Methodology for Setting Risk-Based Concentrations of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater and Application to a Model Contaminated Site


Aiichiro Fujinaga, Osaka Prefecture University College of Technology, 26–12 Saiwai-cho, Neyagawa-shi, Osaka 572–8572, Japan; tel/fax: +81 72 820 8586;


In Japan, environmental standards for contaminants in groundwater and in leachate from soil are set with the assumption that they are used for drinking water over a human lifetime. Where there is neither a well nor groundwater used for drinking, the standard is thus too severe. Therefore, remediation based on these standards incurs excessive effort and cost. In contrast, the environmental-assessment procedure used in the United States and the Netherlands considers the site conditions (land use, existing wells, etc.); however, a risk assessment is required for each site. Therefore, this study proposes a new framework for judging contamination in Japan by considering the merits of the environmental standards used and a method for risk assessment. The framework involves setting risk-based concentrations that are attainable remediation goals for contaminants in soil and groundwater. The framework was then applied to a model contaminated site for risk management, and the results are discussed regarding the effectiveness and applicability of the new methodology.