An environmental risk assessment is a document that outlines the health risks associated with exposure to environmental contaminants at a site and provides the justification for taking action to remediate or remove the contamination.
The risk assessment establishes levels of contaminants that can remain at a site and still be adequately protective of public health. The risk assessment provides a consistent process for evaluating and documenting public health hazards associated with exposure to environmental contamination.
A risk assessor is an individual with education and training typically in environmental assessment, toxicology, biology and/or ecology. A risk assessor organizes and analyzes data collected from environmental samples of water, soil, and air, develops exposure and risk calculations, and provides an analysis of potential health risks to help determine the need for action at a site.
A risk assessor also determines levels of contaminants that can remain in environmental media such as water, soil, or air, and still be adequately protective of public health, as it is oftentimes not feasible to remove completely these contaminants.
The Risk Assessment Program has developed regulations to assist with the cleanup of former clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. These regulations are designed to assist the property owner by ensuring that the cleanup will be protective of public health. The regulations also assist the local health department with their oversight of the cleanup.
This Website provides access to the regulations, highlights important safety requirements, and provides useful links and lists of contacts to assist with the cleanup process.
Personal Protective Equipment - Level C (PPE) for use in meth lab clean-up is designed to prevent or minimize ingestion, inhalation and/or dermal contact exposure with contaminants.
PPE includes disposable outerwear that is hooded, and poly-coated to protect against the permeation of liquids and gases (ASTM F1001 certified), a full-face or half-mask with air purifying combination respirators for particulates, gases and vapors (NIOSH approved), two pairs of chemical-resistant gloves (both inner and outer), and chemical resistant boots.
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) are in an intergovernmental agreement. Through that agreement, the Risk Assessment Program provides several risk assessment services to NDEQ.
The facilities regulated by NDEQ submit risk assessment plans and studies to the Environmental Risk Assessment Program. In turn, the Program writes up recommendations and comments. This ensures the plans and studies are accurate and adequate to protect public health.
At NDEQ's request, the Risk Assessment Program determines what levels of contaminants in water, air and/or soil can remain at a site and still be adequately protective of public health.
It helps to develop and update guidelines for risk-based cleanup programs at NDEQ.
At NDEQ's request, the Risk Assessment Program answers questions from the public about any potential health effects linked to the investigation and cleanup of contamination at an NDEQ-regulated facility.