US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center

Adaptive Risk Assessment Modeling System (ARAMS™)

A Cost-effective System for Evaluating Alternatives

Published Sept. 24, 2014
The Main graphical user interface of ARAMS.

The Main graphical user interface of ARAMS.

An example conceptual site model as depicted in the FRAMES component of ARAMS for a terrestrial ERA

An example conceptual site model as depicted in the FRAMES component of ARAMS for a terrestrial ERA

The U.S. Department of Defense and the Army conduct risk assessments to determine safe levels and cleanup target levels for military relevant compounds (MRCs).  Risk assessments are also conducted to evaluate remediation alternatives for MRCs and to calculate the most cost-effective approach to reach target levels. ARAMS™ was developed to be utilized as a highly adaptable tool in this effort.  Created by engineers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory, Vicksburg, Mississippi, and personnel at the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Edgewood, Maryland,  ARAMS™ is a computer-based, information delivery, dynamic modeling and analysis system that integrates multimedia fate/transport, intake/uptake and effects of contaminants and military-relevant compounds to assess human and ecological health impacts/risks for existing, baseline and future conditions.

A Flexible Tool for Assessing Risk

ARAMS™ can assess future or time-varying human and ecological health risks using measured or predicted exposure data, making it an indispensable resource for those managing sites for compliance and sustainment.  ARAMS™ can also be used to conduct site-specific assessments, including screening or comprehensive risk assessments. This software can assess a wide array of exposure pathways and uptake routes and provides limitless flexibility for describing exposure/risk scenarios.

An Object-oriented, Conceptual, Site-modeling Framework for the User

With ARAMS™, the user can visually specify — through objects — multimedia pathways and risk scenarios.  The user can also choose which particular module (i.e., model or database) to use for each object. ARAMS™ accesses various databases for defining chemical properties, bioaccumulation factors, toxicity reference values and other inputs. Some databases are distributed with the software and reside on local disk storage along with the ARAMS™ software and models, while others are accessible over the Web to allow seamless download and input of up-to-date information.

Success Stories

Used both domestically and internationally, ARAMS™  is a proven reliable and repeatable methodology for conducting collaborative and comparative risk assessments, providing a savings in time and cost for conducting such assessments and potentially leading to significant remediation cost savings by providing more accurate risk-based cleanup targets. ARAMS™  was used for ecological risk characterization at two field sites: an aquatic site at Langley Air Force Base (LAFB), and a terrestrial site at Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD). The reported ecological risk assessments (ERAs) for the LAFB and PCD sites were used to obtain data for conducting these demonstrations. For the LAFB data, ARAMS™  — using the known body burden concentration file (BBF) module — yielded risks identical to those previously reported. Computed benthic invertebrate tissue concentrations using the Biota/Sediment Accumulation Factor (BSAF) database and the theoretical bioaccumulation potential model (TBP) were in close agreement with measured values. The calculated risk results for PCD were also identical to those reported in the ERA report when the same input parameters were used, verifying the calculations in Terrestrial Wildlife Exposure Model (TWEM).

Features

  • Object-oriented, conceptual Framework for Risk Analysis in Multimedia Environmental Systems (FRAMES) for linking objects to describe risk scenarios
  • Seamless linkages to Web-based and local databases to filter and load data for assessment
  • Flexible graphical and textual output options, including generating Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS) reports
  • Uncertainty analysis
  • Modules for multi-media fate/transport, exposure and effects analysis, including:
    • Source zone
    • Human receptor intake
    •  Air
    • Human health impacts
    • Soil/vadose
    • Eco tissue concentration
    • Aquifer
    • Eco receptor intake
    • Surface water
    • Human exposure pathways
    • Soil and overland runoff Eco effects
  • Reports are generated as Microsoft Excel tables or text documents.

System Requirements

  • Operating System: Windows 2000, XP, or Windows 7 with 64K RAM
  • Free disk space: ~ 800MB
  • MS Excel and ACCESS and .NET Framework 1.1

Status

First released June 2002. Version 1.4 released in January 2009.

Cost, Distribution

Free download - see RELATED Link

Contact

ERDCinfo@usace.army.mil, 601-634-3590 or 601-634-3517