Environmental Management Directorate
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000
Phone 631 344-8192
Fax 631 344-5844
managed by Brookhaven Science Associates
for the U.S. Department of Energy
Thursday, January 17, 2002
Dear Peconic River Working Group:
Thank you for participating in our interim meeting on January 7, 2002. Despite the icy conditions outdoors, 15 of you attended this meeting to focus on risk analysis and preliminary remediation goals. This letter recalls some highlights from that meeting, and announces our next standing meeting.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR JANUARY 7 MEETING
* Skip Medeiros, the Group Manager responsible for the Peconic River cleanup efforts, opened the meeting with a discussion on the flow of the river and a status report on cleanup projects including pilot studies.
- The Record of Decision (ROD) for the sewage treatment plant is nearly approved. The approval of this ROD allows cleanup of BNLís sewage treatment plant to begin.
- Regulatory comments have been received on all pilot-study work plans, helping to move the corresponding projects forward. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, and several comments from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have been reviewed by the Peconic River project team. With regulator support, the Vacuum Guzzler and Wetlands Reconstruction pilot studies are tentatively scheduled to begin in early February. In addition, a sediment trap will be installed near the site perimeter to minimize the offsite transport of contaminants. Finally,
Skip noted that he expects to provide more detailed information on the proposed electrochemical technology at the January 10 CAC meeting.
* Daniel Duh, an environmental scientist from the IT Corporation, reviewed the risk assessment protocols and preliminary remediation goals (PRGs).
- The baseline risk assessment estimates potential health risks now and in the future if no remedial action were to be taken. The recently collected and analyzed data on fish tissue, vegetation, sediment, groundwater, and soil will be included with historical data in conducting the new risk assessment and development of PRGs. Dan reviewed each of the scenarios that make up the risk assessment, such as an off-site resident who lives near the Peconic, fishes in the river, and drinks the water from a private well for a period of 30 years. (Each population scenario is considered for 30 years.) Each scenario examines a sensitive population and possible pathways for exposure. Pathways include: fish consumption, dermal contact, surface water ingestion, groundwater consumption, and inhalation of the dust. For more information on risk assessment, review the white paper entitled, "Risk Assessment Protocols" distributed at the December 6 meeting.
- The preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) basically will include cleanup goals calculated by conducting the risk assessments in reverse, and following existing regulatory standards and guidance. Other factors will require consideration in developing the final PRGs. For each exposure pathway, different results are expected. To determine the calculated PRG, the numbers in the equation are worked backward to see what levels of contaminants achieve risk levels acceptable to the regulatory agencies. For more information on preliminary remediation goals, review the white paper entitled, "Approach to Development of Remedial Goals for Peconic River Sediment for Operable Unit V," distributed at the December 6 meeting.
-Members of the working group took the opportunity to ask Dan about the data
and other values used in risk assessment. Of notable discussion was the fish
consumption rate used in estimating risks from eating Peconic River fish. The
number proposed for use in the risk assessment considers average consumption of
6.5 grams per day (equivalent to 20 1/4-pound fish meals from the upstream
Peconic River each year). The working group contrasted that number with the EPA
recommended consumption rate for freshwater anglers of 25 grams per day
(equivalent to 80 1/4-pound fish meals per year). While some working group
members suggested the use of the higher consumption rate, others said that
significant fish consumption is not possible due to the low number of fish
available in the area of the Peconic proposed for cleanup. This issue is
currently under discussion by the regulatory agencies.
* Kevin Shaw, the project manager, led a question and answer period regarding the work plans associated with the upcoming pilot study programs. Once again, working-group members took the opportunity to ask questions and discuss pilot-study strategies directly with the project team. Particular interest was voiced about how the establishment of cleanup goals affects the schedule, the appropriateness of electrochemical remediation, and the source of plants for reconstruction.
* The working group suggested the following topics for the next meeting:
-Feedback from the regulatory agencies regarding the risk assessment and pilot studies
OUR NEXT STANDING MEETING
Our next standing meeting will take place on January 22, 2002 from 6:30-8:30pm here at
Brookhaven National Laboratory in Berkner Hall, Room "B".
Thank you once again for participating on the Peconic River Working Group. If you have any questions, please contact me at your convenience:
email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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