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Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment

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Ecological Risk Assessment: Chemicals and Radiation
Lawrence (Larry) Kapustka, Ph.D.
LK Consultancy
Turner Valley, Alberta Canada
kapustka@xplornet.com
Getting started
What is ecology?
What is risk?
What is ecological risk assessment?
Why would one do an ecological risk assessment?
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Learning Objectives:
become aware of the strengths and limitations of
ecological risk assessment as a way to inform
environmental management decision-making
gain experiential knowledge of the challenges that arise
while structuring an ecological risk assessment (i.e., the
Problem Formulation phase)
improve their ability to critique study plans and reports
that use ecological risk assessments to inform
management decisions
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Content:
Disclosure of some of my biases (developed from Kapustka and Landis 1998)
Overview of the ecological risk assessment process
Limitations of ecological risk assessment (developed from Kapustka 2008)
Using habitat quality and a landscape perspective to improve exposure
estimates (Kapustka 2004, 2005 and ASTM E2385)
Closure
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some of my biases
ecology, as other sciences, is value neutral
ecological resources are given value by humans
Specific values are assigned differently by different humans
(cultural, ethnic, class, age, gender, differences)
emergent properties of ecological systems are key if the aim is to
manage populations, communities, and system functions
ecological systems:
cannot be restored; they can only be emulated
change is inevitable
predictions of future conditions are tenuous at best
Kapustka, L. A., and W. G. Landis. 1998. Ecology: the science versus the myth. Human and
Ecol. Risk Assessment 4: 829-838.
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Dealing with
Paradigms and
Perceptions
Ecology: The Science versus the Myth
(Kapustka and Landis 1998)
The catechism of environmentalism
Stability
Recovery
Balance of nature
Integrity
Health
Ecological systems are highly dimensional and
dynamic collections of organisms and abiotic
structures that interact with a multitude of
potential responses (modulated by feedback)
Ecological systems are abstract. No one has
ever seen one; they are merely perceived.
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Ms Northing
M
r
.

E
a
s
t
i
n
g
Anamorphic Imagery (1)
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Twisted Cube 2001; Matheau Haemaker
Anamorphic Imagery (2)
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Cube to Pyramid 2001; Guido Moretti
Anamorphic Imagery (3)
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Duet 2001; Shigeo Fukuda
Decision Space
Malcolm Gladwell (Blink)
Posits that
humans are wired to make critical decisions quickly
we act on thin slices of information
It follows that the formal deliberative processes
used in environmental decision-making are
distinctly unnatural; an outgrowth of a complex
society
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Ecology Culture
Economics
Impulsive/Inherent Information Barrier
Engineering
Managing within Ecological Systems
Contemporary ecology recognizing that historic events determine current
and future structures and that past conditions cannot be repeated.
Ecological systems are
self-organizing,
complex,
multidimensional,
nonlinear, and
dynamic
Consequently, management goals must reflect these ecological realities
goals should be
dynamic,
multidimensional, and
responsive to constantly changing ecological conditions as we collectively strive for
sustainability
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See Kapustka et al. (2008)
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It is better to be roughly right, than precisely wrong.
John Maynard Keynes (Economist, journalist, and financier, 1883 1946)
High Accuracy, Low
Precision
High Accuracy, High
Precision
Low Accuracy, Low
Precision
Low Accuracy, High
Precision
Complexity of Environmental Issues
Challenge our inherent
abilities to make wise
decisions
We desire more data
believing that the
additional information will
reduce uncertainties and
make it easier to make
decisions
We struggle to find
compelling answers when
challenged with so-
what? retorts
We are frustrated when
decisions are made that do
not seem to have given
appropriate weight to our
science-based insights
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leaf
stem
fruit
root
detritus
soil
invertebrates
aerial
invertebrates
herbivore
granivore
carnivore
omnivore
insectivore
microbes
seed
air
soil
leaf
stem
fruit
root
detritus
soil
invertebrates
aerial
invertebrates
herbivore
granivore
carnivore
omnivore
insectivore
microbes
seed
air
soil
Case 1
Case 2
-- plant uptake pathway
dominant
-- mycorrhizae pathway
dominant
[red arrow thickness depicts relative amount of chemical transfer]
What to do when we dont know which
relationships are operative?
"To know that we know what we know, and that we do not
know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.
Henry David Thoreau. 1854. Walden: On Life in the Woods.
Tomorrow: ecosystem approach
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IUR Task Group
Report available at www.iur-uir.org
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Short communication to Journal of
Environmental Radioactivity
Using an Ecosystems Approach to Complement
Protection Schemes based on Organismlevel Endpoints.
