April 2, 1998
3:00 p.m.­4:30 p.m.

On April 2, 1998, Walter Kovalick, co-chair of the Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF), met with co-chairs from four of the seven RTDF action teams via a conference call. The following co-chairs were present:

Mason Hughes (Lasagna™ Partnership Action Team)
Bob Puls (Permeable Reactive Barriers Action Team)
Steve Rock (Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team)
Jim Ryan (IINERT Soil Metals Action Team)

Also present were Tom Wong (Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team, Alternative Cover Subgroup); Greg Harvey (Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team, Trichloroethylene [TCE] Subgroup); Rich Steimle, Kelly Madalinski, and Dawn Carroll (EPA's Technology Innovation Office [TIO]); Carolyn Perroni of Environmental Management Systems, Inc. (EMS); and Susan Brager Murphy and Colin Devonshire of Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG). Due to scheduling conflicts, co-chairs of the In Situ Flushing, Sediments Remediation, and Bioremediation Consortium action teams were unable to participate.


Kovalick began the meeting by introducing Tom Wong (Union Carbide), who is a new co-chair of the Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team, Alternative Cover Subgroup. Kovalick explained that the co-chairs use these conference calls to update each other on the recent activities of each action team and to address governance and marketing of RTDF as a whole.


Lasagna™ Partnership Action Team
Mason Hughes (Monsanto)

Hughes said that for the last month the Action Team has been in the process of completing its Rapid Commercialization Initiative (RCI) program. The RCI is a federal-state-private cooperative effort to expedite the commercialization of environmental cleanup technology. The final step of the RCI process is collection of signatures from all the involved parties for a verification statement that will accompany the final RCI report. The Action Team is also collecting letters of support from state agencies that have been involved with Lasagna™ technology. When the verification statement is complete, the co-chairs will scan the statement and place it along with the RCI final report on the Action Team's home page.

The Action Team is currently speaking with four environmental companies that may license the Lasagna™ technology and use it to complete the cleanup of the Action Team's Paducah, Kentucky, test site. The hired contractor(s) would pay the Lasagna™ Action Team a fee based on the amount of soil that is cleaned up. Lasagna™ technology was presented as the technology of choice in the site's Record of Decision, which is currently up for public comment. The Action Team hopes to sign a licensing agreement with the chosen contractor this fall. The Action Team's ultimate goal is to license the technology to companies for use at as many sites as possible.

Permeable Reactive Barriers Action Team
Bob Puls (EPA)

A subset of the Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRB) Action Team Steering Committee met at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in January to discuss issues of PRB long-term performance. The group is looking for methods of data gathering and research to assess how long PRB systems can function as designed, once they have been installed. To this end, an interagency effort primarily involving EPA, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Defense (DOD), as well as other entities (e.g., General Electric, the U.S. Geological Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard), has been initiated. EPA, DOE, and DOD would cooperate to fund PRB research to perform similar experiments at selected sites around the country. Each agency would be responsible for evaluating two or three sites. Puls said that some funding from EPA's waste program is already in place and that funding from the other agencies looks promising. The RTDF will coordinate the various projects and consult the involved agencies to ensure that data-gathering methods are uniform across all sites.

Last month, another subset of the Action Team Steering Committee held a conference call with Carolyn Perroni and Rich Steimle to discuss ways to improve the PRB Action Team's Web site. The group decided to create a database of PRB sites and to list the status, contaminants involved, points of contact, and other relevant information for each site. This database will be updated periodically.

The PRB Action Team has been without an industry representative co-chair since last summer. Puls said that someone from DuPont has volunteered to take this position. Puls will speak with this volunteer in person next month during the PRB Action Team's semiannual meeting.

The next PRB Action Team meeting will be held on April 15 and 16 in Portland, Oregon. The meeting will focus on updating the state of PRB technology through presentations of field and laboratory research. The meeting will differ from previous meetings by focusing on other types of reactive media besides zero-valent iron and on contaminant classes other than chlorinated solvents.

Puls said that members of the PRB Action Team Steering Committee are currently finalizing a combined Office of Research and Development (ORD)-RTDF paper on PRB technology. The group hopes to send this paper out for review next month.

Kovalick told the group that Puls recently spoke at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting in Austria. The meeting was a series of presentations on PRB technology and involved several Western European nations as well as the United States and Canada. Kovalick and Puls said that this meeting could lead to some collaboration between the RTDF and similar organizations in Europe.

Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team
Steve Rock (EPA)

Rock said that the Phytoremediation of Organics TCE Subgroup has held several conference calls recently. To this point, the Subgroup has been primarily a study group and has no specific actions to report.

Dawn Carroll said that the Action Team has nominated three phytoremediation sites (Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas; Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland; and the Edward Sears property, New Jersey) to serve together as a case study for a NATO 5-year research project. Data gathering is underway at these sites.

The TCE and Alternative Cover subgroups will start up a number of new sites in the next 6 months. Rock said these subgroups would function much like the PRB Action Team, letting each site run autonomously but ensuring that the data-gathering methods are uniform and comparable between them all. As the PRB Action Team has done, these subgroups plan to create databases of study sites.

Greg Harvey said that the Alternative Cover Subgroup has spent much of the last year deciding on a direction for the group. This Subgroup is now looking primarily at alternative covers that use evapo-transpiration to achieve water balance. A subset of the Subgroup is developing a proposal for data gathering, which the Subgroup hopes to use to begin field work at some sites.

Harvey also told the group that the TCE Subgroup is currently searching for partners in the dry-cleaning industry and is also trying to work with DOE biomass experts to learn how to do tree plantings on an industrial scale (involving hundreds of thousand of trees). Kovalick said that the TIO is conducting, over the next month, a quick study of the eight or nine state programs that have been created recently to deal with the cleanup of dry-cleaning contamination. Several of these programs tax the solvents used in dry-cleaning and put the funds toward the cost of cleanup at dry-cleaning sites. TIO hopes to help these state programs work together and to aid them by proposing remediation technologies developed by the Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team. Rich Steimle will head up this effort.

Wong said that the Alternative Cover Subgroup has been involved in two recent phytoremediation workshops: the RTDF meeting in Cincinnati and another held by the Desert Research Institute.

Rock suggested that the Action Team call itself the Phytoremediation Action Team rather than the Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team. Kovalick said this could be discussed.

Sediments Remediation Action Team
Kelly Madalinski (EPA/TIO)

The Sediments Remediation Action Team co-chairs were unable to attend the conference call. Madalinski told the group that the Action Team, with the help of co-chair Dennis Timberlake (EPA), expects to soon name an individual at DuPont as the new team co-chair. In the next few months, Timberlake and the industry co-chair candidate plan to hold a meeting to determine on what area of sediment contamination the Action Team should focus. The Action Team is also actively recruiting interested industry parties, including Alcoa Corporation.

IINERT Soil Metals Action Team
Jim Ryan (EPA)

Ryan told the group that the In-Place Inactivation and Natural Ecological Restoration Technologies (IINERT) Soil Metals Action Team has kept its Web site up-to-date on its recent activities. Field trials have been successful at the Joplin, Missouri, field site, where the first round of treatment has achieved 30 to 40 percent reductions in lead bioavailability. The Bunker Hill, Idaho, field site has gotten under way after a brief setback that occurred when the project had to switch plots. This field site will focus on phytotoxicity from zinc and pH rather than on lead bioavailability.


Kovalick sent the minutes from the last RTDF general meeting (in Evanston, Illinois), along with the RTDF fact sheet and a question-and-answer fact sheet, to the 25 to 30 trade associations that were invited to the conference but could not attend. The RTDF will follow up this material by calling these groups to make contacts with the associations or with individual companies within the associations. Kovalick hopes that companies that are facing costly environmental cleanups will consider utilizing the RTDF.


The April issue of the RTDF Update progress report will contain 11 articles covering six of the seven action teams. As the report grows in size, Kovalick is working with Perroni to make it more reader-friendly. The April issue should be available electronically within 2 weeks; copies will then be made available to the action team co-chairs for their own use in publicizing RTDF.


Kovalick said that the most recent statistics on RTDF Web site activity are now available. In March, the RTDF opening screen received 600 hits. Other popular pages were the latest developments page, the Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team page, and the Bioremediation Consortium Action Team page. Kovalick said that by using the Web site for their own communication, site-tracking, and logging purposes, the action teams are generating interest about the RTDF among outsiders. Perroni will distribute these statistics to the co-chairs.


The next co-chairs conference call was tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 30, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The backup date is Wednesday, July 1, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.