San Ildefonso Pueblo Tribal Risk Assessment

The Pueblo of San Ildefonso requested RAC to provide the Pueblo with advice and technical support as they developed their tribal risk assessment program. The tribal risk assessment program helps to evaluate human health and environmental risks to the Pueblo community that may come from radionuclides and chemicals in the environment from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The risk tool uses available environmental data and Pueblo-specific exposure activities to evaluate risks that may impact the members of the Pueblo. The tribal risk assessment program uses tools and data developed from Risk Assessment Corporation’s experience and expertise gained from the RACER process (Risk Analysis, Communication, Evaluation, and Reduction) for LANL. The project was supported by the Pueblo of San Ildefonso.

The flexibility of RACER allows environmental data collected at the Pueblo, and stored in the San Ildefonso database, to be evaluated by the RACER Risk Calculation Tool that is tailored to the specific pathways of exposure encountered by members of the Pueblo. RAC worked closely with and had substantial input from San Ildefonso in developing Pueblo-specific scenarios with some unique activities and exposure factor values. Close interaction between RAC and San Ildefonso were essential for developing, testing, and finalizing the DAT and tribal risk assessment (TRA) tools and other work-related activities.

Significant findings from this work included the development of Pueblo-specific exposure activities, pathways, and exposure scenarios for the Pueblo members in the San Ildefonso setting. Each scenario activity takes place at specific geographic locations at San Ildefonso. RAC updated the risk assessment tool to incorporate improved options for viewing the results and wrote brief information summaries for key analytes, in response to a request from the TRA technician. RAC also developed user guides for the Data Analysis Tool and TRA tools, which included an interpretation guide for guiding the Pueblo in its long-term goals of interpreting and communicating health impacts to its members.