Bradshaw et al. (in press)
Highlights
- An Ecosystem Approach to radiation safety complements
the organismlevel approach
- Emergent properties in ecosystems are not captured by
organismlevel endpoints
- The proposed Ecosystem Approach better aligns with
management goals
- Practical guidance with respect to systemlevel endpoints is
needed
- Guidance on computational model selection would benefit
an Ecosystem Approach
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Population level endpoints:
Population growth rate
Population density
Population size (numbers, biomass)
Population age/size structure
Net reproduction rate
Probability of extinction
Populations/communities
Structure and functions
of ecosystems
Reference organism
approach
Individual organisms level
endpoints:
Morbidity
Early mortality
Reproductive success
Chromosome damage
Mismatch,
method not fully
appropriate
Individuals
of selected species
Target of
protection
Methods to
achieve
protection
goals
Goal of protection fullyappropriate
onlyfor endangered species
Goal of protection yielding
largest consensus
Community-level endpoints:
Structural
Biodiversity
Taxonomic composition
Trait distribution
Food web structure
Functional
Primary production
Biomass/energy flow
mineralization
Ecosystem approach
Population level endpoints:
Population growth rate
Population density
Population size (numbers, biomass)
Population age/size structure
Net reproduction rate
Probability of extinction
Populations/communities
Structure and functions
of ecosystems
Reference organism
approach
Individual organisms level
endpoints:
Morbidity
Early mortality
Reproductive success
Chromosome damage
Mismatch,
method not fully
appropriate
Individuals
of selected species
Target of
protection
Methods to
achieve
protection
goals
Goal of protection fullyappropriate
onlyfor endangered species
Goal of protection yielding
largest consensus
Community-level endpoints:
Structural
Biodiversity
Taxonomic composition
Trait distribution
Food web structure
Functional
Primary production
Biomass/energy flow
mineralization
Ecosystem approach
Figure1.Targetobjectivesofenvironmentprotectionversusmethodstoachievethem
From Bradshaw el al. (in press) Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Wicked Problems are
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Those that cannot be defined so all agree on the problem to solve
Require complex judgment about the level of abstraction at which
to define the problem
Have no clear stopping rules
Have no right/wrong answer; just better/worse conditions
Have no objective measure of success
Require iteration every trial counts
Have no given alternative solutions these must be discovered
Often have strong moral, political, or professional dimensions
*Rittel and Webber, 1973
Wicked Problems
the Realm of Risk-based Decision Analysis
Plan Cost Fish Ducks
A 100 10 5
B 100 5 10
C 150 10 10
D 150 10 15
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Comparing Apples and
Oranges
(or Fish, Ducks, and Money)
Do you want ducks?
Do you want fish?
Do you want cheap?
or
or
There is no right answer!
It all depends on priorities. By courtesy of I Linkov (2005)
Which plan should you choose?
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http://www.ted.com/talks/eric_berlow_how_complexity_leads_to_simplicity
Overview of risk assessment
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Types of Risk Assessment
Engineering
Structural failure
Slope stability
Flood control
Financial
Investments
Insurance
Liabilities
Contracts
Human health
Cancer
Mortality
Morbidity
Ecological
Organism
Population
System
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Ineachofthesedisciplines,riskassessmentevaluatesscenariosbyasking
whatif?questionsasawaytodescribethelikelihoodofanadverse
consequencesothattheriskscanbemanaged.
WhichofthesetypesofrisksareinvolvedinHotSpotremediation?
Definitions of Risk and Risk Assessment
Risk the likelihood (or probability)
of an adverse event occurring
Risk Assessment a formal process
used to evaluate scenarios by
estimating the magnitude of exposures
to some agent or stress
relating estimated exposures to effects
or consequences
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Environmental Risk Assessment as an
Organizing Tool
The formal procedures developed to determine environmental risks can
effectively guide or facilitate
technical work in a way that is useful in making environmental management
decisions
cost effectiveness and efficiency
communications with affected stakeholders
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Ecological Risk Assessment
A formal process to describe the likelihood of a receptor being exposed to a
stressor that results in a particular effect.
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+
p
DDT
Components of Ecological Risk
Assessment
Problem Formulation
Analysis
Risk Characterization
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Problem Formulation [1 of 5]
Management Goals
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Birds are not hatching.
The public wants healthy birds.
There may be toxins in our waters.
I need to know the cause.
I need to know how bad the problem is.
I need to know how to fix it!
