June 21, 2001
1:00 p.m-3:00 p.m.

On Thursday, April 11, 2001, the following members of the Remediation Technologies Development Forum's (RTDF's) Sediments Remediation Action Team, Assessment Subgroup, met in a conference call:

Ralph Stahl, DuPont Corporate Remediation (Subgroup Co-chair)
Mike Anderson, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
John Davis, The Dow Chemical Company
Kenneth Finkelstein, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Ash Jain, EPRI
Clay Patmont, Anchor Environmental, LLC
Mel Skaggs, In Depth Environmental Associates
Mike Swindoll, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc.
Henry Tabak, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Jennifer Sutter, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Brett Thomas, Chevron
Ken Wittle, Electro-Petroleum, Inc.

Sarah Dun of Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG), was also present.


John Davis said that some Sediments Remediation Action Team members have started working together to gain a better understanding of monitored natural recovery. Davis said that sites along the Anacostia River might be suitable for a natural recovery demonstration project. (Richard Jensen plans to talk to the Anacostia Watershed Toxics Alliance [AWTA] about this possibility soon.) In addition, Davis, Mike Swindoll, and Clay Patmont have started pulling together historical data on existing natural recovery sites. Their goal is to use these data to make conclusions about the long-term effectiveness of monitored natural recovery. As a first step, Davis said, the group has created a framework that describes how to evaluate long-term effectiveness. The framework is designed to address the following questions:

Clay Patmont said that he knows of six sites in the Puget Sound area that have generated data sets. For some of the sites, data have already been compiled and will fit nicely into the framework. At other sites, however, compiling available data into one database will be a bit more time intensive.

Davis said that he, Swindoll, and Patmont will continue to work on the framework. Once it is presentable, it will be distributed to the Assessment Subgroup for comment and review.


Working with the Navy, Sabine Apitz compiled several technical papers into one document and distributed it to Subgroup members. Although Subgroup members wrote these papers, the papers are not being published under the RTDF logo. Stahl said that Subgroup members should feel free to disseminate the papers, but that the papers should not be linked to specific authors. If authorship were assigned, he explained, those who wrote the papers would have to ask the organizations they are affiliated with to review and approve the papers.


During previous conference calls, Subgroup members decided that the next Assessment Subgroup meeting should be held on September 11 and 12. Stahl asked whether these dates were still favorable. Call participants said that September 10 and 11 would be better, noting that the Natural Sediment Dialogue plans to meet on September 12 and 13 in Washington D.C. Stahl will poll Subgroup members to find out whether they plan to attend the Natural Sediment Dialogue meeting. If enough people do, he said, the Assessment Subgroup could hold its meeting in Washington D.C. If people are not that interested in the Dialogue meeting, the Subgroup meeting will be held either in Narragansett, Rhode Island; Pensacola, Florida; or Massena, New York.

Stahl said that he envisioned the Assessment Subgroup meeting having two components:


Stahl said that the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) plans to hold a meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, between November 11 and 15, 2001. He asked call participants whether they wanted to hold an open house at the meeting. Call participants decided that this was a good idea: it will give them an opportunity to disseminate information about technical papers and to recruit new members. Stahl will reserve a room at the November 2001 SETAC meeting. In addition, he will set up a conference call with those who wrote the technical papers to determine whether they can create posters for the open house.


Stahl noted that EPA's Forum on Managing Contaminated Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites was held in late May 2001. The proceedings will be summarized and released in the near future. During the forum, Stahl said, EPA indicated that it plans to draft guidance on sediment management issues. The guidance document will explain what to do once risk has been established at a site. It will not, however, explain how to determine whether risk is present. Stahl said that the Assessment Subgroup might be able to help with this gap. He advised discussing this possibility at the next Subgroup meeting.

Ash Jain noted that many researchers are currently researching sediments issues. It would be useful, he said, to have a list of completed, ongoing, and proposed projects. That way, Subgroup members will have a better understanding of what has already been accomplished or is currently being worked on. Call participants agreed that this was a good idea.