, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 61-66

From risk assessment to sediment management an international perspective

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Contaminated sediment management is complex and multivariate, involving a careful balance of science, politics and economics. As is true for most such complex issues, there is not a single correct way to address a problem, but rather the approach should be driven by the ecological, political and economic goals of all interested parties. However, because the choices made have far-reaching implications, it is useful for countries, regions or communities to develop standard approaches for sediment assessment and management to meet agreed-upon goals. This paper provides a brief review of a number of sediment assessment frameworks from around the world. Their main similarities and differences, and some of the reasons behind them, are addressed. Aspects of assessing and managing sediments are discussed, as well as why these are (or should be) driven by sediment management goals. Finally, suggestions are made to support the development of a European framework for sediment management and environmental quality.

This paper was originally an invited address for the Risk Management and Communication Workgroup WG5 at the European Sediment Research Network (SedNet) Inaugural Conference, Venice, Italy, April 22–23, 2002