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

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

Recent Additions

2015 Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities (TAB) Grants

Posted: November 6, 2015

These grants may be used to provide technical assistance to communities through the Technical Assistance to Brownfield Communities (TAB) grant program. The EPA anticipates awarding 11 TAB cooperative agreement(s) - one grant providing technical assistance to communities in each EPA region and an eleventh grant covering communities across the entire nation. Grants awarded under the TAB announcement will help communities tackle the challenge of assessing, cleaning up and preparing brownfields sites for redevelopment, especially underserved/rural/small and otherwise distressed communities. Those applying for TAB grant funds must provide technical assistance to all communities within the geographic area they are applying. Separate applications may be submitted for multiple geographic areas. The proposal deadline is December 21, 2015.

FY 2017 SERDP Solicitations Released

Posted: November 3, 2015

The Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is seeking environmental research and development proposals for funding beginning in FY 2017. The Core Solicitation provides funding opportunities for basic and applied research and advanced technology development. Core projects vary in cost and duration consistent with the scope of the work proposed. The Statements of Need (SON) referenced by this solicitation request proposals related to the SERDP program areas of Environmental Restoration (ER), Munitions Response (MR), Resource Conservation and Climate Change (RC), and Weapons Systems and Platforms (WP). The SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) Solicitation provides funding opportunities for work that will investigate innovative environmental approaches that entail high technical risk or require supporting data to provide proof of concept. Funding is limited to not more than $200,000 and projects are approximately one year in duration. This year, SERDP is requesting SEED proposals for the RC and WP program areas. All Core pre-proposals are due January 7, 2016. SEED proposals are due March 8, 2016.

2016 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants

Posted: October 20, 2015

These brownfields grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). Opportunities for funding are as follows: Brownfields Assessment Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years; Assessment Coalitions are funded up to $600,000 over three years), Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund Grants (each funded up to $1,000,000 over five years), and Brownfields Cleanup Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years). The proposal submission deadline is December 18, 2015.

Quantifying Seepage Flux Using Sediment Temperatures

Posted: October 19, 2015

This report demonstrates different modeling approaches that use sediment temperatures to estimate the magnitude and direction of water flux across the groundwater-surface water transition zone. Following a review of analytical models based on steady-state or transient temperature solutions, case study applications of the modeling approaches are illustrated for two different field settings with quiescent and flowing surface water systems. For the quiescent system, two different steady-state models were used to evaluate temperature records from three depths to estimate groundwater seepage into a pond. For the flowing water system, two different transient models were applied to estimate water exchange across a granular cap placed atop sediments in a small river.

Biotransformation of Dimethylarsinic Acid: Engineering Issue

Posted: October 19, 2015

This paper summarizes the state of the science regarding the biotransformation of dimethylarsinic acid (DMA[V]), a once-popular herbicide. The (V) suffix in DMA(V) denotes the +5 oxidation state of arsenic. The authors surveyed peer-reviewed and gray literature, input from experts in the field, and other pertinent sources to review the current understanding of biologically mediated transformation of DMA(V) and its metabolites. Given the challenges remaining in transitioning from lab studies to field applications, this paper provides summary guidance for implementing currently recommended remediation strategies for DMA(V) at contaminated sites.

Detection and Characterization of Engineered Nanomaterials in the Environment: Current State-Of-The-Art and Future Directions — Report, Annotated Bibliography, and Image Library

Posted: October 19, 2015

This paper gives an overview of the challenges to nanoparticle detection and details possible methods for detecting, quantifying, and characterizing engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in complex environmental matrices (e.g., water and soil/sediment), particularly against high background levels of ambient and naturally occurring nanoparticles. A description of the existing nanometrology tool kit is followed by a discussion of potential new measurement approaches that might overcome current limitations for ENP analysis in complex matrices. Estimates of ENP releases in life-cycle assessments suggest that the aqueous and soil/sediment environments will be the ultimate ENP reservoir.

Determination of Nanomechanical Properties by Atomic Force Microscopy: Scientific Operating Procedure Sop-C-#

Posted: October 19, 2015

This operating procedure describes how to determine the nanomechanical properties, hardness, and Young's modulus at solid surfaces using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Briefly, an appropriate AFM cantilever is calibrated to determine its deflection sensitivity and spring constant; it then is used as both an imager and indenter at the surface of material of interest. The load applied by the cantilever is accurately controlled by knowledge of the deflection sensitivity. The maximum applied load is mediated by the cantilever spring constant. Following data collection, image and force curve analyses are completed to determine projected indent areas and to load/unload profiles, thus yielding materials properties that include the material hardness and the Young's modulus along with corresponding surface topography.

