Waste and Cleanup Risk Assessment
Tools for Ecological Risk Assessment
Click on the bulleted items below to access guidance, policy, and technical tools for Superfund ecological risk assessment. Both general tools and tools specific to the major steps of the risk assessment process are included, and most of the resources referenced can be downloaded.
- General Guidance Information
- Problem Formulation
- Characterization of Exposure
- Characterization of Ecological Effects
- Risk Characterization
- Risk Management
- Peer Review Workshop Report on Ecological Soil Screening Level (Eco-SSL) Guidance Document (PDF) (52 pp, 105K, About PDF)
- Draft Ecological Soil Screening Level (Eco-SSL) Guidance and Exhibits, and Related Federal Register Notice
- Issuance of Final Guidance: Ecological Risk Assessment and Risk Management Principles for Superfund Sites (1999) (PDF) (9pp, 1MB, About PDF)
- Data quality is an important component of the risk assessment and the evaluation of data quality should be documented. RAGS Part D includes Data Useability Worksheets (ZIP 7K) to address this need. In addition, Section 3.1.1 of RAGS Part D (PDF) (30 pp, 59K, About PDF) discusses standard tables, worksheets, and supporting information.
- Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance
for Superfund: Process for Designing and Conducting Ecological Risk
Assessments (Interim Final) (1997)
This document provides guidance to site managers and Remedial Project Managers who are legally responsible for the management of a site on how to design and conduct technically defensible ecological risk assessments for the Superfund program.
This document supersedes EPA's 1989 Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Volume 2, Environmental Evaluation Manual as guidance on how to design and conduct an ecological risk assessment under Superfund. The Environmental Evaluation Manual contains useful information on the statutory and regulatory basis of ecological assessment, basic ecological concepts, and other background information that is not repeated in this document.
- Role of the Ecological Risk Assessment in the Baseline Risk Assessment (1994) (PDF) (2 pp, 180K, About PDF)
- Guidelines for Ecological
Risk Assessment (1998)
These Agency-wide guidelines are provided to improve the quality and consistency of EPA's ecological risk assessments. As a next step in a continuing process of ecological risk guidance development, the guidelines draw from a wide range of source documents including peer-reviewed issue papers and case studies previously developed by EPA's Risk Assessment Forum. The guidelines expand on and replace the 1992 report Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment. EPA plans to follow the guidelines with more detailed guidance in specific areas.
- The Role of Biological Technical Assistance Groups (BTAGs) in Ecological Assessment (1991) "ECO Update, Vol. 1, No. 1"
- The Role of Natural Resource Trustees in the Superfund Process (1992) "ECO Update, Vol. 1, No. 3"
- Policy for Use of Probabilistic in Risk Assessment at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1997) (PDF) (4 pp, 25K, About PDF)
- Guiding Principles for Monte Carlo Analysis (1997)
Characterization of Exposure
- Wildlife Exposure Factors Handbook (1993)
- Managing Ecological Risks at EPA: Issues and Recommendations for Progress (1994)
- Priorities for Ecological Protection: An Initial List and Discussion Document for EPA (1997)
Characterization of Ecological Effects
- Risk Characterization for Ecological Risk Assessment of Contaminated Sites (1996) (PDF) ( 41 pp, 520K)
- Developing a Work Scope for Ecological Assessments (1992) "ECO Update, Vol. 1, No. 4"
- Ecological Significance and Selection of Candidate Assessment Endpoints (1996)
- Briefing the Biological Technical Assistance Group (BTAG): Initial Description of Setting, History, and Ecology of a Site (1992) "ECO Update, Vol. 1, No. 5"
- The Role of Screening-Level Risk Assessments
and Refining Contaminants of Concern in Baseline Ecological Risk Assessments
(2001) [ECO Update, Intermittent Bulletin] This supplemental Ecological
Risk Assessment (ERA) guidance is intended to provide further clarification
and direction regarding Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessments
(SLERAs), as described in Step 1- Preliminary Problem Formulation, and
Step 2 - Preliminary Risk Calculation, of the Agency's program guidance:
Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Process for Designing
and Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments (U.S. EPA 1997). It also
provides an approach for incorporating additional components into the
Problem Formulation phase of more detailed (i.e., "baseline") ecological
risk assessments, particularly in Step 3.2, which discusses refining
contaminants of potential concern (COPCs).
The Superfund program guidance, which may be applicable to RCRA Corrective Actions, describes a process that incorporates flexibility in refining COPCs in order to focus and streamline the overall ERA process while still ensuring a consistent approach. This guidance provides more detail on how to incorporate that flexibility.
- Ecological Subregions of the United States
- Endangered Species Homepage
- National Wetlands Inventory
- Catalogue of Standard Toxicity Tests for Ecological Risk Assessment (1994) "ECO Update, Vol. 2, No. 2"
- Using Toxicity Tests in Ecological Risk Assessment (1994) "ECO Update, Vol. 2, No. 1"
- Selecting and Using Reference Information in Superfund Ecological Risk Assessments (1994)
- Link to EPA's Technology Innovation
TIO's mission is to advance the use of new technologies for site characterization and remediation. This site provides information about innovative technologies, programs, organizations, publications, software, and other tools related to the characterization and cleanup of hazardous waste sites.