June 30, 1998
3:00 p.m.­4:30 p.m. (EST)

On Tuesday, June 30, 1998, Walter Kovalick, co-chair of the Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF), met with co-chairs from four of the seven RTDF Action Teams in a conference call. The following co-chairs were present:

Bob Puls, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Permeable Reactive Barriers [PRB] Action Team)
Steven Rock, EPA (Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team)
Greg Sayles, EPA (Bioremediation Consortium)
Dennis Timberlake, EPA (Sediments Remediation Action Team)

Also present were Greg Harvey of the U.S. Air Force; Dawn Carroll, Linda Fiedler, and Richard Steimle from EPA's Technology Innovation Office (TIO); Carolyn Perroni of Environmental Management System, Inc. (EMS); and Christine Hartnett of Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG). Co-chairs from the In Situ Flushing Action Team, the IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team, and the Lasagna™ Partnership could not participate.


Walter Kovalick welcomed conference call participants and said he was pleased that DuPont's John Vidumsky and Dick Jensen have accepted co-chair positions for the PRB and Sediments Remediation Action Teams, respectively. With these additions, Kovalick noted, all seven Action Teams now have two co-chairs.

Kovalick said that Vidumsky and Jensen should be made aware of EPA's peer review procedures (see Attachment A). Kovalick reminded the group that the RTDF stamp cannot be placed on a report until the EPA Office of Research and Development's (ORD's) peer review process is complete.


Bioremediation Consortium

Greg Sayles, a co-chair for the Bioremediation Consortium, provided a brief overview of the Consortium's goals and an activities update. Sayles said the Consortium is developing three chlorinated solvent remediation technologies. Each technology, he continued, will be field tested in at least two demonstration sites. The three technologies are:

Sediments Remediation Action Team

Dennis Timberlake said that he is glad to be sharing co-chair duties with Jensen and that he is thankful for the knowledge and enthusiasm Jensen has brought to the Team. Timberlake said that he and Jensen have drafted an outline for a group meeting to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 16 and 17, 1998. One meeting objective, he said, will be to identify subgroups for addressing specific tasks.

Timberlake suspected that the Cincinnati meeting will be well attended. In May 1998, Timberlake noted, interest in the RTDF was generated at a National Research Council meeting. Additionally, Timberlake said, Jensen is a member of an industry group that is mobilizing to evaluate sediment remediation issues. According to Timberlake, this industry group expressed strong interest when Jensen informed it of the resource leveraging that occurs within the RTDF.

Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team

Steven Rock noted that the Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team met in Houston, Texas, on June 23, 1998. Rock said the Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team has divided into three subgroups:

PRB Action Team

Bob Puls provided an overview of the PRB Action Team's four major activities:

Puls noted that the PRB Action Team had a successful meeting in Portland, Oregon, in September 1997. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 1998 at ORNL. ORNL was chosen because it houses several PRB projects that address radionuclide contamination. Radionuclides, Puls stressed, have emerged as an area of interest to some Steering Committee members. In general, Puls said, the Committee has agreed to broaden its focus and to evaluate various contaminants (rather than just chlorinated solvents) and reactive media (rather than just zero valent iron).


Kovalick noted that the PRB and In Situ Flushing Action Teams have asked whether the Web site can be modified so that it is easier for interested people to contact RTDF Action Team co-chairs. Carolyn Perroni said the Web site can be modified to allow for easier recruiting and asked whether the change should be made for all seven Action Teams. She noted that allowing for easier recruiting could generate huge mailing lists. Kovalick stressed that the RTDF Action Teams should first recruit problem-owners rather than consultants and vendors. He said that he is usually able to discourage vendors and consultants from initially joining the group when he screens them on the telephone. Kovalick said the Internet cannot screen people like a telephone call does. Speaking for the Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team, Rock said that the TCE in Ground Water Subgroup was the only Subgroup that could benefit from active solicitation. Sayles said the Bioremediation Consortium generally only accepts new participants that can add something unique to the Consortium. After discussing the topic at length, the conference call participants and Perroni agreed that a recruiting feature would be added to the Web site only for those Teams and Subgroups who wanted it.


