SUMMARY OF THE REMEDIATION TECHNOLOGIES
ACTION TEAM CO-CHAIRS CONFERENCE CALL
September 29, 1998
3:00 p.m.4:30 p.m. (EDT)
On Tuesday, September 29, 1998, Walter Kovalick, co-chair of the Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF), met with co-chairs from six of the seven RTDF Action Teams in a conference call. The following co-chairs were present:
Dick Jensen, DuPont (Sediments Remediation Action Team)
Dave Ellis, DuPont (Bioremediation Consortium)
Bill Berti, DuPont (IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team)
James Ryan, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team)
Lynn Wood, EPA (In Situ Flushing Action Team)
Mason Hughes, Monsanto (Lasagna Partnership)
Bob Puls, EPA (Permeable Reactive Barriers [PRB] Action Team)
John Vidumsky, DuPont (PRB Action Team)
Also present were Dawn Carroll, Kelly Madalinski, Mike Kosakowski, and Richard Steimle from EPA's Technology Innovation Office (TIO); Stephen Schmelling and Clint Hall from EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory; Carolyn Perroni of Environmental Management Support, Inc. (EMS); and Susan Brager Murphy and Christine Hartnett of Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG). Co-chairs from the Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team could not participate.
UPDATE ON ACTION TEAM ACTIVITIES
Sediments Remediation Action Team
Dick Jensen, a co-chair for the Sediments Remediation Action Team, said that his Team met for the first time in two years in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 16 and 17, 1998. Jensen reported that the meeting was well attended (more than 40 participants) and had a good balance between government and industrial participants. Jensen praised the meeting's speakers, noting that many spoke of similar projects. Jensen said a couple of groups (e.g., an industrial group) share the same project objectives as EPA. Jensen reported that breakout sessions were held for (1) assessment of sediments and (2) treatment of sediments. The discussions for the latter, Jensen continued, included a discussion on capping treatments. He noted that a separate breakout session would have been devoted solely to capping if representatives of the Waterways Experiment Station had been able to attend the meeting.
At the meeting, Jensen continued, Alcoa said they might have a site along the Grass River that could serve as a Sediments Remediation Action Team field site. Jensen expressed great enthusiasm about this possibility and noted that he has heard that ALCOA's site might be used for EPA's demonstration program as well. Jensen said he did not have much information about EPA's demonstration program, except that the plan is to demonstrate various technologies (e.g., dredging, natural recovery, capping) at five different sites with contaminated sediments.
Jensen said that the meeting was a success and he thanked EMS and ERG for their support. He said several follow-up meetings are tentatively planned:
Walter Kovalick noted that TIO's Kelly Madalinski attended the meeting and had reported that several Action Team members were interested in generating output, such as a bibliography or a field study, over the next 6 months. Jensen said the group will discuss their future activities at greater length during the upcoming meetings.
Kovalick said that TIO has contacted the Association of Ports and Harbors and the U.S. Department of Commerce in the past. He offered to follow-up again with these contacts now that there is reborn interest in the Sediments Remediation Action Team. Jensen said the Team would be very interested in working with both groups.
Dave Ellis, a co-chair for the Bioremediation Consortium, provided a brief activity update for the three bioremediation technologies under development:
Ellis said that Kelly AFB, a site with very high contaminant concentrations, has been selected as a Phase II study site. The Consortium's goal, Ellis said, will be to determine how bacteria survive and successfully degrade contaminants at such high solvent concentrations. Ellis said the Consortium hopes to find another highly contaminated test site to evaluate as part of their Phase II program. Finding a site, he said, has been difficult since rapid source removal is so often initiated.
Ellis said the Consortium is working rapidly to finish their projects before their Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) expire and the Consortium terminates. He said the Consortium is developing a publication strategy. He said Environmental Science and Technology has already accepted one of the Consortium's papers and has agreed to publish another once it undergoes appropriate peer review. Ellis said the Consortium has also been working toward finding ways to put full data packages into the public record. Some consideration, he said, has been given to using the National Technical Information Service.
Although the CRADAs that establish the Consortium are scheduled to terminate in 2000, Ellis said that some off-the-record discussions have been held to find ways to continue the positive interactions that have been established between government agencies and industrial members.
Kovalick noted that Steve Schmelling will be taking a more active role in the Bioremediation Consortium in the near future.
IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team
James Ryan, a co-chair for the IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team, said his group has been collecting data for over a year at the Joplin site. He said team members are planning to meet on October 7 and 8, 1998, to discuss the data in detail. Preliminary swine dosing results, Ryan reported, indicate that IINERT technologies reduce the biological availability of lead.
