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A review of risk-based approaches to the development of screening criteria for soils and application to beneficial use of dredged material

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Bailey, Susan E.
Averett, Daniel E.
Schroeder, P. R. (Paul R.)

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Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)


PURPOSE: Beneficial use of dredged material is critical to sustainable dredged material management. Although dredged material is slowly becoming recognized as a resource, employment of beneficial use practices is limited by a number of factors, including the lack of consistent screening criteria specific to beneficial use of dredged material. Determining appropriate criteria (or the approach to criteria selection/development) is a challenge due to the wide range of beneficial use applications with varying potential for exposure, human health impacts, and environmental effects. Currently, criteria for soils vary among the states, and in many instances there is either a lack of criteria applicable to dredged material beneficial use or overly-restrictive criteria established based on the “precautionary principle.” Overly-restrictive criteria constrain beneficial use of dredged material unnecessarily. Furthermore, the lack of consistency debilitates planning efforts, which leads to missed opportunities and increased cost. A scientifically defensible method for determining the suitability of dredged material for beneficial use applications is needed. This technical note discusses considerations for applying criteria to beneficial use of dredged material and summarizes approaches that have been used within and outside the United States to develop risk-based screening criteria for soils that could potentially be used or adapted to develop screening criteria for beneficial use of dredged material.


Technical Note


Environmental impact analysis, Dredging spoil, Evaluation, Dredging Operations and Environmental Research Program (U.S.)



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