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Remedy Evaluation Framework for Inorganic, Non-Volatile Contaminants in the Vadose Zone

Description: Contaminants in the vadose zone may act as a potential long-term source of groundwater contamination and need to be considered in remedy evaluations. In many cases, remediation decisions for the vadose zone will need to be made all or in part based on projected impacts to groundwater. Because there are significant natural attenuation processes inherent in vadose zone contaminant transport, remediation in the vadose zone to protect groundwater is functionally a combination of natural attenuation and use of other remediation techniques, as needed, to mitigate contaminant flux to groundwater. Attenuation processes include both hydrobiogeochemical processes that serve to retain contaminants within porous media and physical processes that mitigate the rate of water flux. In particular, the physical processes controlling fluid flow in the vadose zone are quite different and generally have a more significant attenuation impact on contaminant transport relative to those within the groundwater system. A remedy evaluation framework is presented herein that uses an adaptation of the established EPA Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) evaluation approach and a conceptual model based approach focused on identifying and quantifying features and processes that control contaminant flux through the vadose zone. A key concept for this framework is to recognize that MNA will comprise some portion of all remedies in the vadose zone. Thus, structuring evaluation of vadose zone waste sites to use an MNA-based approach provides information necessary to either select MNA as the remedy, if appropriate, or to quantify how much additional attenuation would need to be induced by a remedial action (e.g., technologies considered in a feasibility study) to augment the natural attenuation processes and meet groundwater protection goals.
Date: May 1, 2013
Creator: Truex, Michael J. & Carroll, Kenneth C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ENHANCEMENTS TO NATURAL ATTENUATION: SELECTED CASE STUDIES

Description: In 2003 the US Department of Energy (DOE) embarked on a project to explore an innovative approach to remediation of subsurface contaminant plumes that focused on introducing mechanisms for augmenting natural attenuation to achieve site closure. Termed enhanced attenuation (EA), this approach has drawn its inspiration from the concept of monitored natural attenuation (MNA).
Date: May 15, 2007
Creator: Vangelas, K; W. H. Albright, W; E. S. Becvar, E; C. H. Benson, C; T. O. Early, T; E. Hood, E et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DETECTING AND QUANTIFYING REDUCTIVE DECHLORINATION DURING MONITORED NATURAL ATTENUATION AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER CBRP SITE

Description: Various attenuation mechanisms control the destruction, stabilization, and/or removal of contaminants from contaminated subsurface systems. Measuring the rates of the controlling attenuation mechanisms is a key to employing mass balance as a means to evaluate and monitor the expansion, stability and subsequent shrinkage of a contaminant plume. A team of researchers investigated the use of push-pull tests for measuring reductive dechlorination rates in situ at sites with low chlorinated solvent concentrations (<1 ppm). The field research also examined the synergistic use of a suite of geochemical and microbial assays. Previous push-pull tests applied to environmental remediation objectives focused on general hydrological characterization or on designing bioremediation systems by examining the response of the subsurface to stimulation. In this research, the push-pull technique was tested to determine its ''low-range'' sensitivity and uncertainty. Can these tests quantify relatively low attenuation rates representative of natural attenuation? The results of this research indicate that push-pull testing will be useful for measurement of in situ reductive dechlorination rates for chlorinated solvents at ''Monitored Natural Attenuation'' (MNA) sites. Further, using principal component analysis and other techniques, the research confirmed the usefulness of multiple lines of evidence in site characterization and in upscaling measurements made in individual wells--especially for sites where there is a geochemical gradient or varying geochemical regimes within the contaminant plume.
Date: January 2, 2007
Creator: Vangelas, K; JACK D. ISTOK, J; JENNIFER A. FIELD, J; ERIC RAES, E; Margaret Millings, M; AARON D. PEACOCK, A et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

POTENTIAL ENHANCEMENTS TO NATURAL ATTENUATION: LINES OF INQUIRY SUPPORTING ENHANCED PASSIVE REMEDIATION OF CHLORINATED SOLVENTS

