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

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

Upcoming Live Web Events

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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.

May 2015
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An Introduction to Green and Sustainable Remediation: What, Who, Why, and How

Provides an introductory overview of Green and Sustainable Remediation that consolidates concepts, definitions, and answers the following questions: What is it? Who does it? Why do it? How to implement it? and, What are the benefits gained? The webinar will also provide resources and case studies to illustrate GSR concepts.

Military Munitions Support Services - Decision Making for a Munitions Project

This will be a Military Munitions Support Services seminar with subject matter experts discussing the strategies and tools used to enable sound remediation decisions at munitions properties.

Remedial Action, Remedy Performance, and Long-Term Land Management at the Anaconda Smelter NPL site

Nearly 100 years of copper smelter operations and emissions at the Anaconda Smelter Superfund site left approximately 10,000 acres barren or sparsely vegetated, leaving dust problems and transport of contaminants of concern (COCs) to surface water and groundwater receptors. Early on in the planning process, it was recognized that whole-scale removal of the COCs (arsenic, copper, lead, zinc, and cadmium) was impracticable and infeasible. In situ treatment of soils and wastes, using alkaline amendments to raise pH and immobilize metals, was developed to re-establish vegetation. Methods to assess ecological dysfunction and assign remedial actions, treatability studies and demonstration plots were all developed in the 1980s and 1990s, resulting in remedial actions beginning in the late 1990s. As work is completed, more information was gained from the results. While much of the revegetation work was successful, other areas were not, particularly in those areas close to the former smelters where COC concentrations in soil were much higher.

EPA identified phytotoxicity concerns in certain areas during the 2010 Five Year Review. EPA and the responsible party collaboratively conducted a study evaluating plant growth in remediated areas while looking at several factors such as COC levels in soil. This evaluation led to development of a total metal index for soil based on the probable success of reclamation grass species. Using this information, EPA and the responsible party revised the existing vegetation management plan for the site to allow for voluntary remediation to achieve higher levels of cleanup to allow unrestrictive land use (e.g., with no long-term O&M requirements). This represents a “win-win” for the landowner, the responsible party, and the regulatory agencies.

This webinar will review the results of over 20 years of remedial activities at the Anaconda Smelter site, and how the knowledge gained from this work has been used to develop better cleanup that satisfies all party involved.

SRI Webinar Series: Green Infrastructure: Reusing Contaminated Sites and Promoting Sustainable Communities

This webinar will introduce green infrastructure elements in the context of reusing and revitalizing contaminated lands. Site-specific projects will be used to discuss reuse projects that with green infrastructure elements such as habitat conservation, stormwater management, recreational opportunities and quality of life for communities nearby the contaminated land. The webinar will also share green infrastructure considerations and opportunities for future projects looking to sustainably return contaminated lands to productive and beneficial use for communities.

SRI Webinar Series: Bringing Alternative Energy Projects to Superfund Sites

As communities, towns and businesses across the United States are looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower utility bills and use alternative energy sources, Superfund sites and other contaminated properties have continued to garner interest. Nationally, Superfund sites have been put back into beneficial use producing energy from solar, wind, hydro-electric, biomass, and landfill gas-to-energy projects. This webinar will share several site-specific case study examples detailing how the potential for alternative energy was assessed, steps that had to be taken to facilitate the reuse in a way that would also be compatible with the remedy, and any economic or environmental incentives used to fund make these projects fiscally possible.

SRI Webinar Series: Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) Perspectives on Superfund Site Reuse

A potentially responsible party, or PRP, is an individual or company that is potentially responsible for contamination problems at a Superfund site. Whenever possible, EPA requires PRPs to clean up hazardous waste sites the PRP may have contaminated. Many PRPs not only perform the cleanup, but also seek ways to return the site to beneficial use for the community and maximize the extent of land use on the site. Presenters on this webinar will include representatives from several PRP groups who have taken an active role in facilitating the beneficial use of sites they manage and who have worked collaboratively with EPA over many years to ensure that both the cleanup and the reuse of the property remain protective of human health and the environment.
Interstate Technology Regulatory Council
Seminars Sponsored by the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council

Environmental Molecular Diagnostics: New Tools for Better Decisions

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council Environmental molecular diagnostics (EMDs) are a group of advanced and emerging analytical techniques used to analyze biological and chemical characteristics of environmental samples. Conventional data (e.g., hydrogeological data, chemical, and geochemical analyses) often provide only indirect data regarding the mechanisms and rates of key attenuation or treatment processes. EMDs can complement these data by providing direct measurements of the organisms, genes or enzymes involved in contaminant biodegradation, of the relative contributions of abiotic and biotic processes, and of the relative rates of various degradation processes. The information provided by EMDs can improve estimates of attenuation rates and capacities and improve remedy performance assessments and optimization efforts. Improved understanding of the biological and non-biological degradation processes also can lead to greater confidence in MNA or closure decisions. EMDs have application in each phase of environmental site management (including site characterization, remediation, monitoring, and closure activities), address a wide variety of contaminants (including PCE, PCBs, radionuclides, perchlorate, fuels), and work with various media (including groundwater, soil, sediments, soil vapor).

