigm as outlined in USEPA’s Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (ERAGS). Case studies and active engagement with the attendees will be used to reinforce the points presented in lecture.

Intended Audience:

This course is intended for environmental professionals including, but not limited to government and contractor personnel involved in site cleanup, environmental consultants, environmental lawyers, engineers, remedial managers, and environmental students.

Continuing Education Units: 1.20 CEUs

Course Materials:

Attendees will receive a course manual containing workshop proceedings and reference material.

Course Topics

  • Regulatory requirements
  • General overview of ecological risk assessment
  • Review of the 8-step ERAGS process
  • Regional and/or state approaches and perspectives
  • Problem formulation
  • Conceptual site models
  • Characterization of exposure
  • Characterization of ecological effects
  • Risk characterization
  • Uncertainty analysis
  • Special circumstances
  • Conclusion

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