SUMMARY OF THE REMEDIATION TECHNOLOGIES DEVELOPMENT FORUM
ACTION TEAM CO-CHAIR CONFERENCE CALL
April 14, 1999
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (EST)
On Wednesday, April 14, 1999, Walter Kovalick, one of the Remediation Technologies Development
Forum (RTDF) co-chairs, met with both co-chairs of the Phytoremediation Action Team: Steve Rock of the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Lucinda Jackson of Chevron Corporation. Also present were
Dawn Carroll of EPA's Technology Innovation Office (TIO); Carolyn Perroni of Environmental
Management Support, Inc.; and Laurie Stamatatos of Eastern Research Group, Inc. Co-chairs from the In
Situ Flushing Action Team, the Lasagna™ Partnership, the Sediments Remediation Action Team, the In-place Inactivation and Natural Ecological Restoration Technologies (IINERT) Soil-Metals Action Team,
the Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRB) Action Team, and the Bioremediation Consortium were unable to attend.
UPDATE ON THE PHYTOREMEDIATION ACTION TEAM'S ACTIVITIES
Steve Rock noted that the Phytoremediation Action Team consists of three Subgroups:
- Alternative Cover Assessment Program (ACAP) Subgroup. Rock said that ACAP members plan
to monitor the performance of alternative covers over a network of sites. He said that the second
annual ACAP meeting was held in San Francisco, California, on March 22 and 23, 1999. More
than 70 people attended and several participants expressed interest in getting involved in the
program. (Rock said that participating site owners and principal investigators informed him of four
sites that could be added to ACAP.) Rock said that he hopes to set up installations at 10 sites
before the end of the fiscal year. The targeted sites are located in several areas, he said, including
California, Ohio, and Montana. Six of the sites have no monitoring equipment, but four sites
already have some such equipment. These latter sites, Rock said, will require creative retrofitting to
ensure that they produce data that meet the ACAP's requirements. Rock said that all 10 sites will
have water-balance covers with vegetative components. (Some of the covers will have tree caps
[consisting of poplars and willows] and others will have prairie caps [consisting of grasses].) Rock
said that enough funding is available to initiate the ACAP's activities. Several entities, including
EPA's Office of Research and Development, the SITE program, a private company, and the
California Integrated Waste Management Board, have already contributed funds.. Walter Kovalick
said that TIO is interested in ACAP and is working with Public Technologies, Inc., to identify
additional sites for inclusion in the program.
- Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) in Soil Subgroup. Like the ACAP Subgroup, Lucinda
Jackson said, the TPH in Soil Subgroup plans to initiate field demonstration projects across a
network of sites. She said that at least eight sites are likely to participate in the program, two of
which are owned by Chevron. Grasses have been established at Chevron's California site and
growth is robust. During the week of April 19, she continued, plants will be established at
Chevron's Ohio site. Jackson noted that the Subgroup has drafted a protocol for their field
demonstration program and hopes to receive feedback, particularly from the regulatory community,
at the Subgroup's April 21 meeting. This meeting, she explained, is being held in conjunction with
the Battelle conference in San Diego, California; the Subgroup hopes that about 20 people will
attend. During the meeting, she said, attendees will discuss the protocol's experimental design and
analytical procedures. Representatives from Battelle and Arthur D. Little will be in attendance to
answer questions about using biomarkers.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) in Ground-Water Subgroup. Rock said that this Subgroup has been
fairly inactive over the last few months. At one time, Kovalick said, the Subgroup talked about
evaluating whether trees can be used to enhance or replace pump-and-treat systems. Kovalick said
that this Subgroup has had difficulty finding an industry member to participate as a co-chair. He
asked Jackson for suggestions on how to involve industry members. She said that Chevron is very
interested in using trees. In fact, the company has planted trees at five to seven sites in an effort to
prevent contaminated ground water from moving to off-site areas. She said that companies have
little interest in evaluating trees for TCE cleanups, however, and may be more interested in the
Subgroup if it broadens its focus to include hydrocarbons and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).
She said that the American Petroleum Institute (API) is initiating a project to evaluate how trees
can be used to remediate MTBE and she agreed to talk to them and other industry members about
interfacing with the RTDF. Kovalick said that Dawn Carroll will call Jackson in 3 weeks to check on her progress.
Kovalick, Rock, and Jackson discussed other projects that the Phytoremediation Action Team might pursue:
- Using phytoremediation at brownfield sites. Kovalick said that he thinks phytoremediation could
be useful at several brownfield sites. He said that it may be possible to persuade those managing
brownfield sites to landscape their properties if future studies show that plants initiate some
remediation. In the future, he said, plants might play an important role in improving the
environmental conditions and the aesthetics of brownfield sites.
- Using wetlands to treat leachate. Rock said that several people have expressed interest in using
wetlands to treat leachate. In the future, he said, TIO may want to consider establishing a
Subgroup under the Phytoremediation Action Team to address this issue.
NEXT FULL RTDF MEETING
Kovalick noted that some consideration had been given to having an RTDF Action Team co-chair meeting
in conjunction with EPA's "Millennium" conference that is planned in Chicago in November 1999.
Kovalick said that the primary reason to have an RTDF Action Team co-chair meeting would be to identify
ways in which different Action Teams could work together. He said that the last meeting of this type was
held in October 1997. Rock said that the October 1997 meeting was useful, but that he did not think
another meeting was necessary. He said that he would prefer to use his travel money for more focused
Team-related activities. Kovalick said that he suspected that other Action Team members felt the same,
based on the poor turnout for the conference call. As a result, he decided to cancel plans for a November
1999 RTDF Action Team co-chair meeting. He said that the Action Team members can stay abreast of each other's work by visiting the RTDF Web site.
NEXT CO-CHAIR CONFERENCE CALL
No dates were set for future RTDF co-chair conference calls. In general, Kovalick said, the calls are
intended to give Action Team co-chairs an opportunity to ask TIO for suggestions and guidance. He noted
that the Action Teams have become self-sufficient and he questioned whether regularly scheduled calls are still needed.
- Kovalick said that TIO will continue to talk with Public Technologies, Inc., in an attempt to
identify additional sites for inclusion in ACAP.
- Jackson agreed to talk to API and other industry members about working with the RTDF on
research programs that evaluate the use of trees as pumps. Kovalick said that Carroll will call
Jackson in 3 weeks to check on her progress.
- Kovalick decided to cancel plans for a November 1999 RTDF Action Team co-chair meeting.