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

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

For more information on Decision Support Tools, please contact:

Michael Adam
Technology Integration and Information Branch

PH: 202-566-0875 | Email:

Other Software and Tools Resources

Software and Tools

Software Packages and Online Tools

The Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable Decision Support Tools Matrix provides further information on and evaluations of many of the tools listed below. The matrix is a table that provides general information about each DST, such as the types of files that may be imported to, or exported from, the DST, the characteristics of applicable sites (contaminants and media) and the functions it performs. All DSTs that were evaluated are free to the public.

Geologic Frameworks for Groundwater Flow Models

Groundwater modelers should be familiar with and have access to systematic methods for translating physical subsurface geology into a numerical representation. Other hydrogeologists will benefit from understanding the process. This book introduces techniques for creating the underlying geologic framework of groundwater flow models. It is arranged around a hypothetical site with contaminated groundwater, beginning with a discussion of data collection and geologic interpretation, then delves into the steps required to build a realistic numerical model. The reader will find that many of the methods and calculations can be applied with tools as simple as paper and pencil. Links to publicly available computing resources are provided where possible.

Vapor Intrusion Screening Level Calculator

The Vapor Intrusion Screening Level (VISL) calculator identifies chemicals that are considered to be sufficiently volatile and toxic to warrant an investigation of the soil gas intrusion pathway when they are present as subsurface contaminants. The calculator provides generally recommended, media-specific, risk-based screening-level concentrations for groundwater, near-source soil gas, sub-slab soil gas, and indoor air. These screening-level concentrations (i.e., the VISLs) are based on default residential or nonresidential exposure scenarios, a target cancer risk level of one per million, and a target hazard quotient of 0.1 for potential non-cancer effects.

SiteWise™ Tool for Green and Sustainable Remediation

SiteWise is an Excel-based remedy selection and optimization tool for green and sustainable remediation (GSR) planners. It was developed jointly by the Department of the Navy, Army Corps of Engineers, and Battelle. The tool provides an assessment of several quantifiable sustainability metrics including: GHG emissions; energy usage; electricity usage; criteria air pollutants; water usage; and accident risk. The companion user guide includes instructions for using SiteWise and the basis of calculations.

BioPIC Tool for the Selection of Bioremediation Approaches at Chlorinated Solvent Sites

The Department of Defense's (DoD) Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) has developed an easy-to-use tool called BioPIC to facilitate bioremediation decision-making based on site-specific physical and biogeochemical characteristics. This research project determined the relationship between biogeochemical parameters and degradation rates for known degradation pathways of chlorinated ethenes (primarily PCE, TCE, and daughter products). Data from 90+ sites was used to establish correlations between the naturally attained rate constant and the abundance of specific parameters. Associations were then established for parameters such as Dehalococcoides (Dhc) densities, reductase densities, dissolved oxygen, oxidation-reduction potential, magnetic susceptibility, Fe(II), Mn(II), methane, ethane, total organic carbon, and others. These associations were used to develop a quantitative framework and decision logic for the screening tool. Based on site-specific conditions, the tool will provide screening considerations to determine if monitored natural attenuation (MNA), biostimulation, biologically mediated abiotic reductive dechlorination, or bioaugmentation is the most appropriate remedial approach.

EPA Dataset/Databases for Ecological Risk Assessment of Contaminated Sites

To assess the potential for risk from contaminated sediments and to help determine contamination levels for remedial designs, EPA's Land Research Program has developed several ecological risk assessment tools including: 1) Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factor Data Set, which can be used to evaluate the transfer of chemicals from sediments into the aquatic food chain; 2) PCB Residue Effects (PCBRes) Database, an abundance of information for risk assessors to use for correlating polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other dioxin-like compound residues with toxic effects and developing Toxicity Reference Values (TRVs); and 3) ECOTOX Database, for use when risk assessors and managers need to develop TRVs for sediment sites that have contaminants other than, or in addition to, PCBs and dioxins and provides ready access to single-chemical toxicity information for aquatic and terrestrial life. Each of these tools facilitate a scientifically defensible risk assessment, improve the decision-making ability of risk managers at Superfund and other contaminated sites, and facilitate successful remediation efforts.

