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PT07 Contaminated Harbor and River Sediment
(PT105) Study Design For a Contaminated Marine Harbour Risk Assessment in British Columbia: A Weight-of-Evidence Approach.
Wickstrom, G1, Cameron, M1, 1 Keystone Environmental Ltd., Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
ABSTRACT- A study design incorporating a weight-of-evidence (WOE) approach to assessing ecological risk was developed to address metal ore and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in a marine harbour in northern British Columbia. The contamination is associated with a historic fire that destroyed a large industrial wharf used to store and ship copper, lead, and zinc ores. The metal ore and creosote-treated wharf debris was distributed over a significant stretch of industrialized foreshore. The primary contaminants of potential ecological concern (COPECs) identified have included arsenic, copper, cadmium, lead, nickel, zinc, and a suite of high molecular weight (HMW) PAHs. These COPECs have been identified in soil, intertidal and subtidal sediments, and surface water. The management objective for the property is to assess and if necessary, manage any risk identified to valued ecosystem components while maintaining the property for industrial use. The overall assessment endpoint for the study was the preservation of the commercially and culturally valued ecological components and properties of the regional ecosystem. More specific assessment endpoints were also agreed upon by involved stakeholders. To facilitate the WOE approach, multiple lines-of-evidence were selected to address each assessment endpoint. The lines-of-evidence to be considered include the results of direct sampling of affected media; bioaccumulation results for terrestrial and aquatic receptors; surface water and sediment toxicity testing results; a taxonomic benthic community assessment; and completion of terrestrial, intertidal, and subtidal species/habitat assessments. Hypotheses and decision rules were set a priori for each line-of-evidence to ease interpretation of findings. The lines-of-evidence will be combined to provide an overall weight-of-evidence evaluation of the potential for adverse effects to the selected assessment endpoints. Sources of uncertainty for each line-of-evidence will be considered with respect to their potential for effect on the WOE risk characterization.
Key words: Weight-of-Evidence, Sediment, Metals, PAHs
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