SUMMARY OF THE REMEDIATION TECHNOLOGIES
ACTION TEAM CO-CHAIRS CONFERENCE CALL
February 5, 1998
3:004:00 p.m. (EST)
On Thursday, February 5, 1998, Walter Kovalick and Robert Olexsey, co-chairs of the Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF), spoke with co-chairs from four of the seven RTDF action teams during a conference call. The following co-chairs were present:
A. Lynn Wood (In Situ Flushing Action Team)
Steve Rock (Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team)
Lucinda Jackson (Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team)
Bill Berti (IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team)
Michael Roulier (LasagnaTM Partnership)
Also present were John Martin of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL); John Kingscott, Dawn Carroll, Linda Fiedler, Carl Ma, Kelly Madalinski, and Rich Steimle from EPA's Technology Innovation Office (TIO); Carolyn Perroni of Environmental Management System, Inc. (EMS); and Susan Brager Murphy and Christine Hartnett of Eastern Research Group, Inc (ERG). Co-chairs from the Bioremediation Consortium, the Permeable Reactive Barriers Action Team, and the Sediments Remediation Action Team were unable to participate.
UPDATE ON ACTION TEAM ACTIVITIES
Walt Kovalick asked the co-chairs to provide an update on the "trails" that they have been "blazing."
In Situ Flushing Action Team
A. Lynn Wood, EPA
Lynn Wood summarized the proceedings of an In Situ Flushing Action Team meeting that had been held in January 1998 in Dallas, Texas. During this meeting, the Action Team separated into four subgroups:
All four subgroups are trying to address issues and impediments that need to be resolved before full deployment of this technology becomes a reality. Lynn Wood reported that there was great energy among all four subgroups. Some of the subgroups are planning to write documents. In fact, one group--Technical Practices--has already outlined a design protocol and a document that will address research needs.
In addition to developing subgroup goals and strategies, the meeting updated Action Team members on new field demonstrations. Presentations were given for three or four new projects.
Walt Kovalick noted that Kathy Yager, a TIO liaison, will be helping the Action Team determine whether certain states are reluctant to use flushing technologies. (This is one example of how TIO can support RTDF Action Teams.)
Michael Roulier, EPA NRMRL
Michael Roulier provided a summary of the LasagnaTM Partnership's activities in Paducah, Kentucky, Offut Air Force Base (AFB), and Rickenbacker AFB.
Activities are ongoing at Monsanto Company's site in Paducah, Kentucky. Monsanto's third Phase II-A Technical Report was recently released.
At Offut AFB, the LasagnaTM Partnership plans to install cells once travel money becomes available. The team is prepared to use its equipment in below-freezing conditions. While waiting for the money, the team is winterizing its equipment and putting together a sampling work assignment. Additional samples need to be collected to identify a contaminated area large enough to accommodate three LasagnaTM cells. (Contaminants in the area include trichloroethylene (TCE) at concentrations of 260 parts per million [ppm] and dichloroethylene [DCE].) The team plans to conduct additional reconnaissance work at the end of February.
At Rickenbacker AFB, the University of Cincinnati's co-op agreement has ended; regardless, the LasagnaTM Partnership plans to continue to operate the treatment cells. Michael Roulier offered the following observations:
Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team
Lucinda Jackson, Chevron Corporation
Steve Rock, EPA NRMRL
Lucinda Jackson recently became one of the co-chairs for the Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team. She and Steve Rock provided an update of activities for all three of the Action Team's subgroups.
Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in Soil Subgroup
Lucinda Jackson, a co-chair for the TPH in Soils Subgroup, provided an update of activities being pursued by her subgroup. She and Phil Sayre (the other subgroup co-chair) are currently writing a mission statement. They are leaning toward focusing their efforts on collecting definitive data about how different plants perform in different climates. The co-chairs hope to recruit interest from the following groups:
The Subgroup has identified several sites as possible locations to test phytoremedial technology. These sites are located in Ohio, Wyoming, Vermont, and California. Lucinda Jackson is excited about the climatic diversity between these sites. If the same study could be performed at all of these sites, the team would be able to collect the valuable data that it is seeking.
TCE in Ground Water Subgroup
Steve Rock provided an update for the TCE in Ground Water Subgroup--a subgroup co-chaired by Greg Harvey (U.S. Air Force) and Harry Compton (EPA's Environmental Response Team). This subgroup is primarily a discussion group and does not appear to be moving toward initiating joint field work. Members meet on the phone every two months to keep abreast of the latest developments at different sites.
