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CLU-IN Studio
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Phytoremediation of Metals
Sponsored by: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Superfund Basic Research Program
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Presentation Overview:

The Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP), in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI) presents "Phytoremediation of Metals." This, the final session of the series, will feature Dr. Michael Blaylock, Vice President of Systems Development, Edenspace; and Dr. Raina Maier, SBRP-University of Arizona. The session will feature successful phytoextraction and phytostabilization case studies on sites impacted by metals.

Dr. Blaylock will report on a site where Pteris ferns were used to assist in removing arsenic from targeted residential soils in Washington DC and areas of central Virginia. These ferns have shown a remarkable ability to tolerate and accumulate high concentrations of arsenic in their fronds. As a result of these studies, improvements in the methods of application and assessment have been developed, including sampling approaches to improve confidence in the data, management practices to improve biomass production, and techniques for minimizing irrigation requirements. The presentation will cover approaches, techniques and results obtained from different arsenic phytoremediation projects along with the benefits and challenges of implementing phytoremediation in these areas.

Dr. Maier's presentation will provide a discussion of strategies to achieve successful establishment of native plants in mine tailings in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. This strategy, phytostabilization, is a remediation approach that can minimize erosion processes. The presentation includes consideration of the tailings type (pH, metal content), plant type, the minimum organic amendments required for plant germination and growth, the potential for accumulation of metals into above-ground tissues, and the supporting rhizosphere microbial community. The discussion will also include approaches and indicators to evaluate the success of phytostabilization.

The session will be moderated by Dr. Heather Henry, Program Administrator, Superfund Basic Research Program.

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