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Risk assessment is crucial in the evaluation and restoration of contaminated sites, from determining human health and ecological risks, to establishing property use limitations for expedited site reuse. It can also be a powerful tool in understanding and managing potential liabilities associated with building decommissioning, product development, and transaction-related due diligence.

Woodard & Curran’s team of risk assessors, data managers, toxicologists, chemists, biologists, and public health specialists are some of the best in the field. We are a full-service consulting firm that blends risk assessment capabilities with various services, bringing clients integrated project teams that achieve inventive solutions to multi-faceted problems. Our approach emphasizes project outcomes and eliminates unnecessary process steps – all while meeting complex and stringent regulations.

We focus on answering the important questions about exposure and risk to facilitate cost-effective, protective, and compliant cleanup or risk management that meets client objectives and regulator approval. Key services we provide include:

  • Federal (CERCLA/RCRA) and state human health and ecological risk assessments;
  • Development of cleanup goals;
  • Product safety evaluations;
  • Indoor and ambient air evaluations and mitigation design;
  • Regulatory negotiations;
  • Public outreach;
  • Litigation support;and
  • Habitat and other ecological evaluations, including restoration.

Project Highlights

Risk Assessment for Site Re-use Project
Former Tanning Chemicals Facility

Woodard & Curran evaluated potential health risks associated with multiple future use scenarios and conducted a comprehensive Stage II ecological risk characterization under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) for an impacted estuary and upland area at a site that once operated as a tanning extract processing facility. The site is situated in a mixed residential and industrial/commercial area on a partially developed parcel of land bordered on three sides by an estuary. The results of the human and ecological risk assessments were used to focus and design the remediation for the site, which is now vacant but poised for redevelopment. Components of site and risk assessments included a habitat evaluation; wetland delineation and permitting; sediment toxicity testing; and collection of sediment, soil, and terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate tissue samples.

Risk Characterization
Former Lead Mill Site

Woodard & Curran conducted a Phase II CSA human health and ecological risk characterization to assess multimedia impacts associated with releases at this historical site. Contamination, primarily in the form of lead, was present throughout the site. The risk characterization included evaluation of recreational and residential uses as well as the proposed redevelopment of the large, vacant parcel of land. Because the site extended into marine habitats, a Stage II ecological evaluation was performed to better quantify actual impacts to ecological receptors. Based on the presence of potential risk to construction workers, residents, and marine biota, Woodard & Curran’s risk assessment team developed a remedial strategy to cost-effectively integrate risk-reduction measures with the proposed redevelopment scenario.

PCB Risk Evaluation
Confidential Client

Woodard & Curran performed a site-specific human health and ecological risk assessment under the MCP and a risk assessment under TSCA to evaluate risks at a PCB-contaminated site and adjacent freshwater river. Our staff conducted a screening-level analysis, comprehensive exposure modeling, and an imminent hazard evaluation. We also calculated soil remediation goals and created the risk assessment strategy to support protective yet cost-effective remediation and regulatory closure.

Product Risk Assessment
Confidential Fertilizer Manufacturer

In response to concerns from state and federal regulatory agencies, Woodard & Curran prepared a probabilistic risk assessment to evaluate the potential health risks associated with the prescribed uses of a nationally marketed product. This product-specific analysis entailed conducting original research on actual product use across the country, as well as identification and/or creation of distributions that appropriately represented potential exposures to residential and commercial consumers of the product. Staff members also researched and modified standard exposure equations as well as fate and transport models to more accurately mimic anticipated uses and conditions. These assumptions, distributions, and equations were used to model potential non-cancer and carcinogenic distributions of risk. The probabilistic risk assessment successfully demonstrated that the potential health risks were below levels of regulatory concern.

Vapor Intrusion Risk Assessment
Confidential Industrial Client

Woodard & Curran conducted vapor intrusion risk assessment activities, including design assistance for a groundwater, soil vapor, and indoor air study. The firm also served as the risk communication specialist for this complex, public involvement site featuring industrial, commercial, and residential properties. Staff members collected data from the surrounding residential neighborhood, prepared reports for sampled properties, and presented the complex health risk-related information to the local community and citizen action groups.

Landfill Remediation Risk Assessment
Superfund Site

As part of the CERCLA RI/GS, Woodard & Curran conducted a human health and ecological risk assessment for this former municipal industrial landfill site in Rhode Island that is being capped under the Presumptive Remedy process. The objective of the risk assessment was to understand whether additional remediation beyond the landfill capping was warranted. Key contaminants of concern included metals and VOCs, primarily present in groundwater and being discharged to on-site wetlands and an off-site lake. Numerous exposure points and receptors, including the wetlands, nearby residents, and a downgradient pond were assessed. The ecological study evaluated the potential effects on aquatic life, amphibians, waterfowl, and riparian mammals by benchmarks screening and food chain modeling of selected species.

IE Fix
Lisa Campe, MPH, LSP