U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

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CLU-IN's ongoing series of Internet Seminars are free, web-based slide presentations with a companion audio portion. We provide two options for accessing the audio portion of the seminar: by phone line or streaming audio simulcast. More information and registration for all Internet Seminars is available by selecting the individual seminar below. Not able to make one of our live offerings? You may also view archived seminars.

October 2017
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Download seminar information in iCalendar formatEcosystem Services Approaches and T...

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Download seminar information in iCalendar formatITRC Geospatial Analysis for Optimi...

Geospatial Analysis for Optimization at Environmental Sites
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Adverse Outcome Pathways: Session II - Assembling and Assessing AOP Information

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) is hosting a seminar series focused on adverse outcome pathways (AOPs), which are structured ways to represent biological events leading to adverse health effects. In the second session, presenters will discuss the development of AOPs and how they may be used to support hazard and risk assessment.

Carole Yauk, Ph.D., will briefly review common AOP development principles, including identifying key events, and assembling and weighing the evidence to support key event relationships and the overall AOP. A case study will then walk through development of one AOP using the AOP wiki. Using alkylation of DNA as the molecular initiating event, subsequent key events that are measurable and essential will be identified. Key event relationships will be identified and evaluated by assessing the dose, incidence and temporal relationships among the events. The essentiality of each event to the adverse outcome, heritable mutations, will be assessed and the empirical evidence supporting the AOP, and any uncertainties, will be evaluated.

Ed Perkins, Ph.D., will discuss efforts to merge the AOP's simple framework for linking effects to a regulated outcome with more biological pathways and measurements such as omics that try to capture the complexity of biology in order to support hazard and risk assessment. Examples will be given on how 'omics and other data can be used in the context of AOPs to assess chemical mixture impacts and how in vitro or in vivo data can be used to determine the likelihood of an AO occurring (e.g. Bayesian AOP networks and mechanistic qAOPs).

The AOP framework provides a logical mechanism based structure for formalizing and visualizing the molecular intersection between chemical and nonchemical stressors. However, the impact and relevance of biomedical research public health protection from chemical and nonchemical exposures depends both on the understanding of mechanisms embedded in the AOP framework, and how exposures themselves affect those mechanisms and the likelihood of adverse outcomes.

Justin Teeguarden, Ph.D., will introduce similar frameworks for organizing exposure information (like the aggregate exposure pathway (AEP)) and discuss how they can provide critical information about the magnitude of the stress and key information about how environmental concentrations can be related to human exposures. He will also discuss how exposures in studies conducted in vitro or an animal models can be related to human exposures.

This webinar is also in support of an upcoming NIEHS/NHLBI Workshop, Understanding the Combined Effects of Environmental Chemical and Non-Chemical Stressors: Atherosclerosis as a Model, which will take place at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, April 3 - 4, 2018. The goal of this workshop is to identify key biological mechanisms and pathways of the combined effects of chemical and non-chemical stressors associated with atherosclerosis. This workshop will use the AOP framework to assist in the discussion of the pathways considered by workshop participants.

Ecosystem Services Approaches and Tools for Contaminated Site Cleanup

Ecosystem services are nature's contributions to human health and well-being. Examples include areas for outdoor recreation, pollination of food crops, and flood mitigation. In performing our work to protect the environment through contaminated site cleanup, we are learning that we also have the opportunity to protect and revitalize ecosystem services in a measurable way. Join us to learn about efforts by several EPA programs to understand how we may consider ecosystem services in managing contaminated site cleanups. This webinar presents an ecosystem services evaluation framework that resulted from a cross-EPA office collaboration, and summarizes how two quantitative evaluation tools, EPA EnviroAtlas and Service Providing Area (SPA) maps, were piloted at Superfund sites. You will also hear from Superfund site managers who will share insights on how they are considering ecosystem services during cleanup and are implementing innovative approaches for ecological revitalization at their sites. An understanding and quantification of ecosystem services may be helpful to ecological risk assessors and remediation project managers working on sites with existing ecosystems and/or sites with ecological reuse options.

