Sites not entering the AgVIC are forwarded to a technical staff for prioritization. The MDA prioritizes incident sites using both quantitative and qualitative considerations. The EPA Hazard Ranking System (HRS-2) Preliminary Assessment (PA) Scoresheet, using standard pesticide and regional data, is used to assure a systematic approach to assessing site specific risk. This approach provides a general measure of risk for the groundwater, surface water and direct soil exposure pathways. However, it does not consider important risk factors such as the quantity of products used at a site, the length of operations at a site, the amount and quality of the data, and the extent and magnitude of soil contamination. Therefore, the final assessment of risk is always site specific based on MDA staff professional judgment.
Just because an incident site is prioritized does not mean the MDA will eventually require a cleanup. Sites get prioritized because the process provides a systematic approach to assessing the potential risk to human health and the environment. Some sites, after going through the prioritization process, are closed by technical staff. Other sites, especially those with primarily fertilizer contamination, may benefit from a cleanup but likely will never be requested to do one because the relative low priority of the site. Market forces, such as site assessments prior to the sale of a property, may eventually encourage many low priority sites to enter AgVIC. Facilities may enter AgVIC at any time up to the point when they are formally requested to conduct a comprehensive facility investigation.