Harvey said that he had not received a copy of the latest RTDF Update. Carolyn Perroni agreed to send him a copy. Kovalick asked co-chairs to submit articles for the next RTDF Update by October 16, 1998.


Kovalick said that the In Situ Flushing Action Team is planning to meet in Dallas, Texas, on September 15 and 16, 1998.

Kovalick recommended holding a large RTDF co-chair meeting in March 1999.

Kovalick said that the Ground-water Remediation Technologies Analysis Center (GWRTAC), a nonprofit organization, is interested in doing analytical work for the RTDF. Kovalick said GWRTAC might contact Action Team co-chairs to offer their services. Kovalick noted that the GWRTAC held conferences in November 1997 and May 1998 and plans to hold another in October or November 1998.

Kovalick noted that the Lasagna™ Partnership has nearly completed its goals. Kovalick said he will discuss how to close an RTDF project during the next conference call.

Kovalick noted that he and Steve James co-chair a NATO group that focuses on emerging innovation technologies. He said the group is planning to post a report on the Internet in the next 4 to 6 weeks. The report will summarize 5 years of data collected from 52 projects across about 18 countries. Kovalick said he will notify conference call participants when the report is posted.


The next co-chair conference call is tentatively scheduled for September 29 or 30, 1998, between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

ATTACHMENT A: RTDF Peer Review Procedures for Work Products

Category 1:
Major Scientific or Technical Work Products b (see MSTWP table attached)
Products having EPA policy implications 1. Guidance documents (i.e., guidance on implementation of technology) 1. Internal EPA expert review (may include experts from ORD, Program, and/or Regional Offices)
2. External panel peer review (including meeting)
3. Review and "sign-off" by AA/ORD and AA\OSWER
4. Workgroup co-chair "sign-off"
1. Copy of draft report submitted for external review
2. Charge to external reviewers
3. List of external reviewers
4. Written comments from external reviewers
5. Report of external panel
6. Response to external review
7. Final work product
Category 2:
Important Scientific or Technical Work Products
Work products that are important to EPA decision making and do not fall into Category 1 (e.g., products that may not immediately impact current or pending regulations or policy). 1. Methods manuals
2. Suggested protocols
1. Internal EPA expert review (may include experts from ORD, Program, and/or Regional Offices)
2. External peer review (meeting or written)
3. NRMRL\TIO director "sign-off"
4. Workgroup co-chair "sign-off"
1. Copy of draft report submitted for external review
2. Charge to external reviewers
3. List of external reviewers
4. Written comments from external reviewers (incl. panel report, if one is prepared)
5. Response to external review
6. Final work product
Category 3:
General Scientific or Technical Work Products
Publication in recognized peer-reviewed journals or similar publications 1. Journal articles
2. Proceedings of conferences, symposia and so on, that are peer reviewed
3. Book chapters
1. Peer review by journal
2. NRMRL\TIO director "sign-off"
3. Workgroup co-chair "sign- off"
1. Final work product
Category 4:
Other scientific or technical work products
Scientific or technical reports published with an EPA or ORD imprimatur that do not fall into categories 1-3 (i.e., printed and issued by CERI or put into NTIS) 1. RTDF bulletins and reports 1. Workgroup co-chair "sign-off"
2. NRMRL\TIO director "sign-off"
1. Draft submitted for internal review
2. Written comments from reviewers
3. Response to reviewers comments
4. Final work product
a Modified excerpt from Interim Guidance, Peer Reviews, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, May 1996.
b Criteria for products listed in "Some Criteria for Identifying Major Scientific and Technical Work Products"

Some Criteria for Identifying Major Scientific and Technical Work Products (MSTWP)
1. Supports major regulatory decisions or policy/guidance of major impact.
2. Establishes a significant precedent, model, or methodology.
3. Addresses controversial issues.
4. Focuses on significant emerging issues.
5. Has significant cross-Agency/interagency implications.
6. Involves a significant investment of Agency resources.
7. Considers an innovative approach for a previously defined problem/process/methodology.
8. Satisfies a statutory or other legal mandate for peer review.

Excerpt from Interim Guidance, Peer Reviews, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, May 1996.