Risk Assessment Resources

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The ITRC Risk Assessment Resources Team, formed in 2003, provides state and federal agencies and other interested parties with resources to aid the risk assessment and risk management process. Information regarding risk assessment and risk management has become increasingly vital as the environmental community works to clean up sites better and more efficiently. Risk assessment helps state and federal agencies and private industry clean up sites to safe levels for the intended current and future use. This promotes greater confidence in the conclusions reached at a site and the amount of clean-up / remediation required.

The team began with a mission to provide information to the regulated community, the regulators, and the stakeholders that would aid in better decision making when implementing the risk assessment/management processes. The first step of that mission was completed in December 2005 when the team published their first document entitled Examination of Risk-Based Screening Values and Approaches of Selected States . This document provides information on the different methods used by regulatory agencies to develop and apply screening values for evaluating contaminated media. The document highlights the need for transparency of methodologies to develop screening values and their application at contaminated sites.

The second product, the Electronic Risk Resource Sheet, was developed when the team realized there was a growing need among the environmental community for quick access to a range of information as it relates to risk assessment. The team was not aware of a single location where a regulator, stakeholder, or regulated party could go and have access to a variety of internet-based resources relating to risk assessment. The Electronic Risk Resource Sheet contains links that connect to databases, tools, and topics that address risk assessment and is a valuable tool to anyone interested in the subject of risk assessment. This resource is a dynamic resource that will be updated periodically as more is learned in the risk assessment community.

The team has a constant goal to reach out to the environmental community. The team has been involved in many different outreach forums and has provided valuable information to the environmental community including the Society of Risk Analysis Annual Meetings, the Midwestern Risk Assessment Forum, and EPA’s Annual Science Forum.  

The team is currently working on the final phases of its mission. The team has two projects to complete: the Risk and Cleanup Project and the ARAMS Project. The Risk and Cleanup Project focuses on the development of an ITRC Technical and Regulatory (Tech-Reg) Guidance Document that will build upon the Examination of Risk-Based Screening Values and Approaches of Selected States document through the presentation of the similarities and differences among states using both hypothetical case studies and actual case studies. The states will be able to use the Tech-Reg Document as a tool to develop and/or enhance the approaches that estimate an accurate representation of the risk present to human health and the environment. Environmental consultants and other interested parties will be able to use the final Tech-Reg document as a tool to demonstrate what other regulatory agencies are doing in the realm of developing clean-up levels at sites. The team will publish this document in Fall-2008.

In collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the team is working on the ARAMS (Adaptive Risk Assessment Modeling System) Project. ARAMS is a computer-based, modeling- and database-driven analysis system for estimating human and ecological health impacts and risks associated with potential contaminants of concern. ARAMS is based on a widely accepted risk paradigm that integrates exposure and effects assessments to characterize risk. The project focuses on the review of the ARAMS tool and the development of a Technology and Transfer Workshop that will be held in 2008.