Ryan said that none of the Joplin data have been published. He did note, however, that Action Team members have published several individual papers on the work they have done on bioavailability transformations and chemical reactions of lead in soil systems.
Kovalick said he attended the Fourth International Symposium on Environmental Contamination in Central and Eastern Europe. At the conference, Kovalick reported, about 14 or 15 papers addressed plant uptake of metals and land recovery and reuse through vegetation. Kovalick said he would forward abstracts to Ryan and Bill Berti.
In Situ Flushing Action Team
Lynn Wood, a co-chair for the In Situ Flushing Action Team, noted that his team has decided to address the regulatory and technical impediments that oppose development of in situ flushing technology. His team, Wood continued, has formed three Subgroups to address these issues: (1) Economic Assessment and Remedial Agent Recovery/Reuse, (2) Endpoint Assessment/Technical Performance Criteria, and (3) Technical Practices/Protocol.
Wood said the third In Situ Flushing Action Team meeting was held in mid-September. He said the meeting was successful because it:
Mason Hughes, a co-chair for the Lasagna Partnership, said Monsanto has completed both phases of their study. Hughes said that results, which are presented on the RTDF Web site, indicated that the Lasagna technology is effective. Hughes said that this technology has been chosen as a remedial technology in the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant ROD and that cleanup at this site is scheduled to begin in Spring 1999. Hughes said the Camp Dresser & McKee federal programs will be the first Lasagna licensee and that Monsanto is willing to let any company use Lasagna for a nominal fee.
Hughes said that Monsanto's role in researching the technology has been completed and that he and others plan to focus their efforts into other areas in the future. He said participating in the RTDF was a great experience, but doubted that Monsanto will try to extend their RTDF Partnership once their current agreement expires. Kovalick asked whether the RTDF reports sufficiently capture (1) the technical aspects of Lasagna, and (2) the arrangement that existed between the government and industry. Hughes said recent information on technical aspects will be summarized in an upcoming edition of Environmental Science and Technology. Hughes said Monsanto would be willing to help compile information about the arrangement that existed in the partnership. Kovalick recommended speaking off-line with Mike Roulier.
PRB Action Team
Bob Puls provided an overview of the PRB Action Team's four major activities:
NEW SOFTWARE FOR TRACKING WEB SITE USAGE
Carolyn Perroni said that a new tracking system has been installed for the RTDF Web site. She said the system indicates how many users have contacted each individual team page. In addition, she said, the system also provides a breakdown of users' extensions (e.g., .com, .edu, .org, military, or international). Perroni asked participants to provide feedback when they get their new Web site usage reports. She said she'd like to know whether the new format is helpful and if there are other items the co-chairs feel they need. She said that the software is capable of creating more sophisticated reports and that these can be generated upon specific request.
Perroni noted that there has been a significant increase in RTDF Web page usage over the last month. While 500 to 700 hits are normally recorded per month, Perroni reported, as many as 3,000 were recorded over the last month. Perroni said the increase could have been due to the release of a PRB profile announcement and the RTDF Update.
ARTICLES FOR NEXT ISSUE OF RTDF UPDATE
Perroni said that she will be out of the office until October 13. She asked co-chairs to submit articles for the next edition of the RTDF Update no later than October 14, 1998. She said people in her office can help the co-chairs generate articles. If this type of assistance is needed, Perroni stressed, she must be notified immediately. Kovalick strongly encouraged the co-chairs to submit articles and reminded them that the RTDF Update has a wide circulation. (Kovalick said announcements are sent to 5,000 people via TIO's TechDirect.)
Berti noted that CBS radio aired a short piece on phytoremediation of organics using poplars. The 3 to 5 minute segment, Berti continued, was presented by Charles Osgood and generally depicted phytoremedial technologies in a positive light. Berti said that Osgood likened poplars to straws that "sucked" contaminants from the ground. While Osgood praised the technology's cost savings and naturalness, Berti noted, Osgood also noted that concern has been expressed about contaminant release to the air.
Susan Brager Murphy noted that she will be leaving on maternity leave on October 23, 1998. She said that ERG will continue to provide its customary level of support while she is gone. Murphy said she will e-mail the Action Team co-chairs and Subgroup co-chairs information about how logistical support will continue during her absence.
NEXT CO-CHAIRS CONFERENCE CALL
The next co-chair conference call is tentatively scheduled for December 8, 1998, between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.