Summary of "Hazardous Waste Site Management: Water Quality Issues"

Summary of

Hazardous Waste Site Management: Water Quality Issues

By Water Science and Technology Board

Summary written by T.A. O'Lonergan, Conflict Research Consortium

Citation: Hazardous Waste Site Management: Water Quality Issues, Water Science and Technology Board, (Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1988), 201 pp.

Hazardous Waste Site Management: Water Quality Issues is a collection of papers which were presented at a 1985 Water Sciences and Technology Board colloquium series which focused on emerging issues in water science and technology.

Hazardous Waste Site Management: Water Quality Issues will be of interest to those who seek to broaden their understanding of the water quality issues in hazardous waste site clean-up. The text begins with an overview of the book by Michael Kavanaugh. This is followed by nine issue papers with provocateur's comments. The first paper was the keynote address of the 1985 colloquium series and addresses the setting of environmental standards for hazardous waste sites. The author questions whether the present approach constitutes a break from the past or is merely a point on a continuum. The second paper addresses the establishing and meeting of groundwater protection goals in Superfund. Halina Szejnwald Brown presents some approaches to setting cleanup goals at hazardous waste sites. Brown provides a "... succinct and useful summary of the methods proposed and actually used ..." by multiple agencies engaged in various clean-up operations.

The fourth paper addresses the "How clean should clean be?" dilemma. The authors describe the Department of Health Services method which is compatible with the proposed EPA method. The next paper is a call for action on the dilemma addressed in the previous paper. The sixth paper offers an environmentalist perspective on the same dilemma. The author, Linda Greer, from the Environmental Defense Fund asserts that "... support for clean-up levels less stringent than background or a low risk level of 10-6 appears unlikely ..." from her group. The seventh paper offers a perspective on groundwater contamination issues in Santa Clara County, California. The last paper save one discusses using models to solve ground water quality problems. The final essay addresses the element of uncertainty in the estimation of health risks at hazardous waste sites.

The papers are followed by summaries of the efforts of four separate workshops. These workshops addressed: risk assessment/ toxicology, hydrogeology, engineering, and regulatory strategies. The text is followed by two appendices the first of which contains biographical sketches of the principal contributors. The second appendix is a list of colloquium attendees.

Hazardous Waste Site Management: Water Quality Issues is a careful consideration of the water quality issues to be addressed by the managers of hazardous waste site clean-ups. The tables and illustrations presented in support of the text will be particularly useful to the informed reader.