Exploring the connection between Superfund Sites and the Overall Environmental Health at HUC-12 Level

Authors: Karessa Manning*, University of Tennessee, Liem Tran, University of Tennessee, Leslie Galloway, University of Tennessee
Topics: Environment, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: EnviroAtlas, Superfund, NPL Sites, Ecosystem Services
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Tyler, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Serving a larger goal of determining the spatial extents of the effect that NPL sites may have on their surrounding environment, we explored potential associations between NPL sites (also known as CERCLA or Superfund sites) with NPL contaminant of concern (COC) data. These parameters include many qualitative variables such as carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic effects, type of contaminant, and number of contaminants per site. Our preliminary study, of the association between NPL sites with ecosystem services data from the EnviroAtlas program, used a spatial extent of Hydrologic Unit Code 12 (HUC-12). We began by running a hot spot analysis on the EnviroAtlas national dataset to determine the overall health of each HUC12 unit in the contiguous United States. This analysis considered multiple environmental attributes of each HUC12 and assigned an overall health score. The health score of each HUC12 unit was then compared to other HUC12 regions within the same EPA ecoregion. Then the contaminant specific parameters at NPL sites were quantified in a similar manner and compared with the overall health of individual HUC12 units. Based on spatial patterns and association between NPL sites and the overall health of HUC-12 units, we determine the role that superfund sites may play in the overall environmental health of the surrounding areas.

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