Association Between NPL Sites and Ecosystem Service Conditions at the Ecoregion Level Across the Conterminous United States

Authors: Karessa Manning*,
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Environmental Science, Applied Geography
Keywords: risk assessment, EPA, PRG, preliminary remediation goals, radiation, cancer risk, chemical
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Gallier A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Serving a larger goal of determining the spatial extents of the affect that NPL sites may have on their surrounding environment, we explored potential associations between NPL sites (also known as CERCLA or Superfund sites) with ecosystem services at the Hydrologic Unit Code 12 (HUC12) level. Data of HUC-12-based ecosystem services are from the EPA’s EnviroAtlas program. They include various metrics related to water quality, air quality, recreational activities, and land use patterns etc. First we overlayed NPL sites on EnviroAtlas’ HUC 12 national map. Then we derived data of ecosystem services in those HUC 12 watersheds which contain an NPL site. Next we compared conditions of ecosystem services at those HUC-12 watersheds with the immediately neighboring HUC-12’s as well as the overall ecosystem services conditions of the corresponding ecoregion at two different levels – levels 3 and 4 ecoregions (based on Omernik’s ecoregion framework). We used spatial statistical tools/tests to explore the significance of those NPL site-HUC-12 associations with respect to different types of NPL sites and ecosystem services. Initial results showed some interesting patterns between NPL sites and ecosystem services at HUC-12 level.

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