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