Description: The Department of Energy (DOE) is sponsoring an initiative to facilitate efficient, effective and responsible use of Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) and Enhanced Passive Remediation (EPR) for chlorinated solvents. This Office of Environmental Management (EM) ''Alternative Project,'' focuses on providing scientific and policy support for MNA/EPR. A broadly representative working group of scientists supports the project along with partnerships with regulatory organizations such as the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The initial product of the technical working group was a summary report that articulated the conceptual approach and central scientific tenants of the project, and that identified a prioritized listing of technical targets for field research. This report documented the process in which: (1) scientific ground rules were developed, (2) lines of inquiry were identified and then critically evaluated, (3) promising applied research topics were highlighted in the various lines of inquiry, and (4) these were discussed and prioritized. The summary report will serve as a resource to guide management and decision-making throughout the period of the subject MNA/EPR Alternative Project. To support and more fully document the information presented in the summary report, we are publishing a series of supplemental documents that present the full texts from the technical analyses within the various lines of inquiry (see listing). The following report - documenting our evaluation of the state of the science of the characterization and monitoring process and tools-- is one of those supplemental documents.
Date: June 18, 2004
Creator: Vangelas, K; Tom Early, T; Michael Heitkamp, M; Brian02 Looney, B; David Major, D; Brian Riha, B et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

BIOGEOCHEMICAL GRADIENTS AS A FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING WASTE SITE EVOLUTION

Description: The migration of biogeochemical gradients is a useful framework for understanding the evolution of biogeochemical conditions in groundwater at waste sites contaminated with metals and radionuclides. This understanding is critical to selecting sustainable remedies and evaluating sites for monitored natural attenuation, because most attenuation mechanisms are sensitive to geochemical conditions such as pH and redox potential. Knowledge of how gradients in these parameters evolve provides insights into the behavior of contaminants with time and guides characterization, remedy selection, and monitoring efforts. An example is a seepage basin site at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina where low-level acidic waste has seeped into groundwater. The remediation of this site relies, in part, on restoring the natural pH of the aquifer by injecting alkaline solutions. The remediation will continue until the pH up-flow of the treatment zone increases to an acceptable value. The time required to achieve this objective depends on the time it takes the trailing pH gradient, the gradient separating the plume from influxing natural groundwater, to reach the treatment zone. Predictions of this length of time will strongly influence long-term remedial decisions.
Date: October 17, 2008
Creator: Denham, M. & Karen Vangelas, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Subtask 1.16-Slow-Release Bioremediation Accelerators

Description: Low-cost methods are needed to enhance various bioremediation technologies, from natural attenuation to heavily engineered remediation of subsurface hydrocarbon contamination. Many subsurface sites have insufficient quantities of nitrogen and phosphorus, resulting in poor bioactivity and increased remediation time and costs. The addition of conventional fertilizers can improve bioactivity, but often the nutrients dissolve quickly and migrate away from the contaminant zone before being utilized by the microbes. Through this project, conducted by the Energy & Environmental Research Center, polymers were developed that slowly release nitrogen and phosphorus into the subsurface. Conceptually, these polymers are designed to adhere to soil particles in the subsurface contamination zone where they slowly degrade and release nutrients over longer periods of time compared to conventional fertilizer applications. Tests conducted during this study indicate that some of the developed polymers have excellent potential to satisfy the microbial requirements for enhanced bioremediation.
Date: July 31, 2006
Creator: Kurz, Marc D. & Olson, Edwin S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