Problem Formulation [2 of 5]
Conceptual Model
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DDT
Physical Transport
Biological Transport
Problem Formulation [3 of 5]
Assessment Endpoints (what is to be protected)
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years
N
u
m
b
e
r

o
f

B
i
r
d
s
Normal
Range
P
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

S
i
z
e
Problem Formulation [4 of 5]
Measurement Endpointswhat will be measured
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DDT
Concentration in eggs
Number of fledging chicks
Problem Formulation [5 of 5]
Project Planspecific details of study
Number of nests to observe
Number of eggs to analyze for DDT
Number of chicks that fledge
Relate concentration to effects
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[DDT]
Hatching
Rate
Hatching
Rate
Population
Analysis [1 of 4]
Description of hazards
Fate in the environment,
Movement through media (transport)
Environmental concentration
Bioavailability
Description of effects [how do organisms respond]
Death
Reduced growth
Reduced reproduction
Impaired behaviour
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Analysis [2 of 4]
Exposure
DDT concentration in food items
DDT concentration in water
DDT concentration in sediment
Effects
Atwhatconcentrationsishatchingdecreased
Howmanychicksfledgenestsatdifferentconcentrations
Literature
ComputationalModels
Directobservationsatsite
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Analysis [3 of 4]


= =
(

+ =
m
s
pot
ADD
1
n
1 j
total s j js js s
) FIR FS (D ) NIR FR (C P
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ADD
pot
= Potential average daily dose
P
s
= AUF; the proportion of time spent foraging in sub-area s
C
js
= Average concentration of contaminant in food type j in sub-area s
FR
js
= Fraction of food type j contaminated in sub-area s
NIR
j
= Normalized ingestion rate of food type j
Ds = Average contaminant concentration in soils in sub-area s
NIR
total
= Normalized ingestion rate summed over all foods
FS = Fraction of soil in diet
Analysis [4 of 4]
QuotientsforScreeningAssessments
HazardQuotient=EnvironmentalConcentration/EffectsConcentration
PredictedEnvironmentalConcentration/PredictedNoEffectsConcentration
ConcentrationResponseRelationship
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Exposure Concentration
0
High
E
n
d
p
o
i
n
t


I
n
h
i
b
i
t
i
o
n
0
100
a b
Risk Characterization [1 of 2]
Likelihood of exposure
Magnitude of exposure (dose)
Effects at predicted exposure concentrations (dose)
Uncertainty (explain what is unknown)
Certitude (explain what is known)
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Risk Characterization [2 of 2]
Likelihood of Effects given
DDT concentration in food items
DDT concentration in water
DDT concentration in sediment
Uncertainties
Samplingerror
Modeluncertainty
Knowledgegaps
Othercauses
Certitudes
Whatdoweknowforsure
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Tiers of Risk Assessment
Scoping (Tier 1)
Coarse
Minimum data acquired
Highly protective default assumptions
Screening (Tier 2)
Some refinement
More data acquired
Still relying on protective default assumptions
Definitive (Tier 3)
Finer detail
Considerable data acquired
Greater realism replaces default assumptions
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Scoping
Screening
Definitive
Problem Formulation
Analysis
Risk Characterization
Problem Formulation
Analysis
Risk Characterization
Problem Formulation
Analysis
Risk Characterization
?
?
No
No
Decision
Decision
Decision
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Scoping
Screening
Definitive
Possible
Plausible
Probable
Exposure Assumptions
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Default
Assumptions
Site-specific Data
No Adverse
Consequence
s Expected
Adverse
Consequences
Presumed
Environmental
Realism
L
o
w
H
i
g
h
Actual Threshold
Adverse
Consequences May
be Demonstrable
E
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
a
l


C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n
Default Threshold
Definitive
Screening
Scoping
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More detail about the problem
formulation stage
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Management Goals, Objectives
What is the nature of the problem you are addressing?
What are you hoping to achieve on your project/site?
What are the constraints you face?
How will you know if you are successful?
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Components of Risk Assessment
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Problem
Formulation
[setting the parameters]
Characterization
[estimating the likelihood
of effects occurring]
Analysis
[gathering and processing
relevant information]
Exposure Effects
Risk Framework
Risk
Management
Affected
Stakeholders
Clarify the Goals before Launching into
Sampling
Management goals should be stated clearly before any decisions are made about
Where to sample,
What to sample,
How many samples to take,
Which analytes to measure, and
Desired precision and accuracy
That is knowwhat the intended uses of data are, how will data be interpreted,
what options are available.
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Steps in Problem Formulation
1. Clarify specific environmental management goals and objectives
2. Delineate the extent of the landscape/waterscape of interest to stakeholders
3. Develop a Site-Specific Conceptual Model that depicts
a. pathways from the point of release to the receptors of interest
b. other relevant stressors that may affect populations of receptors (e.g., predation,
disease, habitat degradation)
4. Identify relevant chemicals of concern (CoC) and other stressors (physical and
biotic)
5. Select assessment endpoints (the values to be protected)
6. Define Data Quality Objectives
a. levels of precision and accuracy needed to evaluate relationships between stressors
and receptor effects
b. requires iteration to consider what is measurable and with what level of certitude
7. Describe analytical methods and measurement endpoints to be used
8. Produce a project-specific sampling and analysis plan
9. Produce a project-specific quality assurance plan
Iterate all steps until consensus (if possible) is achieved.
