Framework for Dredged Material Management
3.5.4 Perform Appropriate Testing and Assessments
Appropriate testing and assessments may be required to determine the physical
behavior of the material at the disposal site. Also, testing and assessments for one or
more potential contaminant pathways of concern may be required.
Physical testing and assessment should focus on both the short-term and long-
term physical behavior of the material. For open-water alternatives, these assessments
might include an analysis of water-column dispersion, mound development, and long-
term mound stability or dispersion. For confined alternatives, these assessments might
include an analysis of solids retention and storage requirements during disposal and long-
term consolidation behavior in the CDF. Guidance for conducting physical testing and
assessments is described in Chapters 4, 5, and 6.
Any contaminant testing should focus on those contaminant pathways where
contaminants may be of environmental concern, and the testing should be tailored to the
available disposal site. The considerations for identifying contaminant pathways of
concern for open-water disposal and confined disposal alternatives are discussed in
Chapters 4 and 5, respectively. For open-water alternatives, contaminant problems may
be related to either the water column or benthic environment, and the appropriate testing
and assessments would include required CWA or MPRSA testing. For confined sites,
potential contaminant problems may be either water quality related (return water effluent,
surface runoff, and groundwater leachate), contaminant uptake related (plant or animal),
or air related (gaseous release).
The identification of pathways of concern should be based on the initial
evaluation of sediment contamination and on the known characteristics of disposal sites
under consideration. One of the following determinations will result for each pathway:
If the initial evaluation of sediment contamination and site characteristics
reveals that the material can be excluded from further testing or that adequate
data already exist for a given contaminant pathway, then no additional
contaminant testing for that pathway is required.
In some cases, past evaluations of sediment contamination and site
characteristics may indicate that contaminants would clearly result in
unacceptable impacts through a given pathway. In this case, a determination
can be made without further testing that management actions or control
measures will be required for that pathway.
Finally, there may not be sufficient technical information to allow for a factual
determination for one or more pathways of concern. The potential impact of
specific contaminant pathways must then be evaluated using appropriate
testing and evaluations for those pathways. Risk assessment is employed
implicitly in making a factual determination, as an integral part of
development of many sediment and water quality criteria. If conventional