Environmental Consequences of Nanotechnologies: Nanoparticle Dispersion in Aqueous Media: Sop-T-1

Posted: October 19, 2015

Protocol SOP-T-1 provides guidance and step-by-step methods for (1) creating a working stock from nanoparticle (NP) powder and NP aqueous suspensions and (2) spiking working stock suspensions into aqueous bioassay media. The protocol also provides guidance on optimization of test media and organism health. This method was developed on procedures created specifically for metal NPs but may have broader application.

Characterization of Nanomaterials Using Field Flow Fractionation and Single Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometery (Fff-Icp-Ms and Sp-Icp-Ms): Scientific Operating Procedure Sop-C

Posted: October 19, 2015

This special report describes the operating procedure for analysis of engineered nanoparticles through various separation and detection techniques. These analytical tools were tested on a variety of extensively characterized gold and silver standard nanoparticles.

Purification and Concentration of Nanoparticles Using Diafiltration: Scientific Operating Procedure Series, Sop-P-1

Posted: October 19, 2015

Nanoparticle (NP) solutions, especially those synthesized in the lab, may contain additional solutes associated with synthesis and storage (e.g., ionic salts, suspension stabilizers, pH buffers, chelating agents). These contaminants can cause instability in the NP suspensions and otherwise modify suspension behavior in a way not representative of a pure solution. This report describes a diafiltration method used for controlling the initial properties of NP dispersion.

Passive Samplers for Investigations of Air Quality: Method Description, Implementation, and Comparison to Alternative Sampling Methods

Posted: October 19, 2015

This paper covers the basics of passive sampler design and then compares passive samplers to conventional methods of air sampling; discusses considerations for implementing a passive sampling program; and addresses field sampling and sample analysis considerations to ensure adequate data quality and supportable interpretations of the passive sample data. The reader is expected to have a basic technical background on the VI exposure pathway and the use and interpretation of indoor air sampling data.

Sediment Cleanup Users Manual II (Scum II)

Posted: October 19, 2015

This update replaces the manual dated 1991 and provides guidance to Washington Department of Ecology staff in implementing the cleanup decision process for contaminated sediments—i.e., how sites are identified, investigated, remediated, and monitored—in Washington State. See also Appendix B for selected papers on sediment sampling and testing from several decades of Sediment Management Annual Review meetings, and the Appendix K spreadsheets for calculating risk-based chemical concentrations for sediment and tissue.

In Situ Thermal Treatment Completion Report, Frontier Fertilizer Superfund Site

Posted: November 4, 2015

This report documents the operation and post-operation data from in situ thermal treatment (ISTT) activities at the Frontier Fertilizer Superfund Site in Davis, California. Five contaminants of concern (COCs)—1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane, 1,2-dibromoethane, 1,2-dichloropropane (DCP), 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP), and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)—were identified in soil and groundwater at the former pesticide distribution facility. ISTT was applied from March 2011 to October 2012 to the source zone, which contained only the pesticide COCs (no CCl4). The objective was to remove a continuing source of groundwater contamination by heating the soil using electrical resistance heating to temperatures of 90 ± 10°C in the unsaturated zone <10 ft bgs, 95 ± 5°C in the unsaturated zone 10 ft bgs and deeper, and to the boiling point of water or more than 100°C in the saturated zone. When subsurface temperatures allowed, the treatment volume was sampled in August and September 2013. Calculations indicate >95% reduction in contaminant mass. ISTT removed a total of 79.4 lbs of COCs, mainly DCP (52.5 lbs) and TCP (23.0 lbs), from the source zone.

Complex Boundary Conditions for In-Situ Thermal Treatments (Istt) Conducted During Land Recycling and Remediation Beneath Buildings

Posted: November 4, 2015

This paper discusses challenges to in situ thermal treatment (ISTT) projects as illustrated in two case studies of remediation for PCE, TCE, and daughter products. In Case 1, ISTT implementation via thermal wells was concurrent with simultaneous foundation and superstructure work on a new factory building, and in Case 2, steam-enhanced extraction was conducted beneath a building during ongoing industrial production. The authors identify potential difficulties, offer suggestions for future projects, and describe the impact of complex boundary conditions on ISTT design, operation, and performance measurement.

