Section N of the HRS Preamble
As suggested by commenters, the final rule limits the area within which human targets are evaluated for resident population threat to locations within property boundaries and within a distance limit of 200 feet from an area of observed contamination. The 200-foot limit accounts for those situations where the property boundary is very large, and exposure to contaminated surficial materials is unlikely or infrequent because of the distance of residences, schools, or work places from an area of observed contamination on the same property.
To make the pathway consistent with the other pathways and in response to comments, the final rule includes hazardous waste quantity in the waste characteristics factor category and multiplies it by the factor value for toxicity. New factors, resident individual, have been added to make the pathway consistent with the other pathways, all of which assign values for the maximally exposed individual (e.g., nearest individual or intake). Population is evaluated using two levels of actual contamination based on health-based benchmarks. Separate consideration of the high risk population (children under seven) has been eliminated because the field test indicated that this factor could greatly add to the time and expense of scoring a site yet resulted in little discrimination among sites. This change also makes the soil exposure pathway more consistent with the other pathways.
The soil exposure pathway is designed to account for exposures and health risks resulting from ingestion of contaminated surficial materials. Because ingestion exposures are comparable for some types of workers and residents, the Agency has decided to include workers in the resident population threat. However, substantial variability in the kinds of workers and work activities at sites (e.g., indoor and outdoor) leads to considerable variability in exposure potential. The Agency believes that determining specific categories or types of workers is beyond the scope of HRS data collection. Thus, workers are assigned target points on a prorated bases: 5 points are assigned for sites with up to 100 workers; 10 points for sites with 101 to 1,000 workers, and 15 points for greater than 1,000 workers. Prorating workers will reduce the data collection effort. Evaluation of workers is not affected by health-based benchmarks. (See Section 126.96.36.199.) Nearby workers are not counted in the nearby population because the Agency considers it unlikely that workers from nearby workplaces would regularly visit contaminated areas outside the property boundary of their workplace during the workday, and because there is no way to estimate accurately the number of workers who might.