Quantico Marine Corps Base

Most site investigations for either human health or ecological risk rarely consider conditions at the facility beyond the site footprint. Neptune and Company, Inc.'s innovation for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (Washington) was to base decision making for the Potomac River sediments and sediments in the tributaries surrounding the Marine Corps Base Quantico on the corresponding watersheds for these areas. This allowed for a more comprehensive assessment of potential risk. Using this approach, factors such as other contaminated sites within the watershed, potential connecting mechanisms (e.g., surface water), and cumulative exposures across multiple sites influence the risk assessment and management decision making. This approach relied on quantitative data quality objectives specifications, statistically based survey designs, and data interpretation. Uncertainties in the decision-making process were estimated for the site decision makers a priori in the survey design and quantitatively calculated for the site decision. This allowed decision makers to objectively assess the success of the implemented site investigation. This more comprehensive approach also introduced efficiencies in waste management and monitoring, making more cost-effective cleanup determinations and providing monitoring coverage with fewer sample locations while still ensuring acceptable risk protection.