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Bioaccumulation Risk Assessment Modeling System (BRAMS) Site-specific Inputs for Assessing Risks at Dredged Material Disposal Sites


USACE and EPA identified a need to develop site-specific inputs for the BRAMS modeling program; a tool for calculating the potential human health and ecological risks associated with bioaccumulation of contaminants in dredged sediment.  BRAMS consists of two separate models, Bioaccumulation Evaluation Screening Tool (BEST) and Trophic Trace, each using separate equations and inputs to calculate risks.  BRAMS is designed for use during MPRSA Section 103 sediment evaluations (Tiers I through IV) to estimate potential risks associated with bioaccumulation.   ANAMAR provided region-specific input values including diet and lipid concentrations of predatory species; human mean daily or weekly dose per seafood type; diet and toxicity of fish and fish eggs, birds and bird eggs, and mammals as applicable; screening benchmarks for a suite of contaminants of concern. 

The input parameters summarized above were provided by ANAMAR for use with ocean dredged material disposal sites (ODMDSs) in the following management regions:

  • Mid-Atlantic (Dam Neck, Morehead City, Norfolk, and Wilmington Harbor ODMDSs)
  • Southeastern Florida (Miami, Palm Beach Harbor, and Port Everglades Harbor ODMDSs)
  • Northern Gulf of Mexico (Atchafalaya, Barataria Bay, Calcasieu River, etc. [11 ODMDSs])
  • Pacific Northwest (Chetco, Columbia, Coos Bay, Grays Harbor, etc. [6 ODMDSs])

ANAMAR recommended regionally-specific inputs and also provided extensive optional input values for modeling each of the above regions.  Draft data inputs for disposal sites off southeast Florida underwent agency review to ensure that the correct methodology was followed for all four regions.  The final deliverable included a guide to recommended inputs, modeling templates and example projects for each region, and recommended and optional input values for easy application during risk assessments.

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