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Rule 1 for Conceptual Models
Emphasize the most important elements
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Human Dietary Exposure Routes
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AfterFigure5.1.vanLeeuwenandVermeire(2007)
fish
soil
air
meat
dairy products
crops
drinking water
HUMANS
surface
water
groundwater
cattle
Grazers
Air
Bacteria Fungi
Grasses & Forbs
Rocks & Soil
Detritus
(dead organic matter)
Shrubs & Trees
Omnivores
Fruit & Seedeaters
Predators
CAMPING
HUNTING & FISHING
COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION
(e.g., mining, logging
Water
Nutrients
Courtesy of Dr. Doug Reagan, 2005 reformatted LAK 2006
CM: Western Society
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 48
Grazers
Air
Bacteria Fungi
Grasses & Forbs
Rocks & Soil
Detritus
(dead organic matter)
Shrubs & Trees
Omnivores
Fruit & Seedeaters
Predators
FOOD
CLOTHING
SHELTER
MEDICINE
SPIRITUAL
TOOLS
Community Vitality
Water
Nutrients
CM: Indigenous Cultures
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 49
Courtesy of Dr. Doug Reagan, 2005 reformatted LAK 2006
Standard Guide: Conceptual Models
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A helpful way to get organized!
Guiding Principles for Problem Formulation
Engage affected stakeholders in genuine dialogue at the earliest opportunity
Think beyond the permits Think life-cycle, other stakeholders are!
Anticipate closure objectives
Manage operations to minimize clean-up/rehabilitation activities
Manage landscape to convert liabilities into assets
Complete Problem Formulation activities before drafting discipline workplans
Get the right questions right!
Identify interactions/synergies
Match data needs with decisions to be made
Achieve efficiency in gathering data whether from literature searches or through
new sampling efforts
Achieve efficiency in the analyses of data
Outcome Determines
how the remainder of the assessment is conducted
the robustness of the analysis
Should constitute 50% or more of the cost of a risk assessment
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Project-specific Conceptual Models
They are pictorial/narrative descriptions of how the
project, stressor, or event is perceived to work in the
specific ecological setting and context
It is not about right and wrong!
Often organized around trophic food webs
In risk, models are intended to reflect values to be
assessed/protected and to show interrelationships
through transfers along biotic and abiotic pathways
During the Problem Formulation stage a lot of critical
thinking has to be done to reach an agreed Conceptual
Model that ultimately guides the rest of the assessment
process and continues through to the decision stage
But to what detail?
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Choices for EcoRA focus
spatial scale temporal scale pathways consequences
site
reach
watershed
region
global
acute
episodic
chronic
generational
biotic
abiotic
combined
organism (statistical
population)
population
(biological)
species
ecological system
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Assessment Endpoint: Definition
An assessment endpoint is the formal expression of an
actual environmental value of concern that can be
evaluated objectively either through direct
measurement/observation or through a logical
relationship with a surrogate measurement or observation
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Assessment Endpoints
An Assessment Endpoint, at minimum, includes an entity and an
attribute, a location; time period is useful, but optional as it may
be specified by regulations
An entity (e.g., a species or population of interest)
An attribute (e.g., number, size, rate, condition)
A location (e.g., a specific reach of a stream)
Examples Ecological Receptors: {entity} {attribute} {location}
The growth of trout in Fish Creek
An organism attribute associated with the individuals in an assessment
population
The productivity of the trout population in Fish Creek
A population attribute associated with an individual assessment population
The average productivity of trout populations in Region Y
A population attribute associated with a set of populations
After Suter et al. (2000), US EPA (2003), and Barnthouse et al. (2007)
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Assessment Endpoints (Continued)
Examples Human Health: {entity} {attribute} {location}
Diets with respect to EDC of reproductive-age women
in Community X
Protective of reproductive health of a sensitive sub-population
Drinking water with respect to arsenic and nitrite for
children in Community X
Protective of individuals
Air quality with respect to concentrations of PM
2.5
for
elderly in Region Y
Protective of respiratory health of human population in the
region
56 Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
Assessment Endpoint Guidance
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Presents policy and
technical foundation for
adopting a wide range of
assessment endpoints.
Measurement Endpoint: Definition
A measurement endpoint is the categorical or quantitative
expression of an observed or measured parameter and is
linked directly to the assessment endpoint. For example,
a school of fish may be observed directly or the effect of
a substance may be evaluated through inference using
toxicity tests from indicator/surrogate species and
predicted exposure for the members of the population.
