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Environmental cleanups require balancing protection with cost-effective approaches.

 


Environmental Remediation and Risk Management

Environmental contamination, such as those presented by hazardous wastes and toxic chemicals, requires environmental remediation that protects both human health and local ecology.  At the same time, sensible environmental risk management requires cost-effective remediation approaches.  CEC staff has had extensive experience developing environmental clean up levels for large Superfund sites, including those involving contaminated groundwater, rivers, and harbors.

We have developed site specific, risk-based cleanup levels for soils and sediments for more than 25 sites and will undertake projects where the United States government is a not party and does not have a substantial interest.

Environmental Remediation and Risk Management Projects:

Harbor and River Cleanups

While working at U.S. EPA, Dr. Milton Clark developed cleanup levels for several major Superfund sites and contaminated sediments including Waukegan Harbor, Illinois; Manistique Harbor, Michigan; and Bryant Mill Pond of the Kalamazoo River, Michigan.  Methodologies were also developed to select cost-effective cleanup levels as part of a feasibility study for the Fox River, Wisconsin, the largest PCB contaminated river in the United States.

Protecting Public Health from Contaminated Fish

Contaminated fish is present in the United States and many areas of the world.  Dr. Milton Clark and Dr. Mike Dourson, developed a new approach for effectively communicating health risks to fish consumers in an effort to change fish consumption behavior.  The approach emphasizes protection of sensitive sub-populations such as pregnant women and children.  This method is now used by more than 30 state environmental and public health agencies, and has been officially endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Dourson, M. and Clark, M. “Fish Consumption Advisories; Toward a Unified Scientifically Credible Approach,” Reg. Tox. and Pharm., 12, 1990.

Protecting Public Health from Pesticide Exposure

In the late 1990's, several hundred homes in Lorain , Ohio were found to have been illegally sprayed with the highly toxic pesticide, methyl parathion. People where found to have adverse health symptoms and high levels of the pesticide in blood and urine. U.S. EPA, in conjunction with Centers for Disease Control, the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, and local health departments undertook an emergency response to relocate persons and decontaminate properties. In the largest ever case of pesticide mis-use, Dr. Milton Clark developed relocation, decontamination, and re-entry criteria. Acceptable levels of methyl parathion exposure were established for levels in the blood and urine of people, on household surfaces and in the air. Ultimately, 230 homes were decontaminated and over 1,000 people were protected. The relocation and decontamination approaches have relevance to procedures used in the event of a terrorist chemical attack.

Clark, M. et al., “Methyl Parathion in Residential Properties: Relocation and Decontamination Methodology”, Environmental Health Perspectives, Supplement 6 (110), 2002.