Characterization, Modeling, Monitoring, and Remediation of Fractured Rock

Posted: November 4, 2015

This report examines the state of practice and state of art in the characterization of fractured rock and the chemical and biological processes related to subsurface contaminant fate and transport. Fundamental understanding of the physical nature of fractured rock has changed little since the publication of the 1996 National Research Council report, Rock Fractures and Fluid Flow: Contemporary Understanding and Fluid Flow, but many new characterization tools have been developed along with a greater appreciation for the importance of chemical and biological processes that can occur in the fractured rock environment. The findings of this report are particularly applicable to engineered repositories for buried or stored waste and to fractured rock sites that have been contaminated as a result of past disposal or other practices. Recommendations are provided to help the practitioner, researcher, and decision-maker take a more interdisciplinary approach to engineering in the fractured rock environment. The report can be downloaded as a free PDF file at

Demonstration of a Fractured Rock Geophysical Toolbox (Frgt) for Characterization and Monitoring of DNAPL Biodegradation in Fractured Rock Aquifers

Posted: November 18, 2015

The performance objectives of this demonstration focused on evaluating (1) fracture network characterization using a fractured rock geophysics toolbox (FRGT); (2) autonomous monitoring of amendment delivery and subsequent contaminant biodegradation using geophysical technologies that sense beyond the borehole; (3) application of an "informed" inversion strategy to improve the geophysical imaging of fractured rock settings relative to what can currently be achieved with off-the-shelf functionality; and (4) identification and monitoring of geophysical attributes as "soft" measures of progress of DNAPL biodegradation in fractured rock. Specific performance objectives were largely met, although the physical characteristics of the primary demonstration site (the Naval Air Warfare Center in West Trenton, New Jersey) limited the performance of some FRGT methods. The primary benefit of the FRGT is the ability to provide information on variations in physical properties and the fate of amendment injections into fractured rock beyond the vicinity of local borehole observations.

Evaluation of Perchlorate Sources in the Rialto-Colton and Chino California Subbasins Using Chlorine and Oxygen Isotope Ratio Analysis

Posted: November 18, 2015

Researchers evaluated the use of isotopic data to distinguish sources of perchlorate in groundwater in a specific region of the Rialto-Colton and Chino, California, groundwater subbasins. This region has two groundwater perchlorate plumes emanating from known military/industrial source areas, plus a larger area of measurable perchlorate outside the plumes. Isotope data indicate the presence of synthetic, Atacama (presumably from historical application of nitrate fertilizer in the region), and indigenous natural perchlorate in the study area.

Biogeochemical Transformation Handbook

Posted: November 18, 2015

In situ biogeochemical transformation (ISBGT) is the transformation of contaminants by highly reduced iron minerals formed by microbial activity. ISBGT processes result in the degradation of contaminants through combined biological, mineral, and chemical pathways. This handbook provides a resource for evaluating, selecting, and implementing the technology. The handbook presents the fundamentals of ISBGT in a question and answer format; explores the mechanisms that contribute to ISBGT processes; discusses contaminants that can be degraded by ISBGT; identifies key considerations for enhancing, monitoring, and evaluating ISGBT processes; and emphasizes the importance of site characterization in recognizing and accounting for the contributions of ISBGT to natural attenuation.

Sustainable Sediment Remediation

Posted: November 18, 2015

Most green and sustainable remediation (GSR) evaluations to date have been focused on terrestrial sites with soil or groundwater contamination issues. Sediment sites also are an important issue for the Navy, but existing optimization/GSR guidance is not aimed specifically at contaminated sediment issues. In providing a connection between guidance specific to sediment sites and existing Navy optimization/GSR guidance, this paper introduces a new version of SiteWise™ that has been developed to integrate sediment-specific remedial activities.

Dredging and Dredged Material Management: Engineering and Design

Posted: November 18, 2015

This Engineer Manual presents a comprehensive summary of dredging equipment and dredged material placement techniques with considerations in the selection and use of various types of dredging equipment and techniques for placement. The text describes (1) short-and long-term fates of dredged material in the open-water environment and methods for quantifying each type of material; (2) contaminant pathways from open-water placement; (3) management and control methods for open-water placement; and (4) considerations for open-water site operation, monitoring, and management. Detailed guidance is given for diked placement of dredged material in confined disposal facilities. Chapter 5 outlines various opportunities for the beneficial use of dredged material and provides many case studies.