Examples
Mass of fish in a particular waterbody
Rate of growth of young-of-year fish in a waterbody
Yield of grain in a field
Number of offspring in a population
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s
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Data Quality Objectives (DQOs)
DQOs provide the foundation for an effective risk assessment
by
specifying the levels of uncertainty permissible that will
allow one to draw conclusions informing the decisions to
be made
guiding the selection of sampling and measurement
methods
bounding parameters in a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP)
Developing DQOs is an iterative process that revolves around matching
method detection limits with assessment requirements and serves to
optimize the study plan by evaluating the signal noise and potential
interferences associated with the chosen method
60 Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
Sampling and Analysis Plan
How does one get started?
What should go into a site-specific model for potential
remediation of hot spots?
What does a site-specific sampling and analysis plan
accomplish?
Why is it important to follow a data quality objective
process?
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Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP)
A SAP (or Workplan) provides project-specific details pertaining to all phases of
acquiring data
type of sample
number of samples
location of samples
methods used to measure parameters
analyzing data
verification of authenticity of data (chain-of-custody as appropriate)
processing (entry, simple descriptive statistics)
statistical assumptions
statistical methods
presentation form (e.g., tables, graphs)
interpretation/decision criteria
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Understand the overarching goals of the assessment
What decisions are to be made?
Who will make the decisions?
What input will other affected stakeholders have regarding
the decisions to be made?
What factors (e.g., cost, time) influence the work to be
done?
Technical components of Problem Formulation
Construct Project-specific Conceptual Model
Agree on the Assessment Species (the Valued Ecological
Components) to be protected
Articulate the Assessment Endpoints
Define the Data Quality Objectives
Select the Measurement Endpoints (i.e., what will be
measured)
Prepare a Project-specific Sampling and Analysis Plan
Prepare a Project-specific Quality Assurance Plan
Iterate until there is consensus (if possible) on all
aspects of the work before preceding with the rest
of the assessment!
Revisit the overarching goals and decisions to be
made if needed before completing Problem
Formulation.
Iteration in Problem Formulation
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Why is ecological risk assessment
used today?
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Current Uses of Ecological Risk
Assessment
Evaluate remediation options to clean up hazardous wastes
Manage new chemicals/substances safely
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Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and
Restriction of CHemical Substances [REACH]
European Community law in force since 1 June 2007
Protect humans and the environment
REACH Regulation gives greater responsibility to industry to manage the risks
from chemicals and to provide safety information
register the information in a central database run by the European Chemicals
Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_intro.htm
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Linear Framework
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AfterFigure1.3.fromvanLeeuwenandVermeire(2007)
Hazard Identification Hazard Identification
Risk Characterization Risk Characterization
Risk Classification
Benefit:Risk Analysis
Risk Reduction
Monitoring
Exposure Assessment Exposure Assessment Effects Assessment Effects Assessment
Tiers of Risk Assessment
Scoping (Tier 1)
Coarse
Minimum data acquired
Highly protective default assumptions
Screening (Tier 2)
Some refinement
More data acquired
Still relying on protective default assumptions
Definitive (Tier 3)
Finer detail
Considerable data acquired
Greater realism replaces default assumptions
Complementary representation in next slide.
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 68
?
?
Iterative Framework
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 69
Scoping
Problem Formulation
Analysis
Risk Characterization
RiskAssessmentandRiskManagement
integratedthroughouttheprocess
No
Yes
Screening
Problem Formulation
Analysis
Risk Characterization
Definitive
Problem Formulation
Analysis
Risk Characterization
Decision
No
Yes
Decision
Decision
a relatively simple hypothetical case
The task is to examine the information, sketchy as it is, and decide how you
would address the concerns.
Working groups to determine:
What should the management goals be?
How would one get information needed to manage the situation?
What would one do once you got the information?
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 70
Brown circles are miscellaneous waste piles from
mining operations, oil drums, includes tires,
electrical transformers, etc.
Blue lines (solid and dashed) designate streams
Agricultural
field
Tailings
Pond
[As,
Se, U,
etc.]
Pasture for
Dairy Cattle
Wind
pattern
Resident complaints:
Milk tastes bad
Livestock miscarriages
Kids often sick
Fish in river have tumours
Water has bad taste
Chickens lay too few eggs
Air stinks
Define management objectives such that
a sampling plan to determine if there are
real problems could be developed for an
initial budget of 20.000
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Town
= Farmstead
Risk assessment from a landscape
perspective
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 72
Landscape Ecology
Formal characterization of spatial patterns of
physiognomy/vegetation (type)
grain size
patch size (extent)
connectivity
Builds upon classical ecology measures of communities, life-
forms, distribution and abundance of species
Readily amenable to mapping routines including GIS techniques
to create multiple views developed using different spatial
scales of resolution
Geo-referenced layers (e.g., distribution of stressors such as
chemicals, radionuclides, biota, physical parameters) link
various databases to achieve multiple computational steps
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1 km
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Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 78
Relevant spatial scales a landscape perspective
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
79
Image from www.omfra.gov.on.ca accessed June 2014
Bacteria - <1 to a few mm
3
Fungi a few cm
3
to a few km
3

Variance in 1 m x 1 m plot = variance in 1 km x 1 km plot!
