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CERCLA-linked environmental impact and benefit analysis: Evaluating remedial alternatives for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, Portland, Oregon, USA.

  • McNally, Amanda D1
  • Fitzpatrick, Anne G2
  • Mirchandani, Sera3
  • Salmon, Matthew3
  • Edwards, Deborah A4
  • 1 Geosyntec Consultants, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • 2 Geosyntec Consultants, Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • 3 AECOM Technical Services, Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • 4 ExxonMobil Environmental Services, Baytown, Texas, USA.
Published Article
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Oct 25, 2017
DOI: 10.1002/ieam.2000
PMID: 29068521


This analysis focused on evaluating the environmental consequences of remediation, providing indicators for the environmental quality pillar of 3 "pillars" of the Portland Harbor Sustainability Project (PHSP) framework (the other 2 pillars are economic viability and social equity). The project an environmental impact and benefit analysis (EIBA) and an EIBA-based cost-benefit analysis. Metrics developed in the EIBA were used to quantify and compare remedial alternatives' environmental benefits and impacts in the human and ecological domains, as a result of remedial actions (relative to no action). The cost-benefit results were used to evaluate whether remediation costs were proportionate or disproportionate to the environmental benefits. Alternatives B and D had the highest overall benefit scores, and Alternative F was disproportionately costly relative to its achieved benefits when compared to the other remedial alternatives. Indeed, the costlier alternatives with larger remedial footprints had lower overall EIBA benefit scores-because of substantially more air emissions, noise, and light impacts, and more disturbance to business, recreational access, and habitat during construction-compared to the less costly and smaller alternatives. Put another way, the adverse effects during construction tended to outweigh the long-term benefits, and the net environmental impacts of the larger remedial alternatives far outweighed their small incremental improvements in risk reduction. Results of this Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)-linked environmental analysis were integrated with indicators of economic and social impacts of remediation in a stakeholder values-based sustainability framework. These tools (EIBA, EIBA-based cost-benefit analysis, economic impact assessment, and the stakeholder values-based integration) provide transparent and quantitative evaluations of the benefits and impacts associated with remedial alternatives, and should be applied to complex remediation projects to aid environmental decision making. © 2017 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (SETAC).

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