FOOTPRINT: A Screening Model for Estimating the Area of a Plume Produced From Gasoline Containing Ethanol

FootPrint is a simple and user-friendly screening model used to estimate the length and surface area of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) plumes in ground water, produced from a spill of gasoline that contains ethanol. Ethanol has a potential negative impact on the natural biodegradation of BTEX compounds in ground water. The primary objective of the software is to predict the increase in surface area of the plume of BTEX compounds or any other chemical of concern (COC) due to the presence of ethanol in ground water. FootPrint estimates the area of a plume of particular BTEX compounds that are contained within two biodegradation zones: 1) a zone that is immediately adjacent to the source, where ethanol is present in high concentration and no biodegradation of the BTEX compounds (or other COC) is allowed, and 2) a second zone, where the ethanol concentration is negligible due to the natural biodegradation of ethanol in the first zone and biodegradation of the BTEX compound (or other COC) contributes to attenuation in concentration of the BTEX compounds. FootPrint is based on the modified version of the Domenico model (1987) published by Martin-Hayden and Robbins (1997). This model is an approximate analytical solution of the advective-dispersive solute transport equation with first-order decay. The model of Martin-Hayden and Robbins (1997) was further modified in FootPrint to allow zero-order decay as well (see Appendix B of the user's manual for details). As a result, FootPrint can independently describe the natural biodegradation of ethanol and/or the BTEX compound with either a zero-order rate constant or a first-order constant. FootPrint can also be used to estimate the surface area of the plume and the concentration at any given point within the plume when the COC is decaying at a constant rate (first- or zero-order) in the absence of ethanol.

Mass Flux Toolkit

The Mass Flux Toolkit, developed for the Department of Defense ESTCP program, is an easy-to-use, software tool that enables users to learn about different mass flux approaches, calculate mass flux from transect data, and apply mass flux values to manage groundwater plumes. The Toolkit presents the user with three main options:
  • a module to calculate the total mass flux across one or more transects of a plume, calculate the uncertainty in the calculation, and plot mass flux vs. distance to show the effect of remediation/impact of natural attenuation processes;
  • a module allowing users to perform critical dilution calculations for plumes approaching production wells or streams. An additional feature calculates the capture zone of the supply well and compares it to the transect used to calculate the mass flux, directing the user to alter the transect dimensions if the transect does not encompass the capture zone; and
  • a module that provides a review of theory and methods of estimating mass flux.

Monitoring and Remediation Optimization System (MAROS)

The Monitoring and Remediation Optimization System (MAROS) software has been developed by Groundwater Services Inc. and the University of Houston for the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (AFCEE) in accordance with the AFCEE Long-Term Monitoring Optimization guide. The software provides site managers with a strategy for formulating appropriate long-term groundwater monitoring programs that can be implemented at lower costs. MAROS is a decision support tool based on statistical methods applied to site-specific data that accounts for relevant current and historical site data as well as hydrogeologic factors (e.g. seepage velocity) and the location of potential receptors (e.g., wells, discharge points, or property boundaries). Based on this site-specific information the software suggests an optimization plan for the current monitoring system in order to efficiently achieve the termination of the monitoring program.

Rapid Assessment Tools (R.A.T.)

Rapid Assessment Tools, or R.A.T., is a standalone Windows application that combines global positioning information from a GPS device with single point or continuous field sample data. R.A.T. stores the sample data with its GPS location in a flat file and plots these results in a dynamic, two-dimensional display in real-time. In the software, data can be viewed with aerial photography, polygon boundaries, and sample designs to allow for immediate data availability, analysis, and use in the field. The collected data can also be exported using standard U.S. EPA data formats such as SCRIBE and ESRI Shapefile. R.A.T. is developed internally by the FIELDS (FIeld EnvironmentaL Decision Support) group in the Superfund Division of the U.S. EPA. The application does not require any licensing or other software to perform data collection.

HRS Quickscore

HRS Quickscore was created to assist in scoring sites using EPA's Hazard Ranking System (HRS). HRS Quickscore is an electronic set of HRS scoresheets that executes real time site score calculations. It was designed to assist in developing a conceptual site model for Superfund site assessments. This product is intended for use by those individuals who plan and implement Preliminary Assessments (PAs), Site Inspections (SIs), and other data collection efforts according to the HRS rules, as well as those individuals that write and review HRS documentation records.

Scribe: Environmental Field Data Capture

Scribe is a software tool developed by EPA's Environmental Response Team (ERT) to assist in the process of managing environmental data. Scribe captures sampling, observational, and monitoring field data. Examples of Scribe field tasks include Soil Sampling, Water Sampling, Air Sampling and Biota Sampling. Scribe can import electronic data including Analytical Lab Result data (EDD) and Sampling Location data such as GPS. Scribe supports handheld extensions, Scriblets, to capture and import sampling and monitoring data collected on handheld PDAs.

