Sites contaminated with hazardous material are topical and urgent problem all over the world. In accordance with recent Italian regulations, appropriate risk assessment is required in order to determine health risks associated with contaminated sites. The paper presents a case study regarding a disused industrial plant contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy hydrocarbons and PCBs. The site displays a peculiar morphology, therefore both the characterization and the conceptual model had to be adapted to the particular conditions. Besides health risk assessment, ecological risk assessment was performed for both groundwater and surface water targets, as required by Italian regulations. The future reuse scenario has not yet been defined and, consequently, risk assessment results will be useful for the remediation program. Risk assessment was supported by leaching tests and hydrocarbon “finger printing” to increase the reliability of the analytical models adopted to simulate the fate and transport of contaminants. The site was found to require remediation and risk-based cleanup levels were determined. A possible simple remediation action based on risk reduction is proposed.
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