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MP9 Environmental Decision-Making Case Studies
() Application of Net Environmental Benefit Analysis to Achieve Resource and Risk Management Objectives in Wetlands.
Edge, D1, Dunford, R2, Fiedler, P3, Jenkins, K4, Holder, J1, 1 BBL Sciences, Carpinteria, CA, USA2 TER, Durham, NC, USA3 BBL Sciences, Alameda, CA, USA4 BBL Sciences, Petaluma, CA, USA
ABSTRACT- Even when the largest and most complete ecological risk assessment data sets are developed, the uncertainties associated with risk assessment conclusions are often overwhelming in the context of risk management decision-making. The desire of regulatory agencies and the public to incorporate conservatism to ensure protection often drives remedial actions designed to address the conservative end of an uncertain risk estimate. In large ecologically diverse systems the stakes are incredibly high, and uncertainty can translate to potentially unjustified expenditures of large sums of money. Net Environmental Benefit Analysis (NEBA) provides a means to weigh the potential benefits and undesirable consequences of remedial actions designed to achieve desired risk reduction with more global and holistic environmental resource objectives in mind. In the context of risk management decision making, NEBA is a tool that can be used to balance, bound, and provide a real world context for uncertain risk assessment conclusions. This presentation will put NEBA concepts, process steps, and assessment tools into context considering established ERA process steps, remedial action objective guidelines, and feasibility study elements to illustrate how NEBA can be integrated into our current assessment framework. Critical and specific technical underpinnings necessary to conduct a NEBA in a contaminated wetland environment will be addressed including the selection of ecological services as a basis to consider service flow in the context of NEBA, ecological resources as a basis for the development of ERA assessment endpoints, and the more difficult challenge of establishing links between endpoints defined in terms of receptors and endpoints and endpoints defined in terms of habitat quality and/or ecological service flow, which involves an integration of typical ERA conceptual site model elements with ecological service flows and other measures of habitat quality and function.
Key words: Risk Management, Net Environmental Benefit Analysis, Ecological Risk Assessment, Wetlands
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