Regional Sediment Evaluation Team

RSET agencies include USACE; the EPA; NOAA Fisheries; the USFWS; the State of Oregon, Dept of Environmental Quality; the State of Idaho, Dept of Environmental Quality; the State of Washington, Dept of Ecology; and the State of Washington, Dept of Natural Resources.

Sediment Evaluation Framework

Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest -  Finalized May 2018

The US Army Corps of Engineers and US Environmental Protection Agency share federal responsibility for regulating dredged material within waters of the United States under section 404 of the Clean Water Act and for regulating dredged material in ocean waters under section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act.

Under section 401 of the CWA, the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho must also certify that aquatic discharges do not violate state and federal water quality standards.

This Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest provides a framework for assessing and characterizing sediment to determine the suitability of dredged material for unconfined, aquatic disposal; determine the suitability of post-dredge surfaces; and predict effects on water quality during dredging. The Sediment Evaluation Framework describes procedures for evaluating potential contaminant-related environmental impacts of dredging and the aquatic placement of dredged material in inland waters and the disposal of dredged material in ocean waters.

The framework is designed for use in the Pacific Northwest, defined here as the States of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. It will be periodically revised and updated as warranted by advances in regulatory practice and technical understanding.

May 2018
Sediment Evaluation Framework Updated

A draft version of the updated SEF was posted for public review from December 22, 2017 to February 20, 2018. No comments were received. The RSET agencies subsequently adopted the updated SEF in May 2018. An Informational Joint Public Notice was issued on July 12, 2018 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Northwestern Division and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Region disseminating the updated May 2018 SEF.

This 2018 Sediment Evaluation Framework was prepared by the Northwestern Regional Sediment Evaluation Team (RSET) agencies and finalized in May 2018. It updates the 2016 SEF, which replaced the 2009 SEF and the freshwater benthic toxicity screening levels published in the 2006 interim final SEF.

The changes included in the May 2018 SEF clarified the guidance on the Conceptual Site Model (CSM) (Chapter 3.3) with additional examples and added general information and guidance on Debris Management prior to in-water disposal of dredged material (Chapter 10.1.4).

Proposed Change for the Sediment Evaluation Framework?

The Process for Public Input to the SEF is described in Appendix B of the May 2018 edition of the SEF

You can copy the content below and paste it into the message block here. Select Regional Sediment Evaluation Team from the Recipient drop-down menu, provide your name, email address, type "SEF Issue/Change" in the Subject field, provide the information with the corresponding item listed below. When you are done, click, "Send Message".

  • DISCUSSION (provided by entity proposing change and/or appropriate workgroup): Background:

Contact Us

To contact us, click Contact and select Regional Sediment Evaluation Team from the dropdown list. 

To be included in future correspondence for RSET meetings and other notifications, please place the words "RSET Meetings" in the subject line and include your name, affiliation and email address in your message.

Ongoing work at the EPA and USACE

Agency laboratories continue research on sediment quality issues. The following are ongoing projects that will impact the conduct and interpretation of toxicity bioaccumulation testing.