THE ROLE FUNGI AND YEAST IN MONITORED NATURAL ATTENUATION

Description: Fungi and yeast have been characterized as important components in the bioremediation of organic contaminants in soil and water including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); however, research into their ability to metabolize these compounds in extreme environments has been limited. In this work forty-three fungi and yeasts were isolated from a PAH-contaminated sludge waste lagoon in Poland. The lagoon was part of a monitored natural attenuation (MNA) study where natural reduction of PAHs and associated toxicity over time in non-disturbed areas of the sludge lagoon indicated MNA activity. The microorganisms were initially isolated on minimal medium containing naphthalene as the sole carbon and energy source. Fungal isolates were then maintained on MEA and identified based on microscopic examination and BIOLOG{reg_sign}. The analysis identified several of the fungal isolates as belonging to the genera Penicillium, Paecilomyces, Aspergillus, and Eupenicillium. Yeasts included Candida parapsilosis and C. fluvialitis. Further microbial characterization revealed that several isolates were capable of rowing on acidified media of pH 4, 3, and 2.5. Over twenty percent of the fungi demonstrated growth as low as pH 2.5. Of the 43 isolates examined, 24 isolates exhibited growth at 5 C. Nine of the fungal isolates exhibiting growth at 5 C were then examined for metabolic activity using a respirometer testing metabolic activity at pH 3. Microcosm studies confirmed the growth of the fungi on PAH contaminated sediment as the sole carbon and energy source with elevated metabolic rates indicating evidence of MNA. Our findings suggest that many of the Poland fungal isolates may be of value in the bioremediation processes in acidic waste sites in northern climates typical of Northern Europe.
Date: January 26, 2010
Creator: Brigmon, R.; Abe, M.; Johnson, B.; Simpson, W. & Mckinsey, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

THE SCENARIOS APPROACH TO ATTENUATION-BASED REMEDIES FOR INORGANIC AND RADIONUCLIDE CONTAMINANTS

Description: Guidance materials based on use of conceptual model scenarios were developed to assist evaluation and implementation of attenuation-based remedies for groundwater and vadose zones contaminated with inorganic and radionuclide contaminants. The Scenarios approach is intended to complement the comprehensive information provided in the US EPA's Technical Protocol for Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) of Inorganic Contaminants by providing additional information on site conceptual models and extending the evaluation to consideration of Enhanced Attenuation approaches. The conceptual models incorporate the notion of reactive facies, defined as units with hydrogeochemical properties that are different from surrounding units and that react with contaminants in distinct ways. The conceptual models also incorporate consideration of biogeochemical gradients, defined as boundaries between different geochemical conditions that have been induced by waste disposal or other natural phenomena. Gradients can change over time when geochemical conditions from one area migrate into another, potentially affecting contaminant mobility. A recognition of gradients allows the attenuation-affecting conditions of a site to be projected into the future. The Scenarios approach provides a stepwise process to identify an appropriate category of conceptual model and refine it for a specific site. Scenario materials provide links to pertinent sections in the EPA technical protocol and present information about contaminant mobility and important controlling mechanism for attenuation-based remedies based on the categories of conceptual models.
Date: August 4, 2011
Creator: Vangelas, K.; Rysz, M.; Truex, M.; Brady, P.; Newell, C. & Denham, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A simplified method for obtaining high-purity perchlorate from groundwater for isotope analyses.

Description: Investigations into the occurrence and origin of perchlorate (ClO{sub 4}{sup -}) found in groundwater from across North America have been sparse until recent years, and there is mounting evidence that natural formation mechanisms are important. New opportunities for identifying groundwater perchlorate and its origin have arisen with the utilization of improved detection methods and sampling techniques. Additionally, application of the forensic potential of isotopic measurements has begun to elucidate sources, potential formation mechanisms and natural attenuation processes. Procedures developed appear to be amenable to enable high precision stable isotopic analyses, as well as lower precision AMS analyses of {sup 36}Cl. Immediate work is in analyzing perchlorate isotope standards and developing full analytical accuracy and uncertainty expectations. Field samples have also been collected, and will be analyzed when final qa/qc samples are deemed acceptable.
Date: April 4, 2011
Creator: vonKiparski, G. & Hillegonds, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

In situ groundwater bioremediation

Description: In situ groundwater bioremediation of hydrocarbons has been used for more than 40 years. Most strategies involve biostimulation; however, recently bioaugmentation have been used for dehalorespiration. Aquifer and contaminant profiles are critical to determining the feasibility and strategy for in situ groundwater bioremediation. Hydraulic conductivity and redox conditions, including concentrations of terminal electron acceptors are critical to determine the feasibility and strategy for potential bioremediation applications. Conceptual models followed by characterization and subsequent numerical models are critical for efficient and cost effective bioremediation. Critical research needs in this area include better modeling and integration of remediation strategies with natural attenuation.
Date: February 1, 2009
Creator: Hazen, Terry C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final work plan: groundwater monitoring at Centralia, Kansas.

