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Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site

Engineering Performance Standards (EPS) - Peer Review

Peer review is conducted in accordance with Agency guidance, as outlined in EPA's Peer Review Handbook.  Peer review is a documented critical review of a specific Agency major scientific and/or technical work product. The peer review is conducted by qualified individuals (or organizations) who are independent of those who performed the work, but who are collectively equivalent in technical expertise (i.e., peers) to those who performed the original work. The peer review is conducted to ensure that activities are technically adequate, competently performed, properly documented, and satisfy established quality requirements. The peer review is an in-depth assessment of the assumptions, calculations, extrapolations, alternate interpretations, methodology, acceptance criteria, and conclusions pertaining to the specific major scientific and/or technical work product and of the documentation that supports them.

Draft engineering performance standards were developed by EPA and released to the public on May 14, 2003 for a 60-day review and comment period. During the public comment period, EPA also accepted proposed "charge questions" for the peer review panel. And from July 11 to July 25, 2003 EPA accepted nominations from the public of independent experts to serve on the peer review panel. ERG selected nine peer reviewers that met the selection criteria.

In Octobber 2003. EPA submitted the Draft Engineering Performance Standards - Peer Review Copy, document for peer review. It contains the draft engineering performance standards that are being peer reviewed by a panel of independent experts.

Final Peer Review Report Issued on Performance Standards for Hudson River Cleanup

A report was prepared by Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG), under contract to EPA, which summarizes the independent peer review of EPA’s draft engineering performance standards for cleanup of the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site. The purpose of the peer review was to determine whether the engineering performance standards are based on sound and credible science and are technically adequate, competently performed, properly documented, and satisfy established quality requirements. Nine independent peer reviewers with various affiliations and from relevant scientific disciplines thoroughly discussed and evaluated the draft engineering performance standards. Peer reviewers answered 15 charge questions that addressed the proposed resuspension standard, residuals standard, and productivity standard, as well as issues that pertain to all three standards.

The Report on the Peer Review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Draft Engineering Performance Standards—Peer Review Copy” for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site was prepared as a general record of discussion for the January 27–29, 2004 peer review meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York. It captures the main points of scheduled presentations, highlights discussions among the peer reviewers, and documents observer comments provided at the peer review meeting.
Full Report [404 KB, 66 pp]
Appendices [1.6 MB, 162 pp]

Peer Review Documents

The following documents are being provided to the peer reviewers as the focus of the peer review:

Draft Engineering Performance Standards - Peer Review Copy, (October 2003)
Index of the four volumes

  • Part 1: Performance Standard for Dredging Resuspension
  • Part 2: Performance Standard for Dredging Residuals
  • Part 3: Performance Standard for Dredging Productivity
  • Appendix: Case Studies of Environmental Dredging Projects

Peer Review Charge

Public Comments on Engineering Performance Standards and EPA Responses (October 2003)
Table of contents of the submitted comments and responses received during the public comment period (May 14 to July 14, 2003)

Suggested charge questions submitted to EPA from interested parties

EPA's February 2002 Record of Decision
Table of Contents

White Papers (Part 3 of the February 2002 ROD)
White Papers included as Book 2 of 3 in the Responsiveness Summary

  • Resuspension of PCBs During Dredging
  • Relationship Between PCB Concentrations in Surface Sediments and Upstream Sources
  • Metals Contamination
  • Dredging Productivity and Schedule
  • Delays and Downtime
  • Model Forecasts for Additional Simulations in the Upper Hudson River
  • Rail Operations
  • Post Dredging PCB residuals
  • Example Sediment Processing/Transfer Facilities
  • Relationship between Tri+ and Total PCBs


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