February 17, 1999
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (EST)

On Wednesday, February 17, 1999, the following co-chairs from the Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF) Action Teams met in a conference call:

John Vidumsky, DuPont (Permeable Reactive Barriers [PRB] Action Team)
Bob Puls, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (PRB Action Team)
Bill Berti, DuPont (IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team)
Greg Sayles, EPA (Bioremediation Consortium)

Also present were Mike Kosakowski and John Kingscott of EPA's Technology Innovation Office (TIO); Fran Kremer of EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD); Carolyn Perroni of Environmental Management Support, Inc. (EMS); and Christine Hartnett of Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG). Co-chairs from the In Situ Flushing Action Team, the Lasagna™ Partnership, the Sediments Remediation Action Team, and the Phytoremediation Action Team could not participate.


PRB Action Team

John Vidumsky and Bob Puls, co-chairs of the PRB Action Team, provided a brief update of their team's activities. Vidumsky said that the PRB Steering Committee is currently generating materials for a PRB training course. Vidumsky said that the training course will be about a day and a half in length and will be presented in all 10 EPA regions. He said that the first training session is scheduled for June 1999 in Boston. Prior to that, two dry runs will be held in March and April. Vidumsky said that a first draft of the training materials was generated and reviewed internally. Comments were incorporated and a second draft was generated. Vidumsky said that this version has been posted on the PRB Web page and that Carolyn Perroni sent e-mails to a number of people asking them to comment on the draft. Fran Kremer asked whether anyone from EPA's Office of Emergency and Remedial Response (OERR) was invited to review the materials. Perroni said that she did not think so. Puls and Kremer agreed to talk offline about who from OERR should be asked to review the draft. Before closing on the topic, Vidumsky strongly encouraged other RTDF Action Team co-chairs to review the training materials and to peruse the PRB Web page. Vidumsky noted that several features of the Web page--project summaries, case studies, bibliographies, and technical documents--have recently been upgraded.

Puls said that the Steering Committee is involved with a long-term PRB performance study. He explained that EPA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy have all obtained funding to participate in the project. Each agency will evaluate long-term performance at a different set of sites. Puls said that the project will extend over 3 years. At the end of this time, he noted, researchers will have valuable information about what happens to iron over time. Puls said that the Steering Committee will act as a coordinating body for the project.

IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team

Bill Berti, a co-chair for the IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team, provided a brief overview of his team's activities. To date, Berti said, his team has focused their studies on reducing lead bioavailability. He explained that several treatment plots have been established at the Joplin site in Missouri. Each treatment (e.g., phosphate fertilizers) is applied to lead-contaminated soils in an effort to create lead phosphate compounds. The Action Team hopes to show that these highly insoluble lead phosphate compounds will not cause adverse health effects if accidental soil ingestion occurs. (Berti said that the compounds should be so insoluble that they will not become bioavailable when inside the gastrointestinal tract.) Berti said that his Team is evaluating the treatments' impact on bioavailability through animal (i.e., rat and pig) dosing studies and a physiologically based extraction test (PBET). The latter, Berti explained, is a simple chemical extraction that mimics the gastrointestinal tract of an animal. Berti said that several Action Team members plan to meet in April or May to discuss and summarize the data that has been generated at Joplin.

Berti said that some Action Team members have started broadening their focus and are now evaluating ecological endpoints. He said that a meeting is tentatively planned at the Bunker Hill site (in Kellogg, Idaho) in June 1999 to discuss this topic.

Berti noted that much interest has been generated in IINERT technologies. For example, he noted, three related articles appeared in the latest issue of Environmental Science and Technology. Berti said that two of the articles focused on lead phosphates and were coauthored by James Ryan, the other RTDF IINERT Action Team co-chair. The other article, Berti reported, focused on in vitro tests for arsenic extraction.

Bioremediation Consortium

Greg Sayles, a co-chair for the Bioremediation Consortium, said that his team is conducting research on three different technologies:


Kremer and Perroni asked whether the RTDF Action Team co-chairs want their fact sheets updated. Perroni explained that the fact sheets are available in hardcopy and on the Internet. Perroni said that the Internet versions are more up-to-date than the printed versions. In fact, she said, some of the printed versions are so old that they do not list the current co-chairs. Perroni said that TIO thinks it is important to have up-to-date and accurate printed versions that can be distributed at meetings and exhibits.

The Action Team co-chairs said that they want their fact sheets updated. Perroni said that she will send an e-mail to all of the Action Team co-chairs asking them to update their fact sheets. Perroni agreed to send the co-chairs the most current version of the fact sheet (i.e., the version that is available on the RTDF Web site.) Perroni said that she will ask for feedback by mid-March. After incorporating edits, Perroni will ask the co-chairs to review the final version. Ideally, she said, the fact sheets should be ready to print by mid-April. Perroni said that the co-chairs should feel free to add whatever they consider useful. Berti asked if he could add a list of sources where additional information can be found. Perroni said that would be fine. In general, she said, the fact sheets should not be longer than two to four pages. She said that a four-page fact sheets can be used if the co-chairs want to include several graphics.


Perroni said that the December 1998 version of the RTDF Newsletter was recently released. She said that the information contained in the newsletter was provided by Action Team co-chairs in October. She said that printing problems prevented a more timely distribution of the December 1998 newsletter, but she did not foresee this being a problem in the future. Perroni said that the newsletter will be posted on the RTDF Web site. (The Internet version will include some information [i.e., the IINERT update] that was not presented in the printed version.)

Perroni asked when the co-chairs want to release another newsletter. She offered spring 1999 and summer 1999 as options. The co-chairs did not think that they would have much new information to offer for a spring 1999 issue. As a result, conference call participants agreed to release the next issue in the summer.


During the last conference call, participants talked about having an RTDF Action Team co-chair meeting. Kremer said that some consideration had been given to having the meeting in conjunction with a large TIO/ORD Remediation Technology conference. This meeting, Kremer explained, will take place in Chicago and is tentatively set for late October or early November. She suspected that several RTDF co-chairs will attend the meeting, so she recommended holding a 1˝-day RTDF co-chair meeting at the end of it. The co-chairs gave lukewarm responses to this idea. They agreed that the value of holding an RTDF co-chair meeting should be debated in future conference calls. Although co-chairs had mixed feelings about attending, John Kingscott recommended placing a tentative hold on some meeting space.


During the previous conference call, Kremer noted, some discussion had been generated about using videoconferencing for conference calls and meetings. She said that using videoconferencing would be costly and asked participants whether they thought it was a worthwhile avenue to pursue. Mike Kosakowski said that the technology might be useful for meetings, but would probably be too complicated to use for conference calls. Berti agreed that it might not be practical to use the technology for conference calls at this point. He did say, however, that it might be useful in the future if participants want to display data.


The next co-chair conference call is tentatively scheduled for April 13 or 14, 1999, between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST. Sayles and Puls said either date would be fine, but Berti expressed a preference for the 14th. ERG agreed to poll Action Team co-chairs to find out whether they will be available during this time. After confirming a date, ERG will set up the call.