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Emerging Contaminants Task Group

The Emerging Contaminants Task Group (ECTG) focuses on studying and developing approaches to emerging contaminants (materials released into the environment which are suspected of posing risks to human health, natural resources, or ecology, but for which no risk assessment values have yet been developed or agreed upon).

The ECTG is a subgroup of the ECOS-DOD Sustainability Work Group, which is a subgroup of the ECOS Cross-Media Committee. The ECTG reports its activities and policy position suggestions to these overarching groups.

ECTG participants include state environmental agency officials, various member associations with an interest in environmental issues, various federal officials (including EPA and DOD officials, including Army, Navy and Air Force officials, and their contractors), and others.

Currently, the ECTG is co-chaired by Eric Noack (Chief, Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Waste Management) and Shannon Cunniff (Director for Emerging Contaminants, U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environment).

The ECTG Staff Liaison is Matthew Jones (ECOS). Persons wishing to learn more about the ECTG may contact Mr. Jones at mjones@ecos.org.

San Diego Meeting - March 2008

The Emergining Contaminants Task Group convened a session on March 14, 2008 as part of the ECOS-DOD Sustainability Work Group meeting taking place that day in San Diego, California. For more information on this session, click on the following link:

NOTES from the Emergining Contaminants Task Group session on March 14, 2008

June 2007 Work Group Meeting

The Emerging Contaminants Task Group meet in Atlanta, Georgia on June 20-21 as part of the larger ECOS-DoD Sustainability Work Group meeting. At the meeting the task group discussed drafts of several papers they have been developing and heard a presentation from a member of Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA). As this task group is close to completing its current set of work products, they also began a discussion of next steps.

Emerging Contaminants Task Group Meeting Summary

Presentation on Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA)

Risk Communication Paper

This paper provides information and resources on the issues pertaining to risk communication on Emerging Contaminants. It establishes five principles the Task Group believes should be followed in conducting risk communication, whether at the internal, interagency, or public level. The paper was created to improve coordination among stakeholders conducting risk communication and to provide a starting point for reconciliation should stakeholders disagree on how the risks of a particular emerging contaminant should be communicated.

Risk Communication Principles

Emerging Contaminants Survey

During the fall of 2006, the Emerging Contaminants Task Group surveyed the states regarding their work related to emerging contaminants and what chemicals they considered to be emerging contaminants. Thirty-eight states responded to this survey. Results of this survey and additional information can be found on the main ECOS-DoD Sustainability Work Group page

Provisional Values Paper and Comments

Below is a link to the current version of an issue paper prepared by the Emerging Contaminants Task Group along with a matrix of the comments that were received and the responses to those comments.

Identification and Selection of Toxicity Values/Criteria for CERCLA and Hazardous Waste Site Risk Assessments in the Absence of IRIS Values

Matrix of Comments Received and Responses to Comments

June 15-16, 2006 Meeting

The Task Group met on June 15-16, 2006 in Seattle, Washington as part of the larger ECOS-DoD Sustainability Work Group Meeting. Below is a summary of the session.

Summary of Emerging Contaminants Task Group Meeting on June 15-16, 2006

2006 Work Product Development and Timelines

Below are links to documents prepared for discussion at the June 15-16, 2006 Task Group meeting as part of the larger ECOS-DoD Sustainability Work Group meeting.

Resource Trigger Issue Paper - Draft

Provisional Values Issue Paper - See link to current draft above

Improving Consistency in Risk Assessment Issue Paper - Draft

Risk Communication Issue Paper - Draft

Risk Communication Fact Sheets - Draft

Beta Version of the State Survey on Emerging Contaminants

Accessible through the links below are a description of work products with associated assignments and timelines that were developed as a result of the Emerging Contaminants Task Group sessions at the February 2006 ECOS-DOD Sustainability Work Group Meeting.

Work Products and Assignments

Timeline for Work Product Development

February 2006 Meeting

At the February 9-10, 2006 ECOS-DOD Sustainability Work Group Meeting, the Emerging Contaminants Task Group worked in breakout groups to work on four priority actions identified at the Forging Partnerships on Emerging Contaminants Forum. Below are issue papers and work plans that the groups worked on at the meeting.

Pollution Prevention Issue Paper and Work Plan

Risk Assessment/Risk Management Issue Paper

Risk Communication Issue Paper and Work Plan

State Survey and Work Plan

Forging Partnerships on Emerging Contaminants: A Forum for State and Federal Stakeholders

The Emerging Contaminants Task Group sponsored a forum on November 2-3, 2005 for state environmental and health representatives to meet with DoD and other federal agencies about emerging contaminants. Representatives from 28 states attended the meeting and identified issues related to emerging contaminants from how they are identified to how they are addressed. The purpose of the meeting was to help identify major issues that the task group can work to address. In four breakout groups, the participants identified 22 priorities that could be addressed related to emerging contaminants. After presentations by the breakout groups about the list of priorities, participants voted on their top prioirties. The results of the voting and the final report from the meeting are available here.

During the meeting, presentations were made by the States, DoD, and EPA about issues related to emerging contaminants. Those presentations can be viewed by following the links below.

Identifying Emerging Drinking Water Contaminants - Ann Codrington, US EPA

EPA Programs & Superfund Overview - Elizabeth Southerland, US EPA

IRIS Program Overview - John Vandenberg, US EPA

The DoD Budget Process: What You Need to Know - Paul Yaroschak, US Navy

Past Meetings

The Emerging Contaminants in Groundwater Task Group of the ECOS-DoD Sustainability Workgroup has focused on issues related to emerging constituents, such as perchlorate. In 2004 the task group created an Emerging Contaminants in Groundwater Strategic Plan.

The task group met on February 2-3, 2005 in Washington, DC as part of a larger ECOS-DOD Sustainability Work Group Meeting. A summary of their session can be accessed below:

Emerging Contaminants in Groundwater Task Group, February 2-3, 2005 Meeting Summary