Description: This Work Plan outlines the scope of work for a program of twice yearly groundwater monitoring at the site of a former grain storage facility at Centralia, Kansas (Figure 1.1). The purposes of this monitoring program are to follow changes in plume dynamics and to collect data necessary to evaluate the suitability of monitored natural attenuation as a remedial option, under the requirements of Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Policy No.BER-RS-042. This monitoring program is planned for a minimum of 2 yr. The planned monitoring activity is part of an investigation at Centralia being performed on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), by the Environmental Research Division of Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne is a nonprofit, multidisciplinary research center operated by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The CCC/USDA has entered into an interagency agreement with DOE, under which Argonne provides technical assistance to the CCC/USDA with environmental site characterization and remediation at its former grain storage facilities. Details and background for this Work Plan were presented previously (Argonne 2004, 2005). Argonne has also issued a Master Work Plan (Argonne 2002) that describes the general scope of and guidance for all investigations at former CCC/USDA facilities in Kansas. The Master Work Plan (approved by the KDHE) contains the materials common to investigations at all locations in Kansas. These documents must be consulted for the complete details of plans for this work associated with the former CCC/USDA facility at Centralia.
Date: August 31, 2005
Creator: LaFreniere, L. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Multi-Scale Mass Transfer Processes Controlling Natural Attenuation and Engineered Remediation: An IFC Focused on Hanford’s 300 Area Uranium Plume Quality Assurance Project Plan

Description: The purpose of the project is to conduct research at an Integrated Field-Scale Research Challenge Site in the Hanford Site 300 Area, CERCLA OU 300-FF-5 (Figure 1), to investigate multi-scale mass transfer processes associated with a subsurface uranium plume impacting both the vadose zone and groundwater. The project will investigate a series of science questions posed for research related to the effect of spatial heterogeneities, the importance of scale, coupled interactions between biogeochemical, hydrologic, and mass transfer processes, and measurements/approaches needed to characterize a mass-transfer dominated system. The research will be conducted by evaluating three (3) different hypotheses focused on multi-scale mass transfer processes in the vadose zone and groundwater, their influence on field-scale U(VI) biogeochemistry and transport, and their implications to natural systems and remediation. The project also includes goals to 1) provide relevant materials and field experimental opportunities for other ERSD researchers and 2) generate a lasting, accessible, and high-quality field experimental database that can be used by the scientific community for testing and validation of new conceptual and numerical models of subsurface reactive transport.
Date: January 31, 2008
Creator: Fix, N. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

JV Task 59-Demonstration of Accelerated In Situ Contaminant Degradation by Vacuum-Enhanced Nutrient Distribution

Description: The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) conducted remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and groundwater at a former Mohler Oil site in Bismarck, North Dakota. The remedial strategy was based on the application of two innovative concepts: (1) design and deployment of the mobile extraction, treatment, and injection units to overcome site limitations associated with urban settings in high-traffic areas and (2) vacuum-controlled nutrient injection within and on the periphery of an induced hydraulic and pneumatic depression. Combined contaminant recovery since the beginning of the project in June 2003 totals over 13,600 lb ({approx}6,170 kg) of hydrocarbons, equivalent to 2176 gallons (8236 l) of product. In situ delivery of 1504 Ib (682 kg) of ionic nitrate and 540 Ib (245 kg) of dissolved oxygen translates into further reduction of about 489 Ib (222 kg) of benzene for the same period and provides for long-term stimulation of the natural attenuation process. In addition to contaminant recovered by extraction and reduced by in situ biodegradation, a total of 4136 Ib (1876 kg) of oxygen was delivered to the saturated zone, resulting in further in situ reduction of an estimated 1324 lb (600 kg) of dissolved-phase hydrocarbons. Based on the results of the EERC demonstration, the North Dakota Department of Health approved site abandonment and termination of the corrective action.
Date: March 15, 2007
Creator: Solc, Jaroslav
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

