March 25, 2003
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

On March 25, 2003, Remediation Technologies Development Forum’s (RTDF’s) Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL) Cleanup Alliance Co-chairs, Randy Breeden and Mark Lyverse, met in a conference call with David Zabcik, Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises, and Dawn Kaback, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, who are involved in preparing the NAPL Management Decision Framework (NMDF) document. Kathy Yager from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency also participated in the call. The purpose of the call was to resolve issues related to the scope and content of the document in order for preparation to continue.


On March 3, 2003, the NMDF Subgroup met (via conference call) to discuss the NMDF document’s outline. (The conference call proceedings are available at During the March 3 call, Subgroup members expressed different opinions about the NMDF document’s scope and content. The main area of debate revolved around the following question: Should the NMDF be designed to lead people through the decision-making process for a single phase of investigation, or should the document have a broader focus and lead people through the decision-making process that is used to develop a long-term management plan for an entire site? Although the Subgroup succeeded in finding some common ground during the March 3 call, the Alliance leadership agreed that the issue should be revisited and discussed once again to ensure that the document’s authors have a clear understanding of the Alliance’s vision for the document.


During the March 25 call, participants decided that the NMDF document should be a high-level document that is broad in scope, and takes a holistic approach toward addressing NAPL-contaminated sites. If the document is too prescriptive, they agreed, it might not be applicable in all 50 states and it might be difficult to obtain wide acceptance of the document. They also recognized that the document’s utility could be diminished if it is too broad in focus. Thus, the document must achieve a balance between prescriptive “cookbook” style instructions on how to address sites, and broad overarching conceptual ideas. Call participants agreed to include case studies at the end of the document that provide concrete examples of processes (e.g., GITEI) that can be used to address specific phases of a project. Randy Breeden and David Zabcik said that they know of sites that are good candidates for case studies. They also agreed that, because of the short timeframe, these case studies would not be included in the first draft of the NMDF document, which is due in early May 2003.

Zabcik offered another recommendation for the document. He advised ending each section with a list of key concepts or questions that users should be able to answer after completing the section. For example, after going through the site characterization section, he said, the document’s users should be able to answer the following: Is the NAPL at your site mobile?

Call participants agreed that, in addition to having a draft document ready for the next Alliance meeting (May 21-22 in Dallas), it would be useful to present information about the NMDF project at the Corrective Action meetings that are scheduled to take place in: (1) New Orleans, Louisiana, in June 2003, and (2) Washington D.C., in August 2003. Zabcik will contact the meeting planners for the New Orleans meeting and request a spot on the agenda for the Alliance. Kathy Yager will do the same for the Washington D.C. meeting.