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About the Sediments Remediation Action Team

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The Problem of Concern

Contaminated sediments, both in freshwater and marine systems, are a significant issue in the United States and abroad. Remediation of sediments is often complex and is usually compounded by the presence of more than one contaminant at a site. Sediments often contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals. Many traditional remediation techniques, such as dredging and subsequent off-site treatment, are not cost-effective, and proper assessment, which is critical for implementation of a remediation strategy, also may be difficult and costly.

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The Action Team's Mission

The mission of the Sediments Remediation Action Team is to develop cost-effective, on-site technologies to remediate contaminated sediments and enable recovery of biological systems. The Action Team is exploring a number of potential focus areas, including:

  • Developing in situ remediation approaches
  • Evaluating on-site, ex situ remediation technologies
  • Examining the applicability of existing soil remediation techniques to sediments
  • Understanding the mechanisms and rates of natural attenuation
  • Enhancing or developing procedures for evaluating the need for and success of remedial activities

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The Action Team has developed subgroups to focus on the following three areas of interest:

  • Assessment—This area includes the measurement and evaluation of hazard, stress, and exposure resulting from sediment-associated contaminants. Information required for the human and ecological risk assessment paradigms includes (but is not limited to) toxicity, transport, and the ability of the sediment (biotic and abiotic) to naturally attenuate the contaminants.
  • In Situ Capping—In situ capping as a remediation alternative involves placement or broadcasting of a covering or cap of clean isolating material (e.g., sediment, sand, gravel, geotextiles, etc.) over a deposit of contaminated sediment to isolate it physically and chemically from the aquatic environment.
  • In Situ Treatment—A number of in situ remediation technologies are under consideration by the subgroup, including natural attenuation, phytoremediation, introduction of chemical additives to enhance the natural processes, reactive disposal approaches, and electrokinetics. The subgroup is most interested in passive technologies that will remediate the contaminants without significantly increasing the stress on the ecology.

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The Action Team's Plans

The efforts of the three subgroups will be coordinated to create a cohesive research team. The Action Team is identifying sites at which a cooperative field effort may be pursued. Team members are evaluating the resources, experience, and facilities they can make available to carry out a field effort.

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Would You Like More Information?

For more information about the Sediments Remediation Action Team, please contact the Team Co-chairs:

Nancy Grosso
DuPont Corporate Remediation
Barley Mill Plaza - Building 27 (2358)
Wilmington, DE 19880-0027
Tel: 302-992-6783

Dennis Timberlake
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
National Risk Management Research Laboratory
26 West Martin Luther King Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45268
Tel: 513-569-7547

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Remediation Technologies Development Forum
Sponsored by the Technology Innovation Program

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