First-Timer's Guide to the 2017 National Brownfields Training Conference

New to the 2017 National Brownfields Training Conference? This session will help you get the most out of your visit to Pittsburgh and connect you with longtime brownfields professionals who keep coming back to learn the latest community revitalization practices. The session will feature perspectives from government, nonprofits and consultants, who will share tips about how to make the most out of your first experience at the National Brownfields Training Conference.

Matching Biochar Characteristics with Metals-Contaminated Soils to Effectively Reduce Metal Bioavailability at Mining Sites.

There are approximately 500,000 abandoned mines across the U.S., which pose a considerable, pervasive risk to human health and the environment due to possible exposure to the residuals of heavy metal extraction. Historically, a variety of chemical and biological methods have been used to reduce the bioavailability of the metals at abandoned mine sites. Biochar is emerging as a novel soil amendment for agriculture and environmental applications that can be used to increase soil carbon, adjust soil pH, supply and retain nutrients, reduce heavy metal bioavailability, improve soil water holding and infiltration, sequester carbon, and provide refugia for soil organisms.

Biochar is a charcoal-like, carbon-rich, porous byproduct of thermal pyrolysis or gasification. What makes biochar unique is that its properties are tunable, meaning that they can be manipulated or adjusted to optimize the benefits of using it as a soil amendment. It has the potential to complex and immobilize heavy metals to reduce bioavailability in situ. Simultaneously, biochar can improve soil conditions for plant growth and promote the establishment of a soil-stabilizing native plant community to reduce offsite movement of metal-laden waste materials.

Because biochar properties depend upon feedstock selection, pyrolysis production conditions, and the activation procedures used, they can be designed to meet specific remediation needs and specific soil remediation situations. However, techniques are needed to optimally match biochar characteristics with metals contaminated soils to effectively reduce metal bioavailability Ongoing research at Formosa Mine in Oregon and other sites to immobilize heavy metals from tailings and revegetate the soil will be presented."
Interstate Technology Regulatory Council
Seminars Sponsored by the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council

Geospatial Analysis for Optimization at Environmental Sites

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council Optimization activities can improve performance, increase monitoring efficiency, and support contaminated site decisions. Project managers can use geospatial analysis for evaluation of optimization opportunities. Unlike traditional statistical analysis, geospatial methods incorporate the spatial and temporal dependence between nearby data points, which is an important feature of almost all data collected as part of an environmental investigation. The results of geospatial analyses add additional lines of evidence to decision making in optimization opportunities in environmental sites across all project life cycle stages (release detection, site characterization, remediation, monitoring and closure) in soil, groundwater or sediment remediation projects for different sizes and types of sites.

The purpose of ITRC's Geospatial Analysis for Optimization at Environmental Sites (GRO-1) guidance document and this associated training is to explain, educate, and train state regulators and other practitioners in understanding and using geospatial analyses to evaluate optimization opportunities at environmental sites. With the ITRC GRO-1 web-based guidance document and this associated training class, project managers will be able to:
  • Evaluate available data and site needs to determine if geospatial analyses are appropriate for a given site
  • For a project and specific lifecycle stage, identify optimization questions where geospatial methods can contribution to better decision making
  • For a project and optimization question(s), select appropriate geospatial method(s) and software using the geospatial analysis work flow, tables and flow charts in the guidance document
  • With geospatial analyses results (note: some geospatial analyses may be performed by the project manager, but many geospatial analyses will be performed by technical experts), explain what the results mean and appropriately apply in decision making
  • Use the project managerís tool box, interactive flow charts for choosing geospatial methods and review checklist to use geospatial analyses confidently in decision making

Long-term Contaminant Management Using Institutional Controls

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council Institutional controls (ICs) are administrative or legal restrictions that provide protection from exposure to contaminants on a site. When ICs are jeopardized or fail, direct exposure to human health and the environment can occur. While a variety of guidance and research to date has focused on the implementation of ICs, ITRCís Long-term Contaminant Management Using Institutional Controls (IC-1, 2016) guidance and this associated training class focuses on post-implementation IC management, including monitoring, evaluation, stakeholder communications, enforcement, and termination. The ITRC guidance and training will assist those who are responsible for the management and stewardship of Ics. ITRC has developed a downloadable tool that steps users through the process of planning and designing IC management needs. This tool can help to create a long lasting record of the site that includes the regulatory authority, details of the IC, the responsibilities of all parties, a schedule for monitoring the performance of the IC, and more. The tool generates an editable Long Term Stewardship (LTS) plan in Microsoft Word.

