This paper examines contaminants in urban fill soil via background concentrations, disposal facility parameters and limits, and no-significant risk limits for site closure. It provides a guide when considering what might be expected at brownfields sites and how the findings at a site may be used to make practical soil management decisions. The approach is based on experience in Massachusetts following Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) regulations and guidance. It is evident that urban fill soil may be expected to contain contaminants, in particular, heavy metals and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, from specific releases and background sources. Natural concentrations and background concentrations are important sorting and selection criteria in evaluating which chemicals should be selected for analysis and which should be considered background. This paper discusses lead, arsenic, carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, and asbestos. The authors outline each contaminant, the usual range in natural and urban fill soils, and its risk-based or related thresholds, with emphasis on the New England area. The outcome is a range of concentrations that can be used as a guide when considering brownfields sites such that their information may be compared to the ranges and brought into meaningful focus.
Swanson, William R. and Lamie, Pamela
"Urban Fill Characterization And Risk-Based Management Decisions - A Practical Guide,"
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water and Energy:
Vol. 12, Article 9.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/soilsproceedings/vol12/iss1/9