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The containment factor reflects the presence of physical barriers to contaminant migration associated with a source. The containment factors are used in determining likelihood of release, as well as many of the factors included in the waste characteristics factor category.

Containment factor values are specific to the pathway being evaluated.

Hazardous substances associated solely with sources with containment factor values of zero have no material impact on a pathway score unless they are otherwise associated with an observed release to that pathway.

  • The characteristics necessary to warrant assigning a containment factor value of zero are rarely encountered.

There may be more than one type of containment factor associated with a pathway:

  • surface water pathway containment

  • surface water pathway flood containment

  • air pathway gas containment

  • air pathway particulate containment

Note that Source Identification Type must be established before Containment can be evaluated.

Specific containment features must be observed and reported during the site visit if the HRS is to be properly applied. Highlight 7-22 Data Needs For Evaluating Source Containment.

Observations required to document ground water and surface water containment are quite similar. For the air pathway, they are different (e.g., windbreaks).

A detailed log of what is observed about containment at each source should be kept. These field observations will become a reference in the HRS documentation record and will support the assignment of the containment factor value.

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