JV Task 104 - Risk Reduction Using Innovative Vacuum-Enhanced Plume Controls

Description: The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) conducted remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and groundwater at the Vining Oil site in Carrington, North Dakota. The primary technological synergies included (1) contaminant recovery using simultaneous operation of multiphase recovery and high-vacuum soil vapor extraction (SVE) and (2) vacuum-controlled air and ozone sparging on the periphery of an induced hydraulic and pneumatic depression. Final risk reduction steps included design and retrofit for the municipal well. The successful remediation effort resulted in the reduction of long-term health risks associated with rate-limited contaminant release within the capture zone for the municipal well and allowed for its reintegration into the water supply system. Contaminant recovery for the remediation period of September 2006 to June 2008 totaled over 12,653 lb (5,740 kg) of hydrocarbons, an equivalent to 2022 gallons (7653 l) of product. Integration of the air-sparging subsystem operated simultaneously with multiphase extraction and SVE systems resulted in accelerated volatile organic contaminant transport from the saturated zone and increased contaminants of concern recovery. Delivery of over 7.7 million ft{sup 3} of oxygen (219.8 thousand m{sup 3}) into the contaminated aquifer would translate into in situ biodegradation of 2007 kg (4424 lb) of benzene and provide for long term stimulation of the natural attenuation process.
Date: March 1, 2009
Creator: Solc, Jaroslav & Botnen, Barry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Desorption Behavior of Trichloroethene and Tetrachloroethene in U.S. Department of Energy Savannah River Site Unconfined Aquifer Sediments

Description: The DOE Savannah River Site (SRS) is evaluating the potential applicability of the monitored natural attenuation (MNA) process as a contributor to the understanding of the restoration of its unconfined groundwater aquifer known to be contaminated with the chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). This report discusses the results from aqueous desorption experiments on SRS aquifer sediments from two different locations at the SRS (A/M Area; P-Area) with the objective of providing technically defensible TCE/PCE distribution coefficient (Kd) data and data on TCE/PCE reversible and irreversible sorption behavior needed for further MNA evaluation.
Date: June 21, 2006
Creator: Riley, Robert G.; Szecsody, Jim E.; Mitroshkov, Alexandre V. & Brown, Christopher F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Scenarios Evaluation Tool for Chlorinated Solvent MNA

Description: Over the past three decades, much progress has been made in the remediation of chlorinated solvents from the subsurface. Yet these pervasive contaminants continue to present a significant challenge to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), other federal agencies, and other public and private organizations. The physical and chemical properties of chlorinated solvents make it difficult to rapidly reach the low concentrations typically set as regulatory limits. These technical challenges often result in high costs and long remediation time frames. In 2003, the DOE through the Office of Environmental Management funded a science-based technical project that uses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's technical protocol (EPA, 1998) and directives (EPA, 1999) on Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) as the foundation on which to introduce supporting concepts and new scientific developments that will support remediation of chlorinated solvents based on natural attenuation processes. This project supports the direction in which many site owners want to move to complete the remediation of their site(s), that being to complete the active treatment portion of the remedial effort and transition into MNA. The overarching objective of the effort was to examine environmental remedies that are based on natural processes--remedies such as Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) or Enhanced Attenuation (EA). The research program did identify several specific opportunities for advances based on: (1) mass balance as the central framework for attenuation based remedies, (2) scientific advancements and achievements during the past ten years, (3) regulatory and policy development and real-world experience using MNA, and (4) exploration of various ideas for integrating attenuation remedies into a systematic set of ''combined remedies'' for contaminated sites. These opportunities are summarized herein and are addressed in more detail in referenced project documents and journal articles, as well as in the technical and regulatory documents being developed within the ITRC.
Date: February 28, 2007
Creator: Vangelas, Karen; Truex, Michael J.; Newell, Charles J. & Looney, Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ADVANCEMENT OF NUCLEIC ACID-BASED TOOLS FOR MONITORING IN SITU REDUCTIVE DECHLORINATION