Although EMDs have been used over the past 25 years in various scientific fields, particularly medical research and diagnostic fields, their application to environmental remediation management is relatively new and rapidly developing. The ITRC Environmental Molecular Diagnostics Fact Sheets (EMD-1, 2011), ITRC Environmental Molecular Diagnostics Technical and Regulatory Guidance (EMD-2, 2013) and this companion Internet-based training will foster the appropriate uses of EMDs and help regulators, consultants, site owners, and other stakeholders to better understand a site and to make decisions based on the results of EMD analyses. At the conclusion of the training, learners will be able to determine when and how to use the ITRC Environmental Molecular Diagnostics Technical and Regulatory Guidance (EMD-2, 2013); define when EMDs can cost-effectively augment traditional remediation data sets; and describe the utility of various types of EMDs during remediation activities.

Training participants are encouraged to review the ITRC EMD Fact Sheets, in particular the Introduction to EMDs fact sheet, before the Internet-based training.

Biochemical Reactors for Treating Mining Influenced Water

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council Mining influenced water (MIW) includes aqueous wastes generated by ore extraction and processing, as well as mine drainage and tailings runoff. MIW handling, storage, and disposal is a major environmental problem in mining districts throughout the U.S and around the world. Biochemical reactors (BCRs) are engineered treatment systems that use an organic substrate to drive microbial and chemical reactions to reduce concentrations of metals, acidity, and sulfate in MIWs. The ITRC Biochemical Reactors for Mining-Influenced Water technology guidance (BCR-1, 2013) and this associated Internet-based training provide an in-depth examination of BCRs; a decision framework to assess the applicability of BCRs; details on testing, designing, constructing and monitoring BCRs; and real world BCR case studies with diverse site conditions and chemical mixtures. At the end of this training, you should be able to complete the following activities:
  • Describe a BCR and how it works
  • Identify when a BCR is applicable to a site
  • Use the ITRC guidance for decision making by applying the decision framework
  • Improve site decision making through understanding of BCR advantages, limitations, reasonable expectations, regulatory and other challenges
  • Navigate the ITRC Biochemical Reactors for Mining-Influenced Water technology guidance (BCR-1, 2013)

For reference during the training class, participants should have a copy of Figure 2-1, decision flow process for determining the applicability of a biochemical reactor. It is also available as a 1-page PDF at http://www.cluin.org/conf/itrc/BCR/ITRC-BCRforMIW-DecisionFlow.pdf.

Participants should also be familiar with the ITRC technology and regulatory guidance for Mining-Waste Treatment Technology Selection (MW-1, 2010) and associated Internet-based training that helps regulators, consultants, industry, and stakeholders in selecting an applicable technology, or suite of technologies, which can be used to remediate mining sites.

Integrated DNAPL Site Strategy

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council Sites contaminated by chlorinated solvents present a daunting environmental challenge, especially at sites with dense nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) still present. Restoring sites contaminated by chlorinated solvents to typical regulatory criteria (low parts-per-billion concentrations) within a generation (~20 years) has proven exceptionally difficult, although there have been successes. Site managers must recognize that complete restoration of many of these sites will require prolonged treatment and involve several remediation technologies. To make as much progress as possible requires a thorough understanding of the site, clear descriptions of achievable objectives, and use of more than one remedial technology. Making efficient progress will require an adaptive management approach, and may also require transitioning from one remedy to another as the optimum range of a technique is surpassed. Targeted monitoring should be used and re-evaluation should be done periodically.

