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Ecological Evaluation and Risk Assessments

An ecological risk assessment is the process for evaluating a particular stressor such as a chemical, land use change, disease, introduction of an invasive species, and or something effected by climate change. 


Environmentally Sensitive Natural Resources (ESNRs) are defined as any area that supports any wildlife and include but are not limited to freshwater wetlands, streams, rivers, ponds, threatened/endangered species habitat, and so on. ESNRs are abundant through New Jersey and the NJDEP has made it a point to ensure the ESNRs remain protected. Ecological Evaluations (EE) are becoming increasingly important in remediating properties in New Jersey, and in some instances, the NJDEP has rescinded prior case closures and reopened them due to an ecological evaluation never being conducted. An EE is conducted to examine a property for the co-occurrence of: 1) ESNRs on, adjacent to, or potentially impacted by a property; 2) the presence of Contaminants of Potential Ecological Concern (COPEC) at the property or AOC and in the ESNR(s); and 3) the presence of a contaminant migratory pathway (historic of current) from the property to the ESNR or evidence of contaminated material having been placed directly into an ESNR. The outcome of the EE will be a recommendation either to conduct an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) or no further ecological evaluation. The ERA is a quantitative assessment of the actual or potential impacts of COPECs from a contaminated property on wildlife and plants. The ERA consists of: 1) rigorous site-specific biological tests, determining whether actual or potential ecological risks exist at a property; 2) identifying whether remediation is necessary for constituents posing ecological risks; and 3) generating data needed to determine site-specific risk-based remediation goals. DuBois environmental has performed numerous ecological assessments for various properties throughout New Jersey, and employs well qualified scientist, biologist, and remediation specialist to help clients comply with the applicable regulations of the NJDEP, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE). 

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