Environmental Hazard Evaluation and Environmental Action Levels
An Environmental Hazard Evaluation (EHE) is the link between site investigation activities and response actions carried out to address hazards posed by the presence of contaminated soil and groundwater. Environmental Action Levels (EALs) are concentrations of contaminants in soil, soil gas, and groundwater that are used in decision making throughout the EHE process. This page provides information on EHE guidance and supplemental models in Microsoft Excel; periodic updates to the EALs and associated guidance; and additional resources for related information. Dr. Roger Brewer is the point of contact for the information presented on this page and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The document Screening For Environmental Hazards at Sites With Contaminated Soil and Groundwater (Summer 2008)
is a technical report that can be used to expedite the identification of potential environmental hazards at sites with contaminated
soil and groundwater as well as assist in the cleanup and redevelopment of these properties. The EHE guidance should be used
in conjunction with Section 13 of the HEER Office TGM which covers
EHE guidance. Note that the EAL document incorporates U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Regional Screening Levels
(RSLs, June 2011) as one of numerous references for published soil, water and air action levels. As discussed the RSL guidance
user’s manual, the USEPA RSLs cannot be used as a stand-alone tool to evaluate the
need for additional actions at contaminated sites. The USEPA RSLs only address direct exposure of humans to
contaminants in soil, and other potential environmental hazards are not considered. Although not required, use of the guidance
is strongly recommended. The sections of the guidance can be downloaded below.
A summary of updates and significant changes to previous editions of the EHE guidance is provided in Volume 2,
Appendix 9. Revisions to action levels for common contaminants are not expected to significantly alter the results of past
site investigations or site investigations currently underway. The EHE guidance and associated references can be downloaded below.
Supplemental Models and Guidance
- EAL Surfer (Fall 2011) (702 Kb) – The EAL Surfer is a searchable, electronic version of the EAL lookup tables. Use of the EAL Surfer to screen site data and expedite preparation of EHE reports is highly recommended. The Surfer automatically generates a summary page that can be included in reports. The Surfer also includes a glossary, a summary of information on the chemical selected and an overview of options for more advanced evaluations of environmental hazards. To use the EAL Surfer you must have Excel 2000 or newer installed on your computer. Simply download the Surfer from the link below then double click on the file to open the program. If you have trouble using the pulldown menus on the Surfer then remove the write protection (under the Tools menu). The password to unprotect the Surfer worksheets is “EAL.” The EAL Surfer is updated on a regular basis and it’s recommended to periodically check back to ensure that you have the most up-to-date edition available.
- Vapor Unit Conversion (Fall 2011) (109 Kb)
- Batch Test Leaching Model (BTLM) Guidance (April 2007) (215 Mb)
- BTLM Spreadsheet (Fall 2011) (143 Kb)
- Tier 2 Soil Direct Exposure Model (Fall 2011) (261 Kb)
Note – The write-protect password for all Excel file worksheets is “EAL.”
The EAL Surfer file has an “Updates” page with a summary of updates. Comments and suggestions from the general public are welcome at any time. Updates will be posted to this website and notification sent to persons on the EAL mailing list. Workshops to present and discuss the EALs will also be held periodically. To provide comments or be included on the mailing list for updates and workshop announcements, please contact Roger Brewer at email@example.com.
Spring 2012 Updates: Field Investigation of the Chemistry and Toxicity
of TPH in Petroleum Vapors: Implications for Potential Vapor Intrusion Hazards (revised Dec 2012)
Fall 2011 Updates: The Tier 1 EALs were updated in Fall 2011. A summary of updates and
HDOH comments can be downloaded from the links below. Refer also to Appendix 9 in the EHE guidance and the EAL Surfer.
Note that the Fall 2011 edition was revised in January 2012 to correct an error in the TPH action levels.
June 2010 Update: Dioxin Soil Action Levels
- HDOH FTP Site – A number of additional documents and presentations are available for downloading from the HDOH file transfer (ftp) web site. The URL for the site is: dohcolab.doh.hawaii.gov/sites/ftpeha
If the login ID does not automatically appear, input “eha.” The password is “aloha.” Look for the folder titled “RBrewer’s Folder” and then look in the subfolder noted below. Refer to the overview file for a summary of posted files. Files posted to the ftp site but not noted below are also available for public use.
- Example EHEs: Examples of Environmental Hazard Evaluation reports.
- EHE Related Presentations : PowerPoint presentations presented by HDOH staff at national or local conferences on various EHE related subjects.
- Related Technical Documents – Use of Tier 1 EALs at UST Sites (June 2005) (63 Kb)
- Pacific Basin Environmental Screening Levels – A very similar and identically-named guidance document has been prepared for the Guam Environmental Protection Agency. It is referred to as the Pacific Basin edition. It is dated Summer 2008 with an October 2008 update. The Pacific Basin Edition of the EHE guidance incorporates the May 2008 USEPA Regional Screening Level models. This updates a guidance document prepared for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in 2005. Similarities and differences between this guidance and the HEER office guidance are discussed in Section 2.12 of the HEER office guidance.
Office of Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response
State of Hawai‘i Department of Health
919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 206
Honolulu, HI 96814
Webpage maintained by Marsha Mealey
Last Updated 28 Dec 2012