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
80
climate
vegetation
soil
wildlife habitat
(food, shelter)
landuse
population size
(governed by habitat quality;
toxic substances but one factor)
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 81
Importance of Habitat in EcoRA
Wildlife respond to differences in landscape
features (attraction, avoidance)
Spatial relationships between stressors and
foraging activities influence exposure
Co-located distributions increase exposure
Disjoint distributions decrease exposure
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 82
Characterizing Habitat
Landscape features (vegetation cover, food
items, physical components, etc.)
Range in degrees of sophistication
Binary
Proportional index
Qualitative (i.e., not explicitly linked to density)
Semi- or Pseudo-quantitative
Absolute,Quantitative
Multiple regression
Factor analyses
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
83
Strategy for Using Spatially-explicit Exposure Assessment
1. Identify scenarios where habitat maybe an important
determinant
2. Considerations in selecting assessment species
Home/forage range
Available habitat suitability models
Reasonable knowledge of dietary preferences (e.g., EPA exposure
handbook )
Expected to frequent the area (wildlife distribution information such
as breeding bird survey)
3. Use habitat quality to weight exposure estimates
4. Develop a comprehensive workplan
staged from reconnaissance through definitive stages
connected to remediation goals and post-remediation monitoring
effort
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 84
+ + O O
O + + O
O + O O
heterogeneous
homogeneous
heterogeneous
heterogeneous
homogeneous
heterogeneous
homogeneous
homogeneous
spatial relationship
habitat
agent
Contingency table illustration relationships of home range (green circle) relative to site size (gold
square) -- cases where habitat characterization may be useful in reducing uncertainty of exposure
estimates (+) and cases where habitat considerations may be moot (O). (Adapted from Kapustka et
al., 2001).
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 85
Hypothetical Foraging Pattern using Habitat Quality as an Attractant
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
86
Landscape Perspective LevelofAnalysis
Level of Organization
(Scale Independent)
Ecological Type
Component of
interest
Level of Observation
Scale (Grain and
Extent)
Type Dependant
Organism,
Population,
Community
Change one; changes
the Level of Analysis
Moves up-scale are
where things usually go
bad
Relates back to setting
Assessment Endpoints
Measurement Endpoints
Data Quality Objectives
Multi-scale, multi-
criteria analyses
Short-term, Long-term
Scenarios
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
87
Fallacy of Averages
1. Heterogeneity in Ecological
Systems (non-random distribution)
Physical features
Biotic features
2. Non-linear processes
Requires segregating landscape
types into bins along gradients or at
discontinuities (consistent with
polygon delineation in mapping;
GIS)
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
88
Predicted degradation of a hypothetical contaminant in a
thermally-stratified lake. (Johnson and Turner 2010)
Ecological Fallacy
Improper inferences
made from data where
individual responses are
aggregated into groups
Changing the spatial
grain of the data, by
aggregating individuals or
small groups into larger
groups (i.e., an
extrapolation across
scale) affects computed
correlations
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
89
.
Human presence and biodiversity
Positive correlation at grain >1 km
Negative correlation at finer scale
Over at least four orders of magnitude, the
correlation varies linearly with the logarithm of
scale (grain or extent)
Pautasso M. 2007. Scale dependence of the correlation between human
population presence and vertebrate and plant species richness. Ecol Lett
10:1624.
Johnson and Turner (2010)
Metapopulations-level considerations
Case I Case II
Case III Case IV
Case I Case II
Case III Case IV
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 90
Metapopulation Consequences
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 91
A B C
stressor
N
t
o
t
j
N
t
o
t
j
N
t
o
t
j
Adapted from:
Spromberg, J. A., B. M. Johns and W. G. Landis. 1998. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 17:1640-1649
Macovsky, Louis-A Test of the Action at a Distance Hypothesis using Insect Metapopulations (Dr. Landis-Huxley College). 1999
Reconnaissance Vi sit -- Habi tat Checkl i st
Wi l dli f e
Habi tat
Present
Det ermine Agent s
of Concern
Sel ect Assessment
Speci es
Compi le
Habit at
Par amet ers
for
Assessment Speci es
Stop
Problem Formulat ion
Ori ent at ion
Regional Ecology Context
yes
no
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
92
Sel ect Assessment
Species
Compil e
Habi tat
Parameters
for
Assessment Species
Anal ysis
Del i neate habi tat areas
(quali tat ively by cover t ypes, terrain, etc.)
