Superfund

# Section 4.1.2.2.1.2, page 51612

4.1.2.2.1.2:Persistence. Assign a persistence factor value to each hazardous substance. In assigning this value, evaluate persistence based primarily on the half-life of the hazardous substance in surface water and secondarily on the sorption of the hazardous substance to sediments. The half-life in surface water is defined for HRS purposes as the time required to reduce the initial concentration in surface water by one-half as a result of the combined decay processes of biodegradation, hydrolysis, photolysis, and volatilization. Sorption to sediments is evaluated for the HRS based on the logarithm of the n-octanol-water partition coefficient (log Kow) of the hazardous substance.

Estimate the half-life, t½ of a hazardous substance as follows:

t½ = 1 / (1/h + 1/b + 1/p + 1/v)

where:

h = Hydrolysis half-life.
p = Photolysis half-life.
v = Volatilization half-life.

If one or more of these four component half-lives cannot be estimated for the hazardous substance from available data, delete that component half-life from the above equation. If none of these four component half-lives can be estimated for the hazardous substance from available data, use the default procedure indicated below. Estimate a half-life for the hazardous substance for lakes or for rivers, oceans, coastal tidal waters, and Great Lakes, as appropriate.

If a half-life can be estimated for a hazardous substance:

• Assign that hazardous substance a persistence factor value from the appropriate portion of Table 4-10 (that is lakes; or rivers, oceans, coastal tidal waters, and Great Lakes).

• Select the appropriate portion of Table 4-10 as follows:

• If there is one or more drinking water intakes along the hazardous substance migration path for the watershed, select the nearest drinking water intake as measured from the probable point of entry. If the in-water segment between the probable point of entry and this selected intake includes both lakes and other water bodies, use the lakes portion of Table 4-10 only if more than half the distance to this selected intake lies in lake(s). Otherwise, use the rivers, oceans, coastal tidal waters, and Great Lakes portion of Table 4-10. For contaminated sediments with no identified source, use the point where measurement begins (see section 4.1.1.2) rather than the probable point of entry.

• If there are no drinking water intakes but there are intakes or points of use for any of the resource types listed in section 4.1.2.3.3, select the nearest such intake or point of use. Select the portion of Table 4- 10 based on this intake or point of use in the manner specified for drinking water intakes.

• If there are no drinking water intakes and no specified resource intakes and points of use, but there is another type of resource listed in section 4.1.2.3.3 (for example, the water is usable for drinking water purposes even though not used), select the portion of Table 4-10 based on the nearest point of this resource in the manner specified for drinking water intakes.

If a half-life cannot be estimated for a hazardous substance from available data, use the following default procedure to assign a persistence factor value to that hazardous substance:

• For those hazardous substances that are metals (or metalloids), assign a persistence factor value of 1 as a default for all surface water bodies.

• For other hazardous substances (both organic and inorganic), assign a persistence factor value of 0.4 as a default for rivers, oceans, coastal tidal waters, and Great Lakes, and a persistence factor value of 0.07 as a default for lakes. Select the appropriate value in the same manner specified for using Table 4-10.

Use the persistence factor value assigned based on half-life or the default procedure unless the hazardous substance can be assigned a higher factor value from Table 4-11, based on its Log Kow. If a higher value can be assigned from Table 4- 11, assign this higher value as the persistence factor value for the hazardous substance.

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