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Keywords:

  • Comparative risk assessment;
  • Dredged material;
  • Disposal at sea

Abstract

Environment Canada's Disposal at Sea Programme hosted the Contaminated Dredged Material Management Decisions Workshop in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on 28–30 November 2006. The workshop brought together over 50 sediment assessment and management experts from academic, industrial, and regulatory backgrounds and charged them with drafting a potential framework to assess contaminated dredged materials and compare the risks of various disposal alternatives. This article summarizes the recommendations made during the workshop concerning the development of sediment assessment tools, the interpretation of these tools, and the essential attributes of a comparative risk assessment process. The major outcomes of the workshop include a strong recommendation to develop a national dredging or sediment management strategy, a potential decision-making framework for the assessment of dredged materials and comparative risk assessment of disposal options, and the expansion of minimum sediment characterization requirements for nonroutine disposal permit applications.