A much anticipated independent report on how Connecticut approaches environmental risk was the subject of a public informational meeting last week at the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
Earlier this year, state lawmakers called for a study to address widespread uncertainty about the basis for Connecticut’s cleanup requirements and how they compare to best practices for determining environmental risk in other states, government agencies, and countries.
The report prepared by CDM Smith, includes six recommendations and more than 300 pages of analysis.
The suggestions are:
- Consolidate all of the state’s health and ecological risk assessment staff and programs within DEEP
- Develop, with a broad array of stakeholders, nonstandard solutions to improve public health in communities burdened with brownfields
- Fully and the scientific document the basis for chemical cleanup standards, including the underlying assumptions, models and exceptions.
- Adopt, as needed, assessment and ecological risk management programs that are already in place in Massachusetts and British Columbia.
- Encourage the use of advanced, site-specific risk assessments for sites where default criteria may be inappropriate
- Adopt risk management goals for contaminants that could potentially cause cancer, based on a risk of 1 in 100,000 (people) per chemical and up to 1 in 10,000 for an overall site.
DEEP is accepting comments on any aspect of the report until Sept. 30 and then will use the report and comments to help develop a variety of legislative and regulatory initiatives for 2015.