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Environmental risk assessment and decision-making strategies over the last several decades have become increasingly more sophisticated, information-intensive, and complex, including such approaches as expert judgment, cost-benefit analysis, and toxicological risk assessment. One tool that has been used to support environmental decision-making is comparative risk assessment (CRA), but CRA lacks a structured method for arriving at an optimal project alternative. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) provides better-supported techniques for the comparison of project alternatives based on decision matrices, and it also provides structured methods for the incorporation of project stakeholders' opinions in the ranking...
In the late 1800s, mills in the Washoe Lake area, Nevada, used elemental mercury to remove gold and silver from the ores of the Comstock deposit. Since that time, mercury contaminated waste has been distributed from Washoe Lake, down Steamboat Creek, and to the Truckee River. The creek has high mercury concentrations in both water and sediments, and continues to be a constant source of mercury to the Truckee River. The objective of this study was to determine concentrations of total and methyl mercury (MeHg) in surface sediments and characterize their spatial distribution in the Steamboat Creek watershed. Total mercury concentrations measured in channel and bank sediments did not decrease downstream, indicating...