Department of Health Seal

TGM for the Implementation of the Hawai'i State Contingency Plan
Section 13.7

Table 13-6 Evaluation Components for Ecological Risk Assessments


Problem Formulation

  • qualitatively evaluate contaminant release, migration, and fate
  • identify COPCs, receptors, exposure pathways, and known ecological effects of the contaminants
  • select endpoints for further study


Ecological Affects Assessment

  • perform literature reviews, field studies, and toxicity tests, linking contaminant concentrations to effects on ecological receptors


Exposure Assessment

  • quantitatively evaluate contaminant release, migration, and fate
  • characterize exposure pathways and receptors
  • develop exposure point concentrations


Risk Characterization

  • measure or estimate both current and future adverse effects


As is the case for detailed Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA), preparation of a more detailed Ecological Risk Assessment may be required in a limited number of cases to better evaluate and document impacts on terrestrial and aquatic habitats. An Ecological Risk Assessment is a qualitative and/or quantitative appraisal of the actual or potential effects of a hazardous waste site on plants and animals other than people or domesticated species (USEPA, 1989c). An Ecological Risk Assessment consists of four interrelated activities, listed in Table 13-6.

Potentially useful reference documents for preparation of Ecological Risk Assessments include the following:

  • Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Volume II Environmental Evaluation Manual (USEPA, 1989c)
  • Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Process for Designing and Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments (USEPA, 1997d)
  • Guidance for Ecological Risk Assessments at Hazardous Waste Sites and Permitted Facilities (CalEPA, 1996a1, 1996a2)

Detailed guidance regarding the preparation of Ecological Risk Assessments is beyond the scope of this Manual at this time, and the above list of references is not intended to be comprehensive. The preparation of ecological risk assessments should be discussed with the HEER Office and work plans submitted for review and approval.