Acqui re HSI i nput dat a
Calcul at e
HSIs
Esti mate Exposure
[ i.e., wil dl if e exposure f actor s --
separ atel y for each zone; each speci es]
Est imate Popul at ion
(N)
by zone; species
N=Area x HSI x CC
Modif y
Exposure
Esti mates
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 93
Select Assessment
Species
Modif y
Exposure
Esti mates
Ri sk Char acteri zati on
Determi ne Magni tude and
Ext ent of Af fect ed
Popul at ions
Uncertaint y Anal yses
Sensi ti vit y Anal yses
Ri sk Communi cati on
Ri sk Management
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 94
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
95
Equation 1. For use with home range data
s
s
s
HR
A
N =
Equation 2. For use with density data.
s s s
CC A N =
Where:
N
s
= the number of individuals likely to inhabit the subdivision
A
s
= the area of the subdivision
HR
s
= the approximate home range size of the animals within the
subdivision
CC
s
= the approximate carrying capacity of the subdivision where
carryingcapacityis an expecteddensityestimate
From: ASTM E2385 Standard Guide for Estimating Wildlife Exposure using Measures of Habitat Quality
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 96

=
|
.
|

\
|
=
n
s
s
s
s
s
s
HR
A
HR
A
P
1
Where:
P
s
= Proportionof time spent foragingin sub-area s
A
s
= Area of sub-area s
HR
s
= home range size associatedwith habitat quality in sub-area s
Equation 3. Time allocation as a function of habitat quality
From: ASTM E2385 Standard Guide for Estimating Wildlife Exposure using Measures of Habitat Quality
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 97
Equation 4. The basic exposure estimate used to calculate daily dose modified to
incorporate Habitat Quality.

= =
(

+ =
m
s
pot
ADD
1
n
1 j
total s j js js s
) FIR FS (D ) NIR FR (C P
Where:
ADD
pot
= Potential average daily dose
P
s
= AUF; the proportionof time spent foragingin sub-area s (equation2)
C
js
= Average concentrationof contaminant in food type j in sub-area s
FR
js
= Fractionof food type j contaminatedin sub-area s
NIR
j
= Normalizedingestionrate of food type j
Ds = Average contaminant concentrationin soils in sub-area s
NIR
total
= Normalizedingestionrate summedover all foods
FS = Fractionof soil in diet
From: ASTM E2385 Standard Guide for Estimating Wildlife Exposure using Measures of Habitat Quality
Risk Trace
Probabilistic receptor migration model.
Generates receptor movement influenced by
habitat quality.
Spatially explicit exposure assessment model.
Calculates internal exposure resulting from
ingestion of contaminated food, as well as any
other applicable routes of exposure (e.g., soil).
Screening-level risk assessment model.
Calculates Hazard Quotients (HQs) for each
contaminant; these are equal to the site
contaminant concentration divided by the selected
safe benchmark concentration for ecological
receptors (toxicity reference values, TRVs).
Sel ect Assessment
Species
Compil e
Habi tat
Parameters
for
Assessment Species
Anal ysis
Del i neate habi tat areas
(quali tat ively by cover types, terrain, et c.)
Acqui re HSI i nput dat a
Calcul at e
HSIs
Esti mate Exposure
[i.e., wil dl if e exposure f actor s --
separ atel y for each zone; each speci es]
Est imat e Popul at ion
(N)
by zone; species
N=Area x HSI x CC
Modif y
Exposure
Esti mates
98 Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 99
habitat units defined on recognizable polygons of vegetation cover and physiognomy
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 100
HSI=0.85
HSI=0.55
HSI=0.45
HSI=0.15
HSI=0.85
HSI=0.55
HSI=0.45
HSI=0.15
HSI=0.85
HSI=0.55
HSI=0.45
HSI=0.15
a1
a2
b1
b2
b3
c1
c2
c3
c4
b4
subunits defined by habitat x conc.
Within each:
bootstrap concentration
combine with HSI
sum resulting exposure estimate
overlay
habitat units
CoC distribution
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
101
HSI=0.85
HSI=0.55
HSI=0.45
HSI=0.15
HSI=0.85
HSI=0.55
HSI=0.45
HSI=0.15
HSI=0.85
HSI=0.55
HSI=0.45
HSI=0.15
a1
a2
b1
b2
b3
c1
c2
c3
c4
b4
overlay
habitat units
CoC distribution
risk calculated for each subunit:
high-risk areas targeted for
intrusive clean-up
low-risk areas identified for habitat
enhancement
habitat
enhancement
area
habitat
enhancement
area
habitat
enhancement
area
potential
intrusive
cleanup
area
conclusions
Basic measures of landscapes (vegetation, physiognomy) used to
parameterize HSI, HEA models.
quantify habitat quality by polygons
iterative calculations accumulate multiple HSIs for each polygon
GIS techniques used to identify zones or nodes of convergence of high-
valued habitats
Scale must be adjusted for each assessment species if one is to avoid
the Fallacy of Averages and the Ecological Fallacy
Traditional Risk estimates modified by HSI values.
