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Report on the U.S. EPA Technical Workshop on Wti Incinerator Risk Assessment Issues

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Risk Assessment Forum

This report presents information and materials from a peer review workshop organized by EPA's Risk Assessment Forum for EPA Region 5 and the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. The meeting was held in Washington, DC on January 11, 1996. The subject of the peer review was a draft document prepared by Region 5 assessing risk at an incinerator operated by Waste Technologies Industries (WTI) in East Liverpool, Ohio.

The peer review continued a process begun in 1993, when the Risk Assessment Forum held a workshop to review the project plan for the WTI incinerator risk assessment. In that workshop, participants recommended that EPA expand the scope of the planned assessment to include more facility performance data, use additional computer models, include a screening level ecological risk assessment, and provide a comprehensive analysis of accident scenarios.

In 1994 and 1995, EPA conducted the WTI incinerator risk assessment now under review. To reflect the larger scope of work recommended at the first workshop, for this workshop EPA expanded the scope of the air dispersion work group to cover deposition modeling and accident analysis, added a fifth work group on ecological risk assessment, and increased the number of peer reviewers from 13 to 19. In conducting the peer review, EPA sought comments on the technical accuracy, completeness, and scientific soundness of the WTI incinerator risk assessment. EPA will consider these comments in revising the assessment, which in turn will be used to set final permit conditions for the WTI facility.

Overall, comments on the draft WTI incinerator risk assessment were favorable. Indeed, throughout the workshop, as the expert peer reviewers discussed the assessment as a whole and specific parts of it, workshop participants repeatedly prefaced suggestions for improvement with praise for the overall thoroughness, quality, and integrity of the assessment. Noting that they had been quite critical of the draft project plan for the assessment, the peer reviewers stated that by contrast they were very impressed with the thoroughness, organization, and clarity of the draft assessment--and with the seriousness and faithfulness with which EPA had followed the comments and recommendations of the project plan peer reviewers. Their most substantive comments pertained to three topics (accident scenarios, cumulative risk, ecological risk) that were not covered in the initial project plan for the assessment and thus had not benefitted from previous review. The peer reviewers described most of their other comments as questions of clarification or as other minor issues not likely to affect the overall results of the assessment.

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Additional Information

Note: a complete electronic version of this document that preserves its original appearance (such as in a pdf file format) is not currently available. However, a scanned version is available in image or text format from EPA's National Environmental Publications Information System. Paper copies may be ordered from the National Technical Information Service.


Report on the U.S. EPA Technical Workshop on Wti Incinerator Risk Assessment Issues. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Risk Assessment Forum, Washington, DC, EPA/630/R-96/001, 1996.

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