Baseline Risk Assessment of Ground Water Contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site Near Durango, Colorado
Description: This risk assessment evaluates the possibility of health and environmental risks from contaminated ground water at the uranium mill tailings site near Durango, Colorado. The former uranium processing site`s contaminated soil and material were removed and placed at a disposal site located in Body Canyon, Colorado, during 1986--1991 by the US Departments of Energy`s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating the nature and extent of ground water contamination at the site. This risk assessment follows an approach similar to that used by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The first step is to determine what site-related contaminants are found in ground water samples. The next step in the risk assessment is to determine how much of these contaminants people might ingest if they got their drinking water from a well on the site. In accordance with standard practice for this type of risk assessment, the highest contaminant concentrations from the most contaminated wells are used. The risk assessment then explains the possible health problems that could result from this amount of contamination.
Date: February 1995
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