In November 1989 the Department of Energy's facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, collectively known as the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), were placed on the National Priorities List (NPL). The result was acceleration of ongoing efforts to identify waste sites and to begin assessing the toxicity of each site. It was soon discovered that assessment efforts were hampered by the lack of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) toxicity values (e.g., Reference Concentrations or slope factors) and related information for many of the contaminants identified at the ORR. A decision was made to derive the missing toxicity values, but only in close collaboration with the U.S. EPA. In conducting similar assessments for the U.S. Army, it became apparent that toxicity assessment is not necessarily site specific and, therefore, lends itself to collaboration among Federal agencies who have responsibilities for hazardous waste cleanup.
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