While there are already guidance documents regarding soil background, there is not a “one-stop-shop” document that provides comprehensive and widely accepted guidance on the state of the science on this topic. This ITRC guidance document fills the gap by providing a consensus-based comprehensive and defensible framework for establishing soil background and using soil background in risk assessments. This guidance also provides references to state, USEPA and other resources, as well as related ITRC documents.
During the initial phases of a site investigation or cleanup project, regulators often use chemical-specific screening values to decide if the presence of chemicals at a site may pose a threat to human health or the environment, or both, and if there is the need for further action. For some chemicals, the screening values are within the range of concentrations found in soils from natural or anthropogenic ambient background. Most regulatory agencies require a response action only when the concentrations of a chemical in soil exceed its background concentrations. Consequently, soil background plays an important role in remedial decisions.
Risk assessors, risk managers, and site investigators, as well as other stakeholders are the target audience of this guidance document.
The SBR Team has developed training to complement the guidance document., which includes four videos and an Internet-Based Training. The videos provide an overview of the information presented in the guidance document; a discussion of sampling and analytical methods; information for establishing and using soil background in risk assessment; and information for using geochemical evaluations and environmental forensics in evaluating soil background.
ITRC Soil Background & Risk Assessment Training Videos