Description: Regulatory protocols generally recognize that destructive processes are the most effective mechanisms that support natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents. In many cases, these destructive processes will be biological processes and, for chlorinated compounds, will often be reductive processes that occur under anaerobic conditions. The existing EPA guidance (EPA, 1998) provides a list of parameters that provide indirect evidence of reductive dechlorination processes. In an effort to gather direct evidence of these processes, scientists have identified key microorganisms and are currently developing tools to measure the abundance and activity of these organisms in subsurface systems. Drs. Edwards and Luffler are two recognized leaders in this field. The research described herein continues their development efforts to provide a suite of tools to enable direct measures of biological processes related to the reductive dechlorination of TCE and PCE. This study investigated the strengths and weaknesses of the 16S rRNA gene-based approach to characterizing the natural attenuation capabilities in samples. The results suggested that an approach based solely on 16S rRNA may not provide sufficient information to document the natural attenuation capabilities in a system because it does not distinguish between strains of organisms that have different biodegradation capabilities. The results of the investigations provided evidence that tools focusing on relevant enzymes for functionally desired characteristics may be useful adjuncts to the 16SrRNA methods.
Date: November 17, 2006
Creator: Vangelas, K; ELIZABETH EDWARDS, E; FRANK LOFFLER, F & Brian02 Looney, B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ADVANCING THE SCIENCE OF NATURAL AND ENHANCED ATTENUATION FOR CHLORINATED SOLVENTS

Description: This report summarizes the results of a three-year program that addressed key scientific and technical aspects related to natural and enhanced attenuation of chlorinated organics. The results from this coordinated three-year program support a variety of technical and regulatory advancements. Scientists, regulators, engineers, end-users and stakeholders participated in the program, which was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC). The overarching objective of the effort was to examine environmental remedies that are based on natural processes--remedies such as Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) or Enhanced Attenuation (EA). A key result of the recent effort was the general affirmation of the approaches and guidance in the original U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chlorinated solvent MNA protocols and directives from 1998 and 1999, respectively. The research program did identify several specific opportunities for advances based on: (1) mass balance as the central framework for attenuation based remedies, (2) scientific advancements and achievements during the past ten years, (3) regulatory and policy development and real-world experience using MNA, and (4) exploration of various ideas for integrating attenuation remedies into a systematic set of ''combined remedies'' for contaminated sites. These opportunities are summarized herein and are addressed in more detail in referenced project documents and journal articles, as well as in the technical and regulatory documents being developed within the ITRC. Natural attenuation processes occur in all soil and groundwater systems and act, to varying degrees, on all contaminants. Thus, a decision to rely on natural attenuation processes as part of a site-remediation strategy does not depend on the occurrence of natural attenuation, but on its effectiveness in meeting site-specific remediation goals. Meeting these goals typically requires low risk, plume stability, and documentation of accepted and sustainable attenuation processes. Plume stability and sustainability depend on the ...
Date: December 27, 2006
Creator: Looney, B; TOM O. EARLY, T; TYLER GILMORE, T; FRANCIS H. CHAPELLE, F; NORMAN H. CUTSHALL, N; JEFF ROSS, J et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coupling of Realistic Rate Estimates with Genomics for Assessing Contaminant Attenuation and Long-Term Plume Containment - Task 4: Modeling - Final Report