Vegetative Cap Subgroup
Steve Rock provided an update for the Vegetative Cap Subgroup, a subgroup that he co-chairs with Tom Wong (Union Carbide). The Subgroup spoke on February 4, 1998, during a conference call. The Subgroup is rapidly progressing toward setting up a network of field sites. Steve Rock thinks there are four to five good candidate sites located east of the Mississippi River and maybe even more to the west. (Steve Rock uses the Mississippi River as a landmark separating humid sites from dry sites; each of which requires a different type of phytocover design.) The Subgroup is trying to identify ways to consistently monitor alternative covers and to share data between groups.
The Subgroup plans to meet face-to-face on February 17 and 18, 1998, in Las Vegas at a workshop sponsored by the Desert Research Institute (DRI). In the last couple of weeks, the workshop has been deemed an RTDF workshop. As such, Kelly Madalinski, TIO liaison, is arranging to have the meeting recorded. Steve Rock is bringing a CRADA draft to the Las Vegas meeting and hopes to have it finalized and signed while he is there.
Steve Rock asked Walt Kovalick for guidance about when it is appropriate to attach the RTDF name and logo to a meeting. He was sure that being associated with the DRI workshop was not a problem since DRI is a non-profit organization. He was less sure about whether it would be appropriate to co-sponsor a meeting with a for-profit organization, such as IBC Conference Company. This company recently asked Steve Rock to co-sponsor a meeting with it. Walt Kovalick thought this could be problematic because EPA does not normally lend its support to for-profit conferences. Walt Kovalick advised Steve Rock to discuss the issue further with him or with EPA's ethics official (Don Nantkes). He emphasized that while the RTDF should assist with information sharing, its primary purpose is field work.
Linda Fiedler, EPA TIO
Although neither of the co-chairs from the Bioremediation Consortium were able to participate in the call, Linda Fiedler was able to update the group on the activities of two of the Consortium's subgroups and to provide information about the Consortium's next annual meeting.
Accelerated Anaerobic Biodegradation Subgroup
An accelerated anaerobic biodegradation demonstration is in the finishing stages at Dover AFB. Initially, this project involved a purely anaerobic biodegradive system, but researchers added "bugs" to the system once they realized that the desired results were not being achieved. After this addition, the system was highly successful. Many people are excited about this success story, partially because the system is supposed to be used as part of Dover AFB's remedial activities. The results will be published in a journal article soon.
Cape Canaveral is being targeted as a site for another anaerobic biodegradation test. Plans for this demonstration are in the preliminary stages.
Cometabolic Bioventing Subgroup
Linda Fiedler thinks that the Consortium is moving closer to installing cometabolic bioventing sites at Hill AFB and Dover AFB. At the latter site, teams are waiting for ground-water levels to lower before proceeding with the project.
Next Bioremediation Consortium Meeting
The Bioremediation Consortium will hold its annual meeting at Dover AFB on March 3,4, and 5, 1998. One day will be assigned to each of the Consortium's subgroups:
The meeting is by invitation only. Those who are interested in learning more about the meeting should contact David Ellis of DuPont at 302-892-7445.
IINERT Soil-Metals Action Team
Bill Berti, DuPont Central Research and Development
Bill Berti provided a brief summary of his Action Team's history. The Team's goal is to leave lead-contaminated soil in place and to "lock it up" so that it is benign. The Action Team consists of three subgroups:
The Team is considering adding a fourth subgroup, Ecological Effects, if enough interest is generated. Recently, some European scientists have expressed interest in testing systems in Joplin, Missouri, and becoming involved with the Action Team. These European scientists have added a slightly different perspective to the group because they focus more attention on ecological hazards than their American counterparts. Bill Berti thinks a group dealing with ecotoxicity could enhance the group. The topic already emerged when IINERT technology proponents suggested using a high-level-phosphate-fertilizer. (This suggestion raised concerns that the technology could cause eutrophication if the fertilizer entered water bodies.) Lucinda Jackson suggested that Bill Berti contact DuPont's Ralph Staltin, a member of the American Industrial Health Council Ecological Risk Team, for input.
