Report on the Technical Workshop on Wti Incinerator Risk Issues
Risk Assessment Forum
This report includes information and materials from a peer review workshop organized by EPA's Risk Assessment Forum for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response and Region 5. The meeting was held in Washington, DC on December 8-9, 1993. The subject of the peer review was a draft project plan prepared by EPA Region 5 for assessing risk at an incinerator operated by Waste Technologies Industries (WTI) in East Liverpool, Ohio. Thirteen peer reviewers were selected to participate from individuals nominated by government, environmental groups, and industry. The peer review panel was convened to evaluate the project plan as the scientific foundation for a risk assessment, which will be used in settling final permit conditions for the WTI facility.
[Note: a subsequent 1996 Risk Assessment Forum workshop report reviewing the WTI risk assessment cited above is also available from EPA.]
The following is excerpted from the chairperson's summary of the workshop:
"Several general points emerged from the peer reviewers' preliminary comments:
- Certain areas of the project plan are vague.
- Toxicologic endpoints may need further consideration. Are they appropriate? Were they selected carefully? Are they based on solid science? Will the reference doses (RfDs) and other toxicity values used in the risk assessment merely be incorporated into equations without consideration of their derivation?
- Ecological risks need to be assessed.
- The adequacy of the identification and analysis of chemicals of concern in the emissions should be confirmed.
- An explanation should be included of why exposures from other incinerators have not been fully described or attempts to access their data have not been adequately described.
- Accidental releases at the site, transportation to and from the site, and the health of workers and the community may need further consideration.
Human health and ecological risk assessments should not be performed separately. The results of an ecological risk assessment need to be correlated with the results of the human health risk assessment...
The peer reviewers expressed heightened concern about the level of uncertainty in all phases of the risk assessment and discussed how this uncertainty should be addressed. Two other general recommendations resulted from discussions in the four work groups:
- The degree of uncertainty with regard to the risk assessment for such a complex operation as the incineration of hazardous waste in this community must be expressed along with the values that are developed.
- Changes must be delineated concerning when and how technical data used in the various components of the risk assessment are collected.
The review, which began as an exercise in critiquing a document--a task most peer reviewers perform routinely--took on added significance as discussions turned to the human dimensions, involving a community and children in a school very close to a hazardous waste incinerator."
Contact: Risk Assessment Forum Staff, 202-564-6483, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: a complete electronic version of this document that preserves its original appearance (such as in a pdf file format) is not currently available. However, a scanned version is available in image or text format from EPA's National Environmental Publications Information System. Paper copies may be ordered from the National Technical Information Service.
Report on the Technical Workshop on Wti Incinerator Risk Issues. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Risk Assessment Forum, Washington, DC, EPA/630/R-94/001, 1993.