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Environmental Factor, July 2014

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SRP promotes innovative research tools for environmental remediation

By Sara Mishamandani

Beth Anderson and Nadia Hollan Burke

SRP program analyst Beth Anderson, left, chatted with Nadia Hollan Burke, a remedial project manager from EPA Region 9.  “The SRP exposed me to the various engineering issues in the Superfund program and taught me to engage in cooperative relationships,” Burke said. (Photo courtesy of Maureen Avakian)

Henry, Eckley and Lambert

Henry, left, Chris Eckley from EPA Region 10, center, and co-organizer Lambert discussed the importance of training sessions for those who need to set up passive sampling devices to monitor remediation. (Photo courtesy of Heather Henry)

NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) staff participated in the 23rd National Association of Remedial Project Managers (NARPM) Training Program June 16-20 in Atlanta. They showcased SRP tools and resources available to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remedial project managers.

EPA remedial project managers plan, implement, and coordinate the cleanup of soil, groundwater, air, and solid waste pollution at hazardous waste sites. They are also involved in site assessments and monitoring the progress of the remediation. Part of the NARPM goal is to enable these managers to become knowledgeable and develop skills that will help them be successful at work. Toward this goal, NIEHS staff has shared SRP-funded tools and technologies at NARPM since 1995.

NIEHS staff manned a booth throughout the meeting that provided information about SRP, ways to collaborate with SRP researchers, and innovative research that may be useful.

Measuring contaminants and determining remediation effectiveness

Heather Henry, Ph.D., an NIEHS health scientist administrator, co-organized a full-day training course with Matt Lambert from the EPA Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation. The class covered measuring bioavailability of contaminants at sediment sites.

During the session, SRP grantees and other scientists provided an overview on how to use passive samplers for organic contaminants, and other newly developed tools. SRP-funded passive samplers help determine the effectiveness of remediation methods in reducing risks to people at hazardous waste sites.

Keith Maruya, Ph.D., an SRP grantee at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, described several state-of-the-science passive samplers. Upal Ghosh, Ph.D., an SRP grantee from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, provided practical guidance on devices that measure organic contaminants. During his talk, Ghosh mentioned passive samplers that use SediMite technology, an SRP-funded product developed to reduce harmful chemicals in water and sediment (see article).

Other sessions were led by remedial project managers, who focused on case studies using available tools to measure concentrations of important contaminants at hazardous waste sites.

(Sara Mishamandani is a research and communication specialist for MDB Inc., a contractor for the NIEHS Superfund Research Program and Division of Extramural Research and Training.)

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