After attending the training, participants will be able to:
  • Describe best practices and evolving trends for IC management at individual sites and across state agency programs
  • Use this guidance to
    • Improve IC reliability and prevent IC failures
    • Improve existing, or develop new, IC Management programs
    • Identify the pros and cons about differing IC management approaches
  • Use the tools to establish an LTS plan for specific sites
  • Use the elements in the tools to understand the information that should populate an IC registry or data management system.

The target audience for this guidance includes environmental regulators at all levels of government, private and public responsible or obligated parties (Ops), current site owners and operators, environmental consultants, and prospective purchasers of property and their agents. Other stakeholders who have an interest in a property can also use this guidance to help understand how to manage Ics.

Petroleum Vapor Intrusion: Fundamentals of Screening, Investigation, and Management

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council Chemical contaminants in soil and groundwater can volatilize into soil gas and migrate through unsaturated soils of the vadose zone. Vapor intrusion (VI) occurs when these vapors migrate upward into overlying buildings through cracks and gaps in the building floors, foundations, and utility conduits, and contaminate indoor air. If present at sufficiently high concentrations, these vapors may present a threat to the health and safety of building occupants. Petroleum vapor intrusion (PVI) is a subset of VI and is the process by which volatile petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) released as vapors from light nonaqueous phase liquids (LNAPL), petroleum-contaminated soils, or petroleum-contaminated groundwater migrate through the vadose zone and into overlying buildings. Fortunately, in the case of PHC vapors, this migration is often limited by microorganisms that are normally present in soil. The organisms consume these chemicals, reducing them to nontoxic end products through the process of biodegradation. The extent and rate to which this natural biodegradation process occurs is strongly influenced by the concentration of the vapor source, the distance the vapors must travel through soil from the source to potential receptors, and the presence of oxygen (O2) in the subsurface environment between the source and potential receptors.

The ITRC Technical and Regulatory Guidance Web-Based Document, Petroleum Vapor Intrusion: Fundamentals of Screening, Investigation, and Management (PVI-1, 2014) and this associated Internet-based training provides regulators and practitioners with consensus information based on empirical data and recent research to support PVI decision making under different regulatory frameworks. The PVI assessment strategy described in this guidance document enables confident decision making that protects human health for various types of petroleum sites and multiple PHC compounds. This guidance provides a comprehensive methodology for screening, investigating, and managing potential PVI sites and is intended to promote the efficient use of resources and increase confidence in decision making when evaluating the potential for vapor intrusion at petroleum-contaminated sites. By using the ITRC guidance document, the vapor intrusion pathway can be eliminated from further investigation at many sites where soil or groundwater is contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons or where LNAPL is present.

After attending this ITRC Internet-based training, participants should be able to:
  • Determine when and how to use the ITRC PVI document at their sites
  • Describe the important role of biodegradation impacts on the PVI pathway (in contrast to chlorinated solvent contaminated sites)
  • Value a PVI conceptual site model (CSM) and list its key components
  • Apply the ITRC PVI 8 step decision process to screen sites for the PVI pathway and determine actions to take if a site does not initially screen out, (e.g., site investigation, modeling, and vapor control and site management)
  • Access fact sheets to support community engagement activities at each step in the process
For reference during the training class, participants should have a copy of the flowcharts, Figures 1-2, 3-2, and 4-1 from the ITRC Technical and Regulatory Guidance Web-Based Document, Petroleum Vapor Intrusion: Fundamentals of Screening, Investigation, and Management (PVI-1, 2014) and are available as a 3-page PDF at http://www.cluin.org/conf/itrc/PVI/ITRC-PVI-FlowCharts.pdf

ITRC also offers a 2-day PVI focused classroom training at locations across the US. The classroom training provides participants the opportunity to learn more in-depth information about the PVI pathway and practice applying the ITRC PVI guidance document with a diverse group of environmental professionals. Learn more at the ITRC PVI classroom training page.