Document Details

Screening Level Risk Assessment for Off-Site Ecological Effects in Surface Waters Downstream from the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation
Subject Terms:
Clinch River, Poplar Creek; aquatic biota, sediment; ecological, ORNL, exposure; mercury, benthic organisms; monitoring, environment; off-site, water, fish; piscivorous wildlife; screening, risk assessment
Document Location:
DOE INFORMATION CENTER 1 Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; Eva Butler; Phone: 865-241-4780; Toll-Free: 800-382-6938, Option 6; FAX: 865-574-3521; Email:
Document Categories:
Health, Safety and Environment\Environmental Effects; Science and Technology\Geology, Hydrology, Seismology, Site Studies
Document Type:
Publication Date:
1991 May 31
Declassification Status:
Never classified
Document Pages:
Accession Number:
Document Number(s):
Originating Research Org.:
Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Incorporated
OpenNet Entry Date:
1998 Sep 01
This assessment provides guidance for monitoring the environment off the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation for the purpose of estimating risks to the nonhuman environment. Screening criteria were developed for aquatic organisms, benthic organisms, and piscivorous wildlife and were applied to contaminant concentrations in water, sediment, and fish flesh. The exposure data were categorized into ten reaches. The reported maximum aqueous concentrations of aluminum, arsenic, boron, calcium, cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, lead, lithium, mercury, nickel, silver, sodium, uranium, and zinc exceeded upper or intermediate criteria in off-site reaches that are influenced by Oak Ridge Operations. Estimated pore-water concentrations of mercury exceeded the intermediate criterion, suggesting that benthic organisms were affected. Fish tissue concentrations of mercury were sufficient to cause toxic effects in piscivorous wildlife in all measured reaches including the Tennessee River, but particularly in the Poplar Creek Embayment and the portion of the Clinch River most influenced by Poplar Creek. This screening assessment was intended primarily to eliminate chemicals from further consideration, but it eliminated relatively few. The occurrence of several chemicals in multiple media at potentially toxic concentrations raised the issue of combined toxic effects that are greater than those induced by any single chemical. Tables are included with this assessment.

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