Risk Assessment and Risk-Based Corrective Action (RBCA)
The goal of Risk Assessment is to protect human health and the environment while providing a technically defensible, practical, and cost-effective approach to remediation of impacted sites. Risk assessment combines site-specific data, fate and transport analyses, exposure equations, exposure assumptions, and epidemiological data to determine the health risks associated with a particular release and exposure scenario.
It is important to realize that a reduction of contaminant mass does not necessarily equate to a reduction in environmental and human health risk. Risk assessment does not increase environmental risk or liability at a site, but provides an accurate account of actual risk associated with the site. Risk assessment is approached through the identification of hazards, dose/response assessment, exposure assessment, and evaluation of regulatory options.
Use of Risk-Based Corrective Action to Satisfy Regulatory Requirements
The assessment of health risks provides the basis for a risk-based corrective action (RBCA) that is at once more protective and more cost effective. RBCA is the basis for the framework and philosophies upon which regulatory agencies, including the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, have built their own risk-based guidance standards. While contaminant mass removal has always been the basis for corrective actions, many years ago regulatory agencies recognized that it was inefficient and ultimately unproductive to ignore the actual exposure risk and the maximum potential risk reduction through mass removal. This realization has led to the use of risk assessment conclusions to direct corrective actions, hence the term RBCA.
By utilizing the risk assessment to direct the corrective action, resources are used most effectively and human health and the environment are afforded the greatest protection in the timeliest manner. You would not attempt to repair your car without first determining the source of the problem because much time and money could be wasted by replacing or repairing systems that are not the cause of the problem. Likewise, it is undesirable to undertake a site remediation without first determining the risks associated with the release.
Risk Assessment Services
GeoServices, Ltd. provides Risk Assessment services to establish attainable site-specific cleanup goals. GeoServices is often able to provide a streamlined approach to site closure in which exposure and risk assessment practices are integrated with traditional components of the corrective action process. This approach insures that the appropriate and most cost-effective remedies are selected. It also ensures that limited resources are properly allocated to achieve site closure.
GeoServices has successfully applied RBCA to sites involving contamination of soils, ground water, and vapor emissions from petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, and heavy metals. We have the experience and expertise to accurately assess the risks associated with your most challenging sites.