New Orleans Marriott
New Orleans, Louisiana
April 30, 1997


Dr. Evelyn Drake (Exxon Research and Engineering) and Mr. Steve Rock (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Risk Management Research Laboratory), co-chairs of the new Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team, welcomed the participants and thanked them for attending. Drake asked the participants to introduce themselves and state the nature of their interest in phytoremediation.

Greg Harvey U.S. Air Force Interested in using phytoremediation as a cost-effective way to close out Air Force sites.
Jim Duffy Occidental Chemical Company Interested in using phytoremediation for internal purposes, particularly chlorinated materials.
Ann Saterbak Shell Development Company Interested in using phytoremediation to remediate soils contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons.
Sara McMillen Chevron Research and Technology Interested in learning more about phytoremediation and its limitations.
Mike Reynolds U.S. Army Interested in using phytoremediation at contaminated sites in remote locations
(e.g., Alaska).
Karen Miller Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center Manages a national hydrocarbon test site at which Kansas State University will be conducting a phytoremediation project.
Stuart Strand University of Washington Interested in using trees for chlorinated solvent uptake and degradation.
John Fletcher University of Oklahoma Involved in a phytoremediation project with Union Carbide.
Tom Wong Union Carbide Interested in using phytoremediation at solid waste or sludge impoundments as a cap and to bioremediate contaminated media.
John Finn RETEC, Inc. Works with the Petroleum Environmental Research Forum (PERF) on a phytoremediation project. Is taking notes for the Gas Research Institute.
Charles Giammona Texas A&M University Works with the U.S. Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence on phytoremediation issues.
Patrice Melancon U.S. Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence Interested in learning how the Air Force can use phytoremediation to close out sites. Works at a phytoremediation demonstration site in Carswell, Texas.
David Dentino U.S. Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence Same as above (will be assuming Cathy Patrice's responsibilities in Fall 1997).
Lee Newman University of Washington Works on chlorinated solvent remediation and is starting to look at other compounds.
Milton Gordon University of Washington Interested in using plants for phytoremediation and the possibility of genetically engineering plants to increase their efficiency.
Christina Negri Argonne National Lab Involved in various phytoremediation research projects including metals, radionuclides, and chlorinated compounds.
Paul Flathman OHM Corporation Interested in using phytoremediation at OHM's sites.
Garrick Jauregui Chevron Products Company Works with EPA phytoremediation sites in the northwest.
Kathy Banks Kansas State University Works with phytoremediation and petroleum contaminants.
Bruce Pivetz ManTech Environmental Research Services Corp. Interested in using phytoremediation for wood preservative waste sites.
Eric Foote Battelle Personal interest.
Garald Horst
Tom Elthon
Gopal Krishnan
University of Nebraska Interested in learning about the basic and applied aspects of phytoremediation. Work on two projects looking at chemicals and heavy metals.

Drake stated that the new Phytoremediation Action Team is a group of people interested in developing phytoremediation of organics as a viable technology. She explained that the Action Team's purpose is to join together interests--technological, environmental, and regulatory--to enable all phytoremediation projects to benefit from a larger knowledge base. Drake reminded the attendees of the two previous Action Team meetings (the initial meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, and the subsequent conference call) and said that minutes are still available from both. Drake said that she has championed a joint industry project in phytoremediation for the past three years and brings a knowledge of industry interests to the discussion.

Rock said that the purpose of this new Phytoremediation Action Team meeting was to:


Dr. Phil Sayre (EPA's Technology Innovation Office (TIO)) provided a brief history of RTDF. In 1992, several industry representatives asked EPA for a way to work together to solve complex remediation problems. EPA responded with RTDF, under which people with common interests form "Action Teams" facilitated by TIO, the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, and the Office of Research and Development (ORD). Sayre highlighted what a RTDF provides:

Sayre also provided a brief overview of the six other RTDF Action Teams and how they operate. He said that if participants want to know more about these Action Teams, they can access the RTDF homepage (


Drake gave a brief overview of the Petroleum Environmental Research Forum's (PERF's) work on phytoremediation. PERF is an oil company consortium under which companies conduct collaborative research projects and share research information. Eleven companies (Amoco, Arco, BP, Chevron, Conoco, Elf Aquitaine, Exxon, GRI, Mobil, Phillips, and Texaco) currently participate in PERF's phytoremediation project (PERF 94-13). PERF 94-13 began three years ago, with a $152,000 budget, as a greenhouse study of crude oil-contaminated soil and gas pit sludge-contaminated soil (which was also salt-impacted). The objective was to compare the use of phytoremediation, bioremediation (nutrient addition and tilling), and control treatments; the study showed that bioremediation and phytoremediation are similarly successful at removing contaminants, but that phytoremediation offered some advantages such as lower dust emissions (due to lack of tilling). PERF is in the process of writing the final report.