This ITRC Integrated Dense Nonaqueous Phase Liquid Site Strategy (IDSS-1, 2011) technical and regulatory guidance document will assist site managers in development of an integrated site remedial strategy. This course highlights five important features of an IDSS including:

  1. A conceptual site model (CSM) that is based on reliable characterization and an understanding of the subsurface conditions that control contaminant transport, reactivity, and distribution
  2. Remedial objectives and performance metrics that are clear, concise, and measureable
  3. Treatment technologies applied to optimize performance and take advantage of potential synergistic effects
  4. Monitoring based on interim and final cleanup objectives, the selected treatment technology and approach, and remedial performance goals
  5. Reevaluating the strategy repeatedly and even modifying the approach when objectives are not being met or when alternative methods offer similar or better outcomes at lower cost

This IDSS guidance and training is intended for regulators, remedial project managers, and remediation engineers responsible for sites contaminated by chlorinated solvents. Because the subject matter is complex, this guidance assumes a functional understanding of the field and is targeted towards experienced users; however, novices will benefit through descriptions and references of the latest evolution of site characterization challenges; realistic planning of site restoration; evolving treatment techniques; and evaluating, monitoring and interpreting mass transport in the subsurface aqueous and vapor phases. While the primary focus of the document is on DNAPL sites, other types of contaminated sites (e.g. petroleum, mixed contaminants, etc.) can use the same fundamental process described in this guidance.

For reference during the training class, participants should have a copy of the flow diagram, Figure 1-2 on page 6 of the ITRC Technical and Regulatory Guidance document, ITRC Integrated Dense Nonaqueous Phase Liquid Site Strategy (IDSS-1, 2011) and available as a 1-page PDF at http://www.cluin.org/conf/itrc/IDSS/ITRC-IDSS-1-Figure1-2.pdf.

Remedy Selection for Contaminated Sediments

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council The sediments underlying many of our nation’s major waterways are contaminated with toxic pollutants from past industrial activities. Cleaning up contaminated sediments is expensive and technically-challenging. Sediment sites are unique, complex, and require a multidisciplinary approach and often project managers lack sediments experience. ITRC developed the technical and regulatory guidance, Remedy Selection for Contaminated Sediments (CS-2, 2014), to assist decision-makers in identifying which contaminated sediment management technology is most favorable based on an evaluation of site specific physical, sediment, contaminant, and land and waterway use characteristics. The document provides a remedial selection framework to help identify favorable technologies, and identifies additional factors (feasibility, cost, stakeholder concerns, and others) that need to be considered as part of the remedy selection process. This ITRC training course supports participants with applying the technical and regulatory guidance as a tool to overcome the remedial challenges posed by contaminated sediment sites. Participants learn how to:
  • Identify site-specific characteristics and data needed for site decision making
  • Evaluate potential technologies based on site information
  • Select the most favorable contaminant management technology for their site
For reference during the training class, participants should have a copy of Figure 2-1, Framework for Sediment Remedy Evaluation. It is available as a 1-page PDF at http://www.cluin.org/conf/itrc/ContSedRem/ITRC-SedimentRemedyEvaluation.pdf.

Participants should also be familiar with the ITRC technology and regulatory guidance for Incorporating Bioavailability Considerations into the Evaluation of Contaminated Sediment Sites Website (CS-1, 2011) and associated Internet-based training that assists state regulators and practitioners with understanding and incorporating fundamental concepts of bioavailability in contaminated sediment management practices.

Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council Sites contaminated with dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) and DNAPL mixtures present significant environmental challenges. Despite the decades spent on characterizing and attempting to remediate DNAPL sites, substantial risk remains. Inadequate characterization of site geology as well as the distribution, characteristics, and behavior of contaminants -- by relying on traditional monitoring well methods rather than more innovative and integrated approaches -- has limited the success of many remediation efforts.

The Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization Team has synthesized the knowledge about DNAPL site characterization and remediation acquired over the past several decades, and has integrated that information into a new document, Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization and Tools Selection (ISC-1, 2015). This guidance is a resource to inform regulators, responsible parties, other problem holders, consultants, community stakeholders, and other interested parties of the critical concepts related to characterization approaches and tools for collecting subsurface data at DNAPL sites. After this associated training, participants will be able to use the ITRC Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization and Tools Selection (ISC-1, 2015) guidance to develop and support an integrated approach to DNAPL site characterization, including:
  • Identify what site conditions must be considered when developing an informative DNAPL conceptual site model (CSM)
  • Define an objectives-based DNAPL characterization strategy
  • Understand what tools and resources are available to improve the identification, collection, and evaluation of appropriate site characterization data
  • Navigate the DNAPL characterization tools table and select appropriate technologies to fill site-specific data gaps
For reference during the training class, participants should have a copy of Figure 4-1, the integrated site characterization flow diagram from the ITRC Technical and Regulatory Guidance document: Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization and Tools Selection (ISC-1, 2015) and available as a PDF at http://www.cluin.org/conf/itrc/IDSC/ITRC-ISC-Figures.pdf.