Bill Berti provided an update on field work being performed at a smelting site in Joplin, Missouri. A little over a year ago, lead (6,000 ppm) and zinc were detected in the soil at Joplin. Animal (i.e., pig and rat) dosing studies are underway for this site. Additionally, plants from the site are being analyzed for lead uptake. No official reports are available yet, but Berti hopes to start sharing data soon.
The Action Team wants to identify additional sites for research projects. In December 1997, it sent a survey to all of the IINERT Action Team members asking for suggestions. Sixteen potential sites were identified through this survey effort. The group is analyzing the information that it received and hopes to go forth with additional research at five of the sites. Ideally, it plans to pick sites across a wide climatic range that have been contaminated via different avenues (e.g., shooting ranges, industrial sites, and urban sites). The Team wants to convince companies to allow it to research their soils, but fears that there will be reluctance due to confidentiality issues. Bill Berti thinks forming CRADAs could help ease reluctance and he asked for feedback on this idea. Steve Rock reported that he has worked with a company that was concerned with confidentially. To alleviate its fears, Steve Rock's group formed a CRADA and agreed to let the company review information before it was released to the public. (The company has the right to prevent propriety information from being released, but does not have the right to block the release of nonpropriety data.) Steve Rock offered to send Bill Berti a copy of the CRADA. Walt Kovalick recommended that Bill Berti contact Larry Fradkin, an EPA expert on CRADAs.
The IINERT Action Team plans to create a summary document that will
provide information about how to measure bioavailability. It plans to post
this document on its Web site when it is completed. (The Team is currently
trying to identify ways to make better use of its Web site.) The Team is
also compiling a research document that will indicate "where they are"
and "where they want to go."
ROLE OF TIO'S TEAM LIAISONS
Recently, TIO assigned additional staff to help support RTDF activities.
Walt Kovalick acknowledged that some RTDF co-chairs are uncertain about
TIO's role and how TIO liaisons can serve RTDF Action Teams. To eliminate
further confusion, Kovalick distributed a brief summary of TIO's role.
Because members of the Bioremediation Consortium, Permeable Reactive
Barriers Action Team, and Sediments Remediation Action Team were unable to
participate in the conference call, Walt Kovalick said that he is merely
presenting the summary as a draft. The RTDF co-chairs are welcome to
discuss the summary in greater depth when members from all of the Action
Teams are present.
NEXT ISSUE OF RTDF UPDATE
The first RTDF Update was released in November 1997. Walt
Kovalick would like to release these updates (or progress reports) on a
regular basis. The group decided that it would be best to produce issues
twice a year. The next issue will be released in April 1998. The
conference call participants agreed to submit articles for the Update
to EMS by March 15, 1998. Walt Kovalick expressed a preference that the
articles focus more on field work and less on work plans and the names of
members. Walt Kovalick told the Action Team co-chairs that they can let
EMS know if they do not have copy for this issue.
NEXT CO-CHAIRS CONFERENCE CALL
The next co-chair conference call is tentatively scheduled for the first
week of April 1998, between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. (EST). Walt Kovalick told
the participants to contact him or a TIO liaison with recommended format
changes for the next conference call.
Update on Efforts to Attract More RTDF Members
Walt Kovalick and Bob Olexsey want to involve more people from industry in the RTDF Action Teams. In an effort to recruit new members, they sent 40 to 50 letters to trade associations, inviting their members to the October 1997 national RTDF meeting. Very few new companies came. TIO and the Office of Research and Development will continue to pursue new members. The RTDF fact sheets, the RTDF Update, and the minutes from the meeting held in Evanston, Illinois, will be sent to all of the contacts made for the Evanston meeting and followup phone calls will be made.
RTDF Web Sites and Other Internet Services
Carolyn Perroni reported that the RTDF Web sites are up and running and have already been visited. All of the Action Team fact sheets are currently posted and EMS is making additional refinements to the Web sites to make information more accessible. Walt Kovalick reminded the conference call participants that Action Teams can create "virtual offices" by establishing private Web sites for members only. To date, few have made use of the private Web sites.
Walt Kovalick informed the callers that TIO has a listserv that goes out to approximately 4,000 people (mostly federal and state representatives). TIO uses this service to spread information (e.g., inform people of new reports that are available) as well as to gather information (e.g., Kathy Yager received 60 leads when she posted a question on the server.) Walt Kovalick offered to send subscription information to the conference call participants.