Based on the study's success, PERF wants to conduct a jointly funded field project (contractor/PERF) studying three sites (petroleum-contaminated soil, gas pit sludge-contaminated soil, and refinery soil), over three years, at a budget of $70,000 per site. PERF has not yet determined specifically how it will operate this field project and is open to suggestions.


Mr. Tom Wong (Union Carbide) stated that Union Carbide is interested in the whole sludge waste, not in contaminated soil.

Dr. John Fletcher (University of Oklahoma) said that recording the plant and tree species used in studies is crucial, because not all species yield the same results (e.g., U.S. Army research shows different outcomes for different grasses). Fletcher questioned whether enough basic research on phytoremediation has been completed to justify field studies. Drake responded that lab studies often cannot predict field results, making both types of research necessary.

Ms. Sara McMillen (Chevron) expressed concern that research has gone to the field too quickly and that hydrocarbon monitoring has not been adequate to determine whether phytoremediation is working at the field sites. McMillen is concerned that we lack basic understanding of site preparation and the germination of and outcomes generated by different plant species. Field tests conducted without such basic understanding usually result in failure, McMillen said, as seen in several studies to date. Drake replied that PERF is using the field as a research information source, enabling scientists to better interpret the lab work.

Mr. Greg Harvey (U.S. Air Force) stated that he feels a sense of urgency and wants to get out into the field and demonstrate what phytoremediation can do. Good field tests will convince Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) that phytoremediation works. He added that lab work can be done concurrently, but that we need to keep field work moving forward. Wong agreed and added that Union Carbide is testing phytoremediation on two, 17-acre voluntary cleanup sites using eight different plant species. Fletcher added that the work Union Carbide is doing in the field cannot be duplicated in the lab -- field experiments are expensive, but very desirable.

Rock said that at this stage he is more concerned with determining whether or not phytoremediaiton works, not how it works. Once we know that it works, then we can focus on understanding how and why, and use this information to try and improve on it. Rock stated that people are eager to use phytoremediation now.

Wong stated that the RTDF should explore highly cost-effective applications of phytoremediation such as the use of plants to form a final cap to prevent water infiltration and contaminant movement. This technology could offer an order of magnitude savings as compared to traditional caps used on sites such as landfills. One participant added that phytoremediation is an intermediate in terms of time and cost between natural attenuation and bioremediation.


Rock asked participants to fill in the blank for the following statement: "The RTDF should _________ phytoremediation." Answers included:

Rock then reminded participants to give him information on any current projects. He hopes to eventually compile a library of information on how different plants perform under different conditions.


The co-chairs asked participants to suggest basic phytoremediation research needs. Attendees proposed the following basic research needs:

Focusing on the need for regulatory approval, the co-chairs asked the participants to indicate the media in which their organizations are interested. Based on a show of hands, the results were as follows:

The Action Team then developed the following matrix of contaminants and media, and participants indicated whether research was being conducted in each area.

Contaminant Soil Ground Water Sludge
Crude Oil Yes N/A No
Gasoline Yes Yes N/A
PAHs Yes N/A Soon
Diesel Fuel Yes No No
JP-4 (jet fuel) No No N/A
TCE Yes Yes N/A
Nitrates Yes Yes N/A
Pesticides Yes Yes N/A
BTEX Very little information Yes No
PCP Yes No No
Nitroaromatics Yes Yes No
PCBs ? Yes No
Fuel Oil Yes N/A N/A

Drake said companies want to fund those areas of the matrix where there is some proof that phytoremediation works.

