U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

NARPM Presents...Using Bioavailability to Assess Contaminated Sediment Risk: Passive Sampling and Porewater Remedial Goals (PWRGs)

Sponsored by: EPA Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation

Archived: Monday, August 13, 2018
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This webinar will introduce the use of passive samplers to assess bioavailability and the development of Porewater Remediation Goals (PWRG). Passive sampling devices (PSD) are a technology with growing acceptance for measuring porewater concentrations and assessing bioavailability of contaminants in sediment, particularly for common sediment contaminants such as PCBs, PAHs, chlorinated pesticides and dioxin-like compounds. Instructors will explain the basics of what passive samplers are and how they work, as well as provide an overview of the deployment, analysis, and application of PSDs. The webinar will also discuss the derivation of Porewater Remediation Goals (PWRG) for the protection of the benthic organisms using exposures measured with PSDs. This section of the course will focus on the application of PSD data to ecological risk assessment, including the application of Final Chronic Values from Ambient Water Quality Criteria, use of PSD in toxicity and bioaccumulation testing, development of a site specific PWRG, and calculation of a sediment RG based on site-specific equilibrium partitioning. Instructors will also discuss the implementation of PWRGs as it relates to risk assessment and management at Superfund sediment sites.

By taking the webinar, participants will achieve the following objectives:

  • Understand how PSD measures bioavailability of contaminants in sediment porewater,
  • Be provided with an overview for planning and executing a PSD sampling event,
  • Understand how to apply PSD data to ecological risk assessment,
  • Learn how to develop a site-specific PWRG to protect the benthic organisms,
  • Consider other uses of PSD methods for RI/FS, remedy selection, and remedy implementation at Superfund sediment sites.

The target audience is EPA Remedial Project Managers and risk assessors, as a well as other regulatory staff, contractors, and responsible parties.

Accessibility, Recording, and Content Disclaimer

Rehabilitation Act Notice for Reasonable Accommodation

It is EPA's policy to make reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities wishing to participate in the agency's programs and activities, pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 791. Any request for accommodation should be made to Austin Oelschlager at 703.251.0350 or, preferably one week or more in advance of the webinar, so that EPA will have sufficient time to process the request. EPA would welcome specific recommendations from requestors specifying the nature or type of accommodation needed. Please note that CLU-IN provides both alternate phone call-in options and closed captioning for all webinars, and requests for these specific accommodations are not necessary.

Webinar Recording

By participating in this CLU-IN webinar, you automatically agree to authorize recording of audio and visual content presented during this live event and consent to subsequent use of this recording in the public domain by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This recording may include questions, comments and poll responses provided by you during the live event in addition to your name, voice, image or likeness. This recording will be made available after the conclusion of the live event as part of the CLU-IN webinar archives, and will remain available indefinitely. If you do not wish to consent to the recording, please do not join the live event, and contact Jean Balent at 202-566-0832 or to discuss your concerns.

Content Disclaimer

This webinar is intended solely to provide information to the public. The views and opinions expressed as part of this webinar do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is not intended, nor can it be relied upon, to create any rights enforceable by any party in litigation with the United States, or to endorse the use of products or services provided by specific vendors. With respect to this webinar, neither the United States Government nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.


Rob Burgess, EPA Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) ( or 401-782-3106)
Dr. Robert M Burgess is a Research Physical Scientist employed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Office of Research and Development Atlantic Ecology Division in Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA. His current research focuses on better understanding the partitioning and bioavailability of organic and metal contaminants in the environment; specifically, this research emphasizes the use of passive samplers for measuring the bioavailability of legacy and emerging contaminants, including nanomaterials, in the marine environment. Overall, Dr. Burgess' research attempts to provide useful and accurate scientific information to regulators and environmental managers for making informed decisions. He has contributed to the authorship of approximately 90 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, most of which are related to geochemistry, sediment contamination and aspects of ecological risk assessment. Dr. Burgess received a Masters degree in Biological Oceanography and Ph.D in Chemical Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography.

Lawrence Burkhard, EPA Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) ( or 218-529-5164)
Lawrence Burkhard is a Research Chemist with the Mid-Continent Ecology Division of EPA's Office of Research Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in Duluth, MN. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the i) bioaccumulation and effects of persistent bioaccumulative toxicants (PBTs) and methodologically challenging compounds (MCCs) in sediments, aquatic organisms, and aquatic food webs; ii) analysis and detection of known and unknown toxicants using mass spectrometry instrumentation; iii) biologically-based analytical methods for the detection and identification of unknown toxicants in environmental samples; and iv) modeling the bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic food webs. Lawrence is also the Task Lead for ORD's research on Contaminated Sediments located in ORD's Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Programs.


A photograph of Jean BalentJean Balent, U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division ( or 202-566-0832)
Ms Balent is on the staff of the EPA's Technology Innovation and Field Services Division where she has worked to collect and disseminate hazardous waste remediation and characterization information since 2003. Ms Balent manages the Clean Up Information Network website and actively supports online communication and collaboration resources available to EPA. She formerly worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Engineering Division in the Buffalo District. Ms Balent was also a member of the SUNY-Buffalo Groundwater Research Group where she constructed and tested large scale models of groundwater flow. Ms Balent has also conducted research relating to the Great Lakes, environmental remediation, and brownfields re-development. She holds a Bachelor's degree in environmental engineering from SUNY-Buffalo and a Master's degree in Information Technology from AIU.

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If you have a suggested topic or idea for a future CLU-IN internet seminar, please contact:

Jean Balent
Technology Integration and Information Branch

PH: 202-566-0832 | Email:
Michael Adam
Technology Integration and Information Branch

PH: 202-566-0875 | Email: