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Assistance from EPA's Technical Review Workgroup for Metals and Asbestos (TRW)

The TRW's goal is to support and promote consistent application of the best science in the field of risk assessment for metals and asbestos at contaminated sites nationwide. The TRW is composed of four committees: Lead Committee, Arsenic Committee, Asbestos Committee, and Bioavailability Committee.

Bioavailability Committee Mission

The Bioavailability Committee of the TRW develops new guidance and policy concerning site assessment and cleanup at hazardous waste sites. The Bioavailability Committee will also provide site consultation in support of regional requests and identify research needs to address data gaps relevant to contaminant bioavailability in soil site assessment activities.

The Bioavailability Committee of the TRW will act as the primary point of contact, information archive, and repository of outreach materials for the methods recommended in the guidance document. They will meet on an as-needed basis to review site-specific applications, provide assistance to the Regions, and issue additional guidance as necessary. Moreover, the committee will review new methods for assessing bioavailability of inorganic soil contaminants (new method validation).

In addition the Bioavailability Committee of the TRW will compile and evaluate information on applications of bioavailability assessments in EPA site risk assessments, with the objective of promoting consistent application of the framework described in this guidance across the EPA Regions. To facilitate collection of this information, the Regions are asked to report all site risk assessment applications of the in vitro lead bioaccessibility methodology or in vivo juvenile swine model to the Bioavailability Committee. The Regions are also asked to contact the Bioavailability Committee for information on any other bioavailability assessment methodologies under consideration for use in site risk assessment.

Expertise of the Bioavailability Committee

The principal members of the Bioavailability Committee are technical staff from EPA Regions

  • Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) Headquarters

  • Office of Research and Development (ORD)

  • Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT)

  • National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA)

Bioavailability Committee members generally have an active interest and recognized scientific expertise in metals or asbestos risk assessment.

Annual Reports

The TRW Bioavailability Committee Annual Reports describing the actions taken by the Committee during the past year. The Annual Report presents the accomplishments and activities of the TRW Bioavailability Committee, as well as a list of current and former TRW Bioavailability Committee members.

If you have questions regarding the reports, please contact Michele Burgess at burgess.michele@epa.gov or 703-603-9003.

Accessing the Bioavailability Committee

Regional and state risk assessors and project managers may submit written or electronic requests for Bioavailability Committee review to the Bioavailability Committee co-chairs:

If a legal concern for confidentiality exists, documents should be submitted to the Bioavailability Committee through regional legal counsel.

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Response from the Bioavailability Committee

For a response to a site-specific request:

  • The time required for the Bioavailability Committee to complete a site-specific review will depend on the nature of the request and the extent of the review requested (i.e., a brief consultation or a thorough, in-depth review). Because the Bioavailability Committee meets bi-monthly via teleconference, a substantial request for assistance should be submitted at least two months prior to a desired response.

  • Questions concerning the assessment, removal or remediation of bioavailability soil contamination at hazardous waste sites may be directed to the Technical Review Workgroup Technical Support.

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