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Peer Review of Fox River Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Report

In support of the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS), U.S. EPA contracted with Roy F. Weston, Inc. (WESTON) to establish an independent panel to review a February 1999 draft study. In September 1998, WESTON independently selected experts and established two technical panels. The first panel consisted of experts in the fields of Superfund data evaluation and decision making. A second panel was comprised of experts in the field of natural recovery and behavior of toxic chemicals.

Complete text of the peer review reports are available at Fox River information repositories at area libraries. A copy can also be obtained by contacting:

Dr. Milt Clark
Health and Science Advisor
U.S. EPA (SR-6J)
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604
312-886-1918
clark.jmilton@epa.gov

Jim Hahnenberg
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA (SR-6J)
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604
312-353-4213
hahnenberg.james@epa.gov

Complete texts of the reports

What follows is a brief summary of the panels' major findings.

Panel #1: Data Sufficiency

Panel #1 was asked to evaluate the quality and quantity of sediment and water analytical data used in the February 1999 draft RI/FS. Specifically, U.S. EPA asked the panel to address the following items:

  1. Determine if data are of sufficient quality to support an RI/FS. If not, identify major deficiencies and provide specific recommendations.
  2. Determine if there is sufficient quantity of useable data to complete the RI/FS. If not, identify major deficiencies and provide specific recommendations.

During the evaluation, the panel further refined these questions, adding those listed below:

Summary of major conclusions and recommendations

Panel #2: Natural Recovery

Panel #2 was asked to evaluate natural recovery and environmental transformation (i.e., biological breakdown of PCBs). Natural recovery was defined by the panel as naturally occurring physical, chemical, or biological processes that reduce the risks associated with contaminants in sediments over time. The term natural recovery implies both attenuation (those processes that reduce overall environmental exposures) and recovery (reestablishment of viable ecological communities through time, and restoration of other beneficial uses). Specifically, U.S. EPA asked the panel to address the following items:

  1. Is natural recovery appropriately characterized? If not, identify major deficiencies and provide specific recommendations.
  2. Are the literature review and subsequent analyses complete regarding the environmental transformation (e.g., dechlorination, changes in toxicity) of PCBs in sediments? If not, identify major deficiencies and provide specific recommendations.

Summary of major conclusions and recommendations


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