Evaluation of natural attenuation processes for trichloroethylene and technetium-99 in the Northeast and Northwest plumes at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Paducah, Kentucky

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NA processes such as biodegradation, sorption, dilution dispersion, advection, and possibly sorption and diffusion are occurring in the Northeast and Northwest plumes. However, the overall biological attenuation rate for TCE within the plumes is not sufficiently rapid to utilize as remedial option. The mobility and toxicity of {sup 99}Tc is not being reduced by attenuating processes within the Northwest Plume. The current EPA position is that NA is not a viable remedial approach unless destructive processes are present or processes are active which reduce the toxicity and mobility of a contaminant. Therefore, active remediation of the dissolved phase plumes will ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: 117 pages

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Clausen, J. L.; Sturchio, N. C.; Heraty, L. J.; Huang, L. & Abrajano,T. November 25, 1997.

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Description

NA processes such as biodegradation, sorption, dilution dispersion, advection, and possibly sorption and diffusion are occurring in the Northeast and Northwest plumes. However, the overall biological attenuation rate for TCE within the plumes is not sufficiently rapid to utilize as remedial option. The mobility and toxicity of {sup 99}Tc is not being reduced by attenuating processes within the Northwest Plume. The current EPA position is that NA is not a viable remedial approach unless destructive processes are present or processes are active which reduce the toxicity and mobility of a contaminant. Therefore, active remediation of the dissolved phase plumes will be necessary to reduce contaminant concentrations before an NA approach could be justified at PGDP for either plume. Possible treatment methods for the reduction of dissolved phase concentrations within the plumes are pump-and-treat bioaugmentation, biostimulation, or multiple reactive barriers. Another possibility is the use of a regulatory instrument such as an Alternate Concentration Limit (ACL) petition. Biodegradation of TCE is occurring in both plumes and several hypothesis are possible to explain the apparent conflicts with some of the geochemical data. The first hypothesis is active intrinsic bioremediation is negligible or so slow to be nonmeasurable. In this scenario, the D.O., chloride, TCE, and isotopic results are indicative of past microbiological reactions. It is surmised in this scenario, that when the initial TCE release occurred, sufficient energy sources were available for microorganisms to drive aerobic reduction of TCE, but these energy sources were rapidly depleted. The initial degraded TCE has since migrated to downgradient locations. In the second scenario, TCE anaerobic degradation occurs in organic-rich micro-environments within a generally aerobic aquifer. TCE maybe strongly absorbed to organic-rich materials in the aquifer matrix and degraded by local Immunities of microbes, perhaps even under anaerobic conditions. Chloride, generated by degradation in such microenvironment is released rapidly into the water, as is CO{sub 2}, from respiration of the microorganisms. TCE and its organic degradation products are retained on the aquifer matrix by sorption, and released more slowly into the groundwater. In this process, chloride produced from the microbial reaction may become separated in the plume from the residual TCE. This may explain why the chloride isotope ratio and dissolved TCE do not correlate with the DIC isotope ratio. The relationship between the {delta}{sup 37}Cl values of TCE and dissolved inorganic chloride is consistent with what would be expected from the degradation of TCE, but is complicated by the elevated levels of background chloride, presumably due to agriculture practice, and complex behavior of TCE in the aquifer.

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Medium: P; Size: 117 pages

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INIS; OSTI as DE00757234

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  • Other Information: PBD: 25 Nov 1997

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  • Report No.: KY/EM-113
  • Grant Number: AC05-76OR00001
  • DOI: 10.2172/757234 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 757234
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc709594

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  • November 25, 1997

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 21, 2016, 1:27 p.m.

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Clausen, J. L.; Sturchio, N. C.; Heraty, L. J.; Huang, L. & Abrajano,T. Evaluation of natural attenuation processes for trichloroethylene and technetium-99 in the Northeast and Northwest plumes at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Paducah, Kentucky, report, November 25, 1997; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc709594/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.