Rock asked participants to fill in the blank for the following statement: "The most important part of phytoremediation that we don't know yet is _________." Answers included:


Mr. Jim Duffy (Occidental Chemical Corporation) commented that it is important to get the protocols for RTDF field tests approved by regulators, such as RPMs and state regulators, prior to going into the field (or to even get a generic protocol for phytoremediation on paper that would meet with their approval, apart from a specific field test). McMillen said that regulators need to be involved from the beginning. Sayre commented that TIO's involvement in the Action Team already lends some validation to the work. Sayre said one way to get regulatory approval is to complete one "good" study. Rock asked if there is any contaminant/media that the Action Team feels comfortable asking regulators to validate. Participants agreed that nothing is ready for regulators yet. Rock asked participants to select contaminants and media that, with work, could be used as convincing case studies for regulators. These areas should have available data, a high level of interest, and be close to regulatory acceptance. Participants chose the following:

The Action Team decided to organize subgroups to address each area of interest. The following table lists the participants who signed up for each subgroup.

TCE and Ground Water TPH/PAH and Soil Vegetative Caps
Greg Harvey (Leader)
James Duffy
David Dentino
Elaine Richardson
John Finn
Christina Negri
Sankar Venkatraman
Stuart Strand
Milton Gordon
Lee Newman
Garald Horst
Mike Reynolds
Evelyn Drake (Leader)
Greg Harvey
James Duffy
Ann Saterbak
Sara McMillen
John Finn
Sankar Venkatraman
Lee Newman
Milton Gordon
Stuart Strand
Tom Hayes
Garald Horst
Bruce Pivetz
Kathy Banks
Garrick Jauregui
John Fletcher
Karen Miller
Mike Reynolds
Tom Wong (Leader)
Greg Harvey
Christina Negri
Tom Hayes
John Fletcher
Evelyn DrakeVictoria Van Cappellen


Rock said that the subgroups should determine how to approach the goal of getting regulatory acceptance. The Action Team created a list of activities that organizations could undertake to support this goal, and resolved that the subgroups should use this list to help determine available resources.

Rock suggested that the Action Team meet annually or semi-annually and that the subgroups talk more frequently though conference calls (each subgroup leader is responsible for setting up subgroup conference calls). The Action Team decided that each subgroup would hold a conference call in May, during which it would organize its objectives. Each subgroup will then send at least one representative to the next Action Team meeting in Fall 1997. The Action Team meeting will be held at either "The Contaminated Soils and Sediments Conference" in Amherst, Massachusetts, on October 20; "The Fourth International Petroleum Environmental Conference" in San Antonio, Texas, September 9 to 12; or "The Annual General Meeting of the RTDF" in Cincinnati, Ohio, in September or October. The co-chairs will determine where the next Action Team meeting will be held and inform the attendees. The co-chairs will synthesize a mission statement for the new Phytoremediation Action Team from all of the ideas put forward at this meeting.


The co-chairs told participants that copies of the attendee sign-up sheets are available and that minutes from the meeting are forthcoming. The co-chairs reminded participants that the proceedings from the Fort Worth meeting are accessible at the Clu-In web site ( -- under "What's Hot and What's New"). Rock also suggested that participants subscribe to the Kansas State University site ( and visit the RTDF homepage ( for current information on phytoremediation. Drake thanked everyone for coming and said that the Action Team welcomes any comments.

