Supplementary guidance for the investigation and risk-assessment of potentially contaminated sediments: a companion volume to Energy Institute

28 Nov 2013
This report provides guidance on the investigation and assessment of potentially contaminated sediments, focusing on the inland, estuarine and coastal environments. It is designed as a complementary, technical companion document to Energy Institute & CONCAWE (2013) report ‘Guidance on characterising, assessing and managing risks associated with potentially contaminated sediments’ (Report E1001). It highlights a number of significant challenges associated with assessing the aquatic and water bottom environment, which means that a sediment assessment should not be undertaken lightly.
Where a decision is taken to undertake a site assessment, this report promotes the use of an iterative process of Conceptual Site Model (CSM) development, data collection, data evaluation and a continuous CSM refinement, taking into account the results obtained.
Risk-based assessment is described throughout the report, entailing four tiers of assessment, which progress from a qualitative assessment (Tier 0) through to a detailed cause-attribution assessment (Tier 3), in which the decrease in uncertainty in the assessment process is balanced against the increased costs and timescales with progress to a higher tier assessment. The application of this evidence-driven risk-based approach to sediment site management, including remedial control measures, should help to overcome at least some of the challenges associated with contaminants in sediment sites in Europe, and promote a sustainable approach to sediment management on a case-by-case basis.