Risk-Based Approaches

BLM AML program applies risk-based approaches to setting project priorities.

For AML sites posing physical safety hazards, priorities are those:

  • Where a death or injury is known to have occurred.
  • Situated on or in immediate proximity to developed recreation sites and areas with high visitor use.
  • Where formal risk assessment indicates a risk level of “high” or “Extremely High,” if adequate resources are available.

For AML sites impacting water quality, BLM applies the watershed approach, which is the methodology of working within the geographic boundaries of a watershed with partners (federal, state, private, and tribes) to jointly resolve problems that affect the physical, chemical, and biological quality of that watershed. Under the watershed approach, State governments generally prioritize impaired watersheds. Then, a scientific approach is used to prioritize sites, develop cleanup action plans, and evaluate effectiveness of actions in the watershed. Partnering agencies and organizations share and exchange information, collaborate on project management, and reduce costs through fund leveraging and avoiding duplication of efforts and conflicting actions.