Hierarchical theory should be used to understand context and explore
mechanisms
Ecological problems are best viewed as wicked problems!
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
102
complex case study
Large area with legacy mines, operating mines, and proposed mines
Legacy mines in various stages of remediation/restoration
Chemicals of concern include Ba, Cd, Co, Cu, Po, Pb, Ra, Rn, Se, Sr, and U
Applications for proposed mines in review
Area has listed species of terrestrial and aquatic habitats for plants, birds,
fish, and amphibians
Area is used for timber harvest and agriculture
Popular recreational area (hiking, photography, camping, birding, hunting,
and fishing)
[Notional map on next slide]
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
103
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
104
Abandoned
Company A
Legacy
Active
Company A
Company B
Company A,B
Company C
Proposed
Company C
Company A,B
10 Km
Intriguing Literature
Mandelbrot, Benoit see Gleick, James (1987). Chaos: Making a New
Science. London: Cardinal. p. 229
May, Robert M. 1976. Simple mathematical models with very complicated
dynamics. Nature 261:459-467
Rittel H, Webber M. 1973. Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy
Sci 4:155169.
Thoreau, Henry David. 1854. Walden; or Life in the Woods. Ticknor and
Fields, Boston.
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. 2001. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of
Chance in Life and in the Markets. Random House, New York
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. 2007. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly
Improbable. Random House, New York
Gladwell, Malcolm. 2005. Blink: the Power of Thinking without Thinking.
Little Brown, and Company, New York
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment 105
References and Selected Readings
ASTM-I. 2009. E-1689 Standard Guide for Developing Conceptual Site Models for Contaminated Sites. Annual Book of
Standards. American Society for Testing and Materials-International, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania USA
ASTM-I. 2009. E2348 Standard Guide for Framework for a Consensus-based Environmental Decision-making Process. Annual
Book of Standards. American Society For Testing and Materials-International, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania USA
Barnthouse, L. 2008. The Strengths of the Ecological Risk Assessment Process: Linking Science to Decision Making. Integr
Environ Assess Manage 4:299-305.
Holling CS. 1992. Cross-scale morphology, geometry and dynamics of ecosystems. Ecological Monographs. Volume 62, Number
4. Pages 447 to 502.
Kapustka L, McCormick R, Froese K. 2008. Social and Ecological Challenges within the Realm of Environmental Security. pp
203 211 in Linkov I, Ferguson E, Magar VS. (eds) Real-time and Deliberative Decision Making. Springer, The Netherlands. 456
pp.
Kapustka LA , Landis WG. (Eds.) 2010. Environmental Risk Assessment and Management from a Landscape Perspective. John
Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ 396 pp.
Kapustka LA. Limitations of the Current Practices Used to Perform Ecological Risk Assessment. Integr Environ Assess Manage
4:290-298.Ka
Kiker GA, Bridges TS, Varghese A, Seager TP, Linkov I. 2005. Application of Multicriteria Decision Analyses in Environmental
Decisions Making. Integr. Environ. Assess. Manag. 1:95-108.
Linkov I, Satterstrom FK, Kiker GA, Bridges TS, Benjamin SL, Belluck DA. 2006. From optimization to adaptation: shifting
paradigms in environmental management and their application to remedial decisions. Integr. Environ. Assess. Manag. 2:92-98.
Suter GW. 2008. Ecological Risk Assessment in the United States Environmental Protection Agency: A Historical Overview.
Integr Environ Assess Manage 4:285-289.
Van Leeuwen CJ. 2007. Introduction. In: Risk assessment of chemicals. In: Risk Assessment of Chemicals. An Introduction (2nd
edition). Van Leeuwen, C.J. and T.G. Vermeire, eds. Springer Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp 1-36.
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
106
Selected Websites of Interest
ASTM-I (Standards): www.astm.org
DQO training: http://epa.gov/quality//trcourse.html#intro_dqos
European Chemicals Agency: http://ec.europa.eu/echa/home_en.html
European Chemicals Bureau: http://ecb.jrc.it/reach/
European Commission
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_intro.htm
http://www.epa.gov/nerleerd/stat2.htm
http://www.library.uiuc.edu/envi/toxigateway.htm
SAICM: http://www.saicm.org/index.php?ql=h&content=home
US EPA on DQOs: http://epa.gov/quality/dqos.html
US EPA on hazardous waste cleanup and training: http://www.clu-in.org
US EPA on Risk Assessment: http://www.gov/oswer/riskassessment
Assessing Risks to Humans and the Environment
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