Panel discussion: Remedy effectiveness: What works, what doesn't?



As contaminated sediment sites in freshwater and marine environments come under increasing scrutiny, and the importance of these sites with regard to ecological and human health is better understood, the number of contaminated sediment sites requiring risk characterization and management is increasing. Risk reduction must be the long-term goal of all sediment management practices. Risk management strategies in aquatic environments focus on mitigating potential exposure pathways for contaminants that may pose an ecological or human health risk over time. Sediment management practices include dredging (“environmental dredging”), capping, monitored natural recovery, and combinations of these generic response actions. A Remedy Effectiveness Panel was selected to identify and discuss the key issues associated with the performance of these generic response actions for contaminated sediments. The panel convened in New Orleans on 26 January 2005 at Battelle's Third International Conference on the Remediation of Contaminated Sediments and made 3 presentations on response actions to conference attendees followed by an open dialog between attendees and panel members. This article introduces the 3 generic response actions, identifies key topics from the open dialog and presents opinions expressed, and provides a summary and observations.