USGS Studies Support Regulatory Guidance Documents
Toxics Program scientists have been instrumental in promoting the use
of natural attenuation to cleanup ground-water contamination, resulting
in a savings of millions of dollars annually over engineering options.
Toxics Program studies on the natural response of the environment to contamination
by toxic substances have been influential in formulating regulatory policy
on the use of natural attenuation. Several studies have formed the basis
for regulatory guidance documents on the use of natural attenuation. For
- Toxics Program and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientists
offered a workshop on implementing natural attenuation remediation alternatives
at contaminated sites. The results from several Toxics Program investigations
on the natural attenuation of petroleum hydrocarbons, fuel
oxygenates, and chlorinated solvents were presented. The seminar
provided environmental scientists and engineers with information and
methods to evaluate the long-term viability of using natural attenuation
to clean up contaminated ground-water sites and to monitor the performance
and success of the remediation. These methods are essential to foster
confidence in this cost efficient remediation alternative.
- USGS scientists from the Toxics Program working at the Laurel Bay,
South Carolina, Toxics Site have released a methodology to assess the
potential for natural attenuation of gasoline and other petroleum products
including methyl tert-butyl ether
(MTBE), a component of oxygenated gasoline that reduces air pollution.
The methodology is described in a report entitled "Methodology
for Applying Monitored Natural Attenuation or Petroleum Hydrocarbon-Contaminated
Ground-Water System with Examples from South Carolina" (USGS WRIR
00-4161). This methodology is being adopted by the South Carolina Department
of Health and Environmental Control to integrate consideration of fuel
oxygenates (such as MTBE) into the State Underground Petroleum Emergency
Response Bank program.
- The Air Force Center for
Environmental Excellence and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's
Program have jointly published an important guidance document entitled
"Technical Protocol for Evaluating Natural Attenuation of Chlorinated
Solvents in Ground Water." The guidance was coauthored by a Toxics Program
scientist. Information and methods developed by the programs contributed
to the scientific basis for this protocol."
Related Science Features
- Chapelle, F.H., Robertson, J.F., Landmeyer, J.E., and Bradley, P.M.,
2000, Methodology for applying monitored natural attenuation to petroleum
hydrocarbon-contaminated ground-water systems with examples from South
Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report
00-4161, 47 p. A 3 1/2" disk is included.
- Wiedemeier, T.H., Swanson, M.A., Moutoux, D.E., Gordon, E.K., Wilson,
J.T., Wilson, B.H., Kampbell, D.H., Haas, P.E., Miller, R.N., Hansen,
J.E., and Chapelle, F.H., 1998, Technical
protocol for evaluating natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents
in ground water: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of
Research and Development, EPA/600/R-98/128, 244 p.
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