Hazard Ranking Proposal Incorporating Vapor Intrusion Seen as Possible This Year

August 2, 2013 – In The News
Environment Reporter

Christopher Roe was quoted in the Environment Reporter article “Hazard Ranking Proposal Incorporating Vapor Intrusion Seen as Possible This Year.” While the full text can be found in the August 2, 2013, issue of Environment Reporter, a synopsis is noted below.

Roe told a BNA webinar on July 30 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could issue, as soon as December, a proposed rule that would include vapor intrusion into the agency’s hazard ranking system. The ranking system is used to determine the highest priority sites for the superfund National Priorities List.

The EPA has said the proposed rule would not add a significant number of sites to the NPL because it “already has a full plate,” Roe said.

“But we’ll see how it plays out,” he told the webinar, held to discuss recent developments in vapor intrusion guidance and regulation and their regulatory implications for remediation, transactions and litigation.

Vapor intrusion is the migration of chemicals from contaminated soil or groundwater into overlying buildings.

“The big issue that remains is whether USEPA will reconsider its limitation of the use of [petroleum vapor intrusion] guidance and its practical approach to petroleum contamination at UST sites, as opposed to refineries and other locations with significant petroleum in the subsurface,” Roe told BNA in an email after the webinar.

Recent developments in EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System will affect the vapor intrusion guidance as well, Roe said.

Roe also stated that the key issues to consider when evaluating OSWER’s vapor intrusion guidance include where such guidance is needed, how much study is enough, characterizing risk, communicating about risk and results, gaining access to a site, and challenges to the mitigation option.