The Impact of False-Negative Assessments in the Accelerated Clean-Up Era: Corporate Profits/Incentive Awards Versus Undefined Health Effects

W.H. Knox (Hi Tech Solutions)

The DOE accelerated clean-up initiative provides incentives and increased profits for reducing the clean-up cost. Some bottom-line driven contractors accept False Negative Assessments as a means of achieving the cost reduction and thereby increased profits. False-Negative Assessments (FNA) are, however, producing large unreported, undefined, and under-assessed increases in the expected public and worker deaths and injuries. Very little is published or discussed about the impact of False-Negative Assessments on cost and associated health effects. While False Negative Assessments actually decrease cleanup cost, they represent large undefined increases in health effects. This paper explores the detailed mechanism of how False-Negative Assessments increase profits and incentive awards, and correspondingly increase health effects. Those False Negative Assessments include, collecting nonrepresentative or biased samples, using high detection levels, estimating analytical results, ignoring known contaminants, collecting insufficient number of samples, using gross measurements in the certification processes, using faulty statistics in validation and others. The paper presents the general model and equations that display the relationship between profit/incentive awards and increased expected deaths and injuries. Actual examples and data are presented to support the model.

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