First Meeting of the RTDF Action Team for Phytoremediation of Organics

New Orleans Marriott
New Orleans, LA
April 30, 1997

Final Attendee List

M. Katherine Banks
Kansas State University
Department of Civil Engineering
Seaton Hall
Manhattan, KS 66505-2905
Fax: 913-532-7717
Milton Gordon
Biochemistry Department
University of Washington
School of Medicine
J391A Magnuson Health
Sciences Center - Box 357350
Seattle, WA 98195-7350
Bruce Piveta
ManTech Environmental
Research Services Corporation
Robert S. Kerr Environmental
Research Laboratory
P.O. Box 1198
Ada, OK 74821
Fax: 405-436-8501
Scott Cunningham
DuPont - Building 300
P.O. Box 6101
Newark, DE 19714
Fax: 302-451-9138
E-mail: scott.d.cummingham@
Greg Harvey
U.S. Air Force
1801 10th Street - Area B
Wright Patterson AFB, OH
737-255-7716 ext. 302
E-mail: harveygj@emsmtp
Mike Reynolds
U.S. Army Cold Regions
Research and Engineering Laboratory
72 Lyme Road
Hanover, NH 03755-1290
603-646-4394, Ext: 4100
Fax: 603-646-4644
E-mail: reynolds@
David H. Dentino
3207 North Road
Brooks AFB, TX 78235-5363
Fax: 210-536-9026
E-mail: ddentino@
Thomas Hayes
Gas Research Institute
8600 West Bryn Mawr Avenue
Chicago, IL 60631-3562
Fax: 773-864-3558
Elain Richarson
Applied Natural Sciences, Inc.
7225 Dixie Highway - Suite C
Fairfield, OH 45014
Fax: 513-942-6071
Doug Downey
Parsons ES
1700 Broadway - Suite 400
Denver, CO
Garald Horst
University of Nebraska
377 PS Building
Lincoln, NE 68583-0724
Steve Rock
Office of Research & Development
National Risk Management
Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency
26 West Martin Luther King Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45268
Fax: 513-569-7105
E-mail: rock.steve@
James J. Duffy
Occidental Chemical Corporation
Technology Center
2801 Long Road
Grand Island, NY 14072
Fax: 716-773-8110
E. Garrick Jauregui
Chevron Products Company
San Ramon Field Office
6001 Bollinger Canyon Road
P.O. Box 5004
San Ramon, CA 94583-5004
Fax: 510-842-8252
Ann Saterbak
Shell Development Company
Westhollow Technology Center
P.O. Box 1380
Houston, TX 77251-1380
Fax: 713-544-8727
Evelyn Drake
Exxon Research and Engineering
Route 22 East
Annandale, NJ 08801
Fax: 908-730-2536
Peikang Jin
Global Remediation, Inc.
127 Highway 22 East (S-8)
Madisonville, LA 70447
Fax: 504-845-0820
Phil Sayre
Technology Innovation Office
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW (5102 G)
Washington, DC 20460
Fax: 703-603-9135
E-mail: sayre.phil@
Tom Elthon
University of Nebraska
348 Manter Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0118
Fax: 402-472-2083
Gopal Krishnan
University of Nebraska
362 PS Building
Lincoln, NE 68583-9015
Stuart Strand
University of Washington
College of Forest Resources
Drug Plant Laboratory Basement
Seattle, WA 98195
John Finn
Retec, Inc.
101 West Seneca Street - Suite 204
Ithaca, NY 14850
Fax: 607-277-9057
Sara McMillen
Chevron Research and
Technology Company
100 Chevron Way
P.O. Box 1627
Richmond, CA 94802-0627
Fax: 510-242-1954
Kan Tu
Industrial and Hazardous
Waste Division
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
Mail Code 130
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711-3087
Fax: 512-239-6383
Paul Flathman
OHM Remediation
Services Corporation
16406 U.S. Route 224 East
Findlay, OH 45840
Patrice Melancon
Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence
U.S. Air Force
3207 North Road (ERD)
Brooks AFB, TX 78235
Fax: 210-536-9026
E-mail: pmelanco@
Victoria Van Cappellen
NewFields, Inc.
1201 West Peachtree Street, NW
Suite 3050
Atlanta, GA 30309
Fax: 404-347-9080
E-mail: vancappellen@
John Fletcher
Department of Botany and Microbiology
University of Oklahoma
770 Van Vleet Oval
Norman, OK 73019
Karen Miller
Naval Facilities
Engineering Service Center
1100 23rd Avenue (ESC411)
Port Hueneme, CA 93043-4370
Fax: 805-982-4304
Sankar Venkatraman
McLaren Hart, Environmental
Engineering Corporation
25 Independence Boulevard
Warren, NJ 07059
Fax: 908-647-8162
Eric Foote
Restoration Department
505 King Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201-2693
Fax: 614-424-3667
M. Christina Negri
Energy Systems Division
Argonne National Laboratory
Building 362
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439-4815
Fax: 630-252-9281
Tom Wong
Union Carbide Remediation Group
3301 5th Avenue, S
P.O. Box 471
Texas City, TX 77592
Fax: 409-948-5806
Charles Giammena
Texas A&M University
202 East Houston Street - #500
San Antonio, TX 78205
Lee Newman
Department of Biochemistry
University of Washington
School of Medicine
Box 357350
Seattle, WA 98195-7350
Fax: 206-685-8279
E-mail: newmanla@