Description: Trichloroethene (TCE), a common groundwater contaminant, can be degraded under certain conditions by microorganisms that occur naturally in the subsurface. TCE can be degraded under anaerobic conditions to less chlorinated compounds and ultimately into the non-chlorinated, non-hazardous end product, ethene, via anaerobic reductive dechlorination (ARD). ARD is widely recognized as a TCE degradation mechanism, and occurs in active groundwater remediation and can occur during monitored natural attenuation (MNA). MNA relies on natural processes, such as dispersion and degradation, to reduce contaminant concentrations to acceptable levels without active human intervention other than monitoring. TCE can also be biodegraded under aerobic conditions via cometabolism, in which microbial enzymes produced for other purposes fortuitously also react with TCE. In cometabolism, TCE is oxidized directly to non-hazardous products. Cometabolism as a TCE-degrading process under aerobic conditions is less well known than ARD. Natural attenuation is often discounted as a TCE remedial alternative in aerobic conditions based on the paradigm that TCE is biodegradable only under anaerobic conditions. In contrast to this paradigm, TCE was shown to degrade relative to conservative co-contaminants at an environmentally significant rate in a large (approximately 3 km long) TCE plume in aerobic groundwater at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), and the degradation mechanism was shown to be cometabolism. MNA was selected as the remedy for most of this plume, resulting in a considerable cost savings relative to conventional remedial methods. To determine if cometabolism might be a viable remedy at other sites with TCE-contaminated aerobic groundwater, TCE plumes at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities were screened to evaluate whether TCE commonly degrades in aerobic groundwater, and if degradation rates are fast enough that natural attenuation could be a viable remedy. One hundred and twenty seven plumes at 24 DOE facilities were screened, and 14 plumes were selected for detailed ...
Date: October 31, 2005
Creator: Starr, Robert C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enhanced Attenuation Technologies: Passive Soil Vapor Extraction

Description: Passive soil vapor extraction (PSVE) is an enhanced attenuation (EA) approach that removes volatile contaminants from soil. The extraction is driven by natural pressure gradients between the subsurface and atmosphere (Barometric Pumping), or by renewable sources of energy such as wind or solar power (Assisted PSVE). The technology is applicable for remediating sites with low levels of contamination and for transitioning sites from active source technologies such as active soil vapor extraction (ASVE) to natural attenuation. PSVE systems are simple to design and operate and are more cost effective than active systems in many scenarios. Thus, PSVE is often appropriate as an interim-remedial or polishing strategy. Over the past decade, PSVE has been demonstrated in the U.S. and in Europe. These demonstrations provide practical information to assist in selecting, designing and implementing the technology. These demonstrations indicate that the technology can be effective in achieving remedial objectives in a timely fashion. The keys to success include: (1) Application at sites where the residual source quantities, and associated fluxes to groundwater, are relatively low; (2) Selection of the appropriate passive energy source - barometric pumping in cases with a deep vadose zone and barrier (e.g., clay) layers that separate the subsurface from the atmosphere and renewable energy assisted PSVE in other settings and where higher flow rates are required. (3) Provision of sufficient access to the contaminated vadose zones through the spacing and number of extraction wells. This PSVE technology report provides a summary of the relevant technical background, real-world case study performance, key design and cost considerations, and a scenario-based cost evaluation. The key design and cost considerations are organized into a flowchart that dovetails with the Enhanced Attenuation: Chlorinated Organics Guidance of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC). The PSVE flowchart provides a structured process to determine if ...
Date: March 15, 2010
Creator: Vangelas, K.; Looney, B.; Kamath, R.; Adamson, D. & Newell, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

UPWARD MOVEMENT OF PLUTONIUM TO SURFACE SEDIMENTS DURING AN 11-YEAR FIELD STUDY

Description: An 11-y lysimeter study was established to monitor the movement of Pu through vadose zone sediments. Sediment Pu concentrations as a function of depth indicated that some Pu moved upward from the buried source material. Subsequent numerical modeling suggested that the upward movement was largely the result of invading grasses taking up the Pu and translocating it upward. The objective of this study was to determine if the Pu of surface sediments originated from atmosphere fallout or from the buried lysimeter source material (weapons-grade Pu), providing additional evidence that plants were involved in the upward migration of Pu. The {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu and {sup 242}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atomic fraction ratios of the lysimeter surface sediments, as determined by Thermal Ionization Mass Spectroscopy (TIMS), were 0.063 and 0.00045, respectively; consistent with the signatures of the weapons-grade Pu. Our numerical simulations indicate that because plants create a large water flux, small concentrations over multiple years may result in a measurable accumulation of Pu on the ground surface. These results may have implications on the conceptual model for calculating risk associated with long-term stewardship and monitored natural attenuation management of Pu contaminated subsurface and surface sediments.
Date: January 25, 2010
Creator: Kaplan, D.; Beals, D.; Cadieux, J. & Halverson, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department