Determination of the potential implementation impact of 2016 ministry of environmental protection generic assessment criteria for potentially contaminated sites in China

Yuanyuan Cheng, Yu Ting Tang, C. Paul Nathanail

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Ministry of Environmental Protection of China issued a 3rd draft edition of risk-based Generic Assessment Criteria (the MEP-GAC) in March 2016. Since these will be the first authoritative GAC in China, their implementation is likely to have a significant impact on China’s growing contaminated land management sector. This study aims to determine the potential implementation impact of the MEP-GAC through an in-depth analysis of the management context, land use scenarios, health criteria values adopted and exposure pathways considered. The MEP-GAC have been proposed for two broad categories of land use scenarios for contaminated land risk assessment, and these two categories of land use scenarios need to be further delved, and a MEP-GAC for Chinese cultivated land scenario ought to be developed, to ensure human health protection of Chinese farmers. The MEP-GAC have adopted 10−6 as the acceptable lifetime cancer risk, given the widespread extent and severe level of land contamination in China, consideration should be given to the decision on excess lifetime cancer risk of 10−5. During risk assessment process in practice, it is better to review the 20% TDI against local circumstances to determine their suitability before adopting it. The MEP-GAC are based on a SOM value of 1%, for regions with particularly high SOM, it might be necessary to develop regional GAC, due to SOM’s significant impact on the GAC developed. An authoritative risk assessment model developed based on HJ25.3-2014 would help facilitate the DQRA process in practice. The MEP-GAC could better reflect the likely exposures of China’s citizens due to vapour inhalation by using characteristics of Chinese exposure scenarios, including China-generic building stock, as inputs into the Johnson and Ettinger model as opposed to adoption of the US EPA parameters. The MEP-GAC once implemented will set the trajectory for the development of the investigation, assessment and remediation of land contamination for years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-985
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • China
  • Contaminated sites
  • Generic assessment criteria
  • Land use scenario
  • Risk-based land management
  • The MEP-GAC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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