Sustainable Management Approaches and Revitalization Tools - electronic (SMARTe)

SMARTe is a Web-based information source and decision support tool. The purpose of SMARTe is to aid stakeholders in identifying, applying, and integrating tools and technologies to facilitate the revitalization of potentially contaminated sites in the United States. SMARTe is intended to be a Web-based system that can be updated as new tools, technologies, and approaches become available for revitalization.

ProUCL Software

ProUCL is a comprehensive free statistical software package with statistical methods and graphical tools to address many environmental sampling and statistical issues. EPA regions, states, contractors, and and other stakeholders use ProUCL to establish background levels, determine outliers in data sets, and compare background and site sample data sets for site evaluation and risk assessment.

Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance (SADA)

Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance (SADA) is a free software package from the University of Tennessee that integrates modules for visualizing contaminant concentrations, geospatial analysis, statistical analysis, human health risk assessment, cost/benefit analysis, sampling design, and decision analysis. SADA can be used to address site-specific concerns when characterizing a contaminated site, assessing risk, determining the location of future samples, and when designing remedial action.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Visual Sample Plan (VSP) Software

This beta version software package is downloadable free of charge. The software assists development of cost-effective, statistically-based sampling plans, and is is applicable for any two-dimensional sampling plan. VSP calculates the number of samples under various scenarios, includes cost considerations, and provides random or gridded sampling locations for overlay on a site map. The website also provides training information and links to other sites that provide software for use in contaminated site cleanup.

EPA On-line Tools for Site Assessment Calculation

OnSite was developed to provide modelers and model reviewers with prepackaged tools ("calculators") for performing site assessment calculations. The philosophy behind OnSite is that the convenience of the prepackaged calculators helps provide consistency for simple calculations and access to methods and data that are not commonly available.

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Links to Other Software and Tools

EPA Emergency Response Tools

Through experiences in the field and site-related activities, EPA's Environmental Response Team (ERT) has determined a need for automating specific manual processes and tasks. As a result, a variety of utilities and tools have been developed to assist OSCs, RPMs, Task Leaders, as well as field personnel in managing and performing their site-related duties. The purpose of this website is to enhance the support service provided to ERT software users. A number of resources are available to help resolve problems, request support, and suggest improvements to ERT products and service.

Superfund Analytical Services/Contract Laboratory Program (CLP) Tools

The Analytical Services Branch provides several tools to assist Contract Laboratory Program (CLP) clients, laboratories, and samplers. These tools were designed to use the Internet to facilitate many of the essential functions of the CLP. They incorporate Web technologies such as Lotus Notes/Domino, Cold Fusion, and Extensible Markup Language (XML).

EPA Office of Emergency Management Databases and Software

The Office of Emergency Management works with other EPA partners, Federal agencies, state and local response agencies, and industry to prevent accidents as well as maintain superior response capabilities. OEM's overall mission is to provide national leadership to prevent, prepare for, and respond to health and environmental emergencies. This is facilitated through partnerships, joint strategy development, technology development and deployment, and training and exercises. This site provides many of the computer programs developed by EPA to help facilities comply with regulations, give first responders tools to better plan and prepare for chemical accidents, and help the public understand the chemicals in their community.

EPA Science Models and Research Tools (SMaRT) Search

SMaRT Search (EPA Science Models and Research Tools) is a searchable database that enables easy access to detailed information about ORD tools as well as instructions on how to download and use them. Features include an easy-to-use simple search that lets you quickly find information, and an advanced search to narrow down by environmental topic area, platform, and scientific application type.

EPA On-Scene Coordinators Software and Databases

This site is intended to be a tool to help streamline the work of OSCs and provide them a forum to share information and lessons learned with OSCs around the country.

Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable Decision Support Tools (DSTs) Matrix

DSTs are interactive software tools used by decision-makers to help answer questions, solve problems, and support or refute conclusions. They can be incorporated into a structured decision-making process for environment site clean-up. DSTs often support multiple functions, such as data acquisition, spatial data management, modeling, and cost estimating. The Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable matrix is a table that provides general information about each DST, such as the types of files that may be imported to, or exported from, the DST, the characteristics of applicable sites (contaminants and media) and the functions it performs. All DSTs that were evaluated are free to the public.

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