Presentation on theme: "What is Risk? Stella Swanson Golder Associates Ltd. Betty Hutchinson Northern Mines Monitoring Secretariat Ecological Risk Assessment Workshop June 2005."— Presentation transcript:
What is Risk? Stella Swanson Golder Associates Ltd. Betty Hutchinson Northern Mines Monitoring Secretariat Ecological Risk Assessment Workshop June 2005
Risk is an Everyday Thing Planning a Boat Trip Goal: Make Sure the Boat Stays Afloat
Is It Safe? Standards: The rating of the motor How many people can the boat hold?
Is It Safe? Variables: Weather Distances to be travelled Experience of the boat operator Condition of the boat and motor The navigation aids and equipment – e.g. maps
How Sure Are We? Add to Our Confidence That it is Safe By: Having enough approved life vests Having a first aid kit and bailing equipment Having fishing gear along in case have to get emergency food Checking the fuel – and having extra fuel along Tool kit for motor repairs Filing a travel plan
Is this Reasonable? How much risk are we willing to take? Can we really count on the weather and are we prepared if the weather gets bad? Is there really room for one more moose?
Assessment of Risks from Chemicals Goal: Make sure fish continue to be present in normal numbers and in a healthy state
Is it Safe? “Standards”: Water quality guidelines or objectives Sediment quality guidelines Consumption guidelines for concentration of chemicals in fish Benchmarks –the level of chemical where we are confident that the fish are protected at the population level
Is it Safe? “Variables:” Amount of chemical being released after treatment in the effluent treatment system Size of the creek, river or lake that the chemical is entering Amount of the creek or lake that has changes in chemical concentrations
Is it Safe? Variables, Cont’d The kinds of fish present in the creek, river or lake and how sensitive they are to the chemicals Whether the fish use the area right where the chemical enters the creek, river or lake for things such as spawning or over-wintering Whether the chemical is in a form that can enter the body of the fish
How Sure Are We? Chemical Treat the effluent to the best of our ability in order to get chemical concentrations down as low as practical Apply safety factors to the water quality or sediment quality objectives or to the effects benchmarks for fish Boat Trip Use life vests and have bailing buckets in the boat Boat maximum capacity and motor rating include safety factors
How Sure Are We? Chemical Deliberately over-estimate the amount of time fish spend in the area right where the effluent enters the river or lake Monitor the water, sediments and fish to be sure that our assessment is correct Go back and correct if monitoring shows assessment has some errors Boat Trip Look at worst case weather scenarios Keep an eye on weather and performance of the motor Leave half of the moose behind if over-loading the boat
Is that Reasonable? how important is it to protect fish? is the level of safety for the fish correct given how important the fish are?
Is that Reasonable? Chemicals Different people will have different opinions as to acceptable risk Basic principle for fish: fish continue to be there in normal numbers and in a healthy state Boat Trip There may be differences in opinion re loading the boat with the moose even if somewhat overloaded Basic principle: correct balance between benefit of bringing back the whole moose and the risk of swamping the boat