With increasing regulatory and public awareness, PCB impacted sediments are becoming a common constituent of concern within urban storm systems and receiving sediments.
Due to the widespread historical use of PCBs and their persistence in the environment, PCBs are ubiquitously found in air, water, sediment and soil from urban city centers to the Antarctic wilderness. The recently adopted Enclosed Bays and Estuaries Plan for California requires that sediments which do not meet the sediment quality objectives (SQO) standards as defined in the plan will be subject to cleanup and abatement actions under Resolution 92-49 (Policies and Procedures for Investigation and Cleanup and Abatement of Discharges under Water Code Section 13304). This resolution requires evaluation of cleanup to background conditions, which for many contaminants, including PCBs may be considered to be non-detect. In addition new Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) permits have begun to include sediment TMDL considerations which require permitted discharges to monitor and maintain sediment quality at outfall locations which meet the receiving water beneficial use goals. The numeric targets in development for some of the initial sediment TMDLs are based on a statistical evaluation of existing SQO data sets. This poster presents the SQO evaluation process, and explores methods of evaluating background conditions, evaluation of economic feasibility of potential remedial actions, the long-term prognosis for the sustainability of results, and the proposed implications of the implementation of these actions statewide, and potentially to sediment evaluation programs nationally.