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

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

Recent Additions

SERDP & ESTCP Webinar Series: DNAPL Source Zone Management Approaches

Posted: December 19, 2014

The next event in the SERDP and ESTCP webinar series will be held on Thursday, January 8, and will feature two technical presentations detailing results from ESTCP-funded projects. First, Dr. Paul Johnson (Arizona State University) will discuss a data-driven approach to assessing source zone natural attenuation at chlorinated solvent spill sites. Second, Dr. Charles Newell (GSI Environmental) will highlight a recently completed demonstration project of an innovative method for reconstructing the 'source history' at a site for natural attenuation assessments by using high-resolution soil coring within low-permeability zones.

Fall 2014 Technology News and Trends

Posted: November 28, 2014

This issue highlights characterization and remediation strategies for contaminated sediment, which impairs the uses of many water bodies and is often a contributing factor to the thousands of fish consumption advisories that have been issued nationwide. As of December 2012, remedies for 70 large sediment sites were selected under the Superfund program and Superfund evaluation was underway for another 50 sites. Difficulties in contaminated sediment cleanup are often associated with the variability of contaminant occurrence or transport due to changing surface and near-surface water conditions, the adequacy of characterization tools or techniques, or limitations of remediation technologies employed in subaqueous settings. Site-specific projects described in this issue demonstrate development, testing or full-scale use of innovative technologies and approaches for addressing these issues.

CLU-IN Highlights for FY 2014

Posted: November 21, 2014

As a result of your interests, in the past Fiscal Year the Clean Up Information Network (CLU-IN)
  • received over 2.5 million site visits
  • distributed over 700,000 documents downloads
  • hosted more than 120 internet seminars attended by more than 20,000 live participants
  • offered nearly 750,000 views/downloads of CLUIN archived internet seminars
We welcome your continued input on resources and information shared through the Clean Up Information Network. If you have comments or suggestions, please share them with us.

FY 2016 SERDP Solicitations Released

Posted: November 7, 2014

The Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is seeking environmental research and development proposals for funding beginning in FY 2016. Projects will be selected through a competitive process. The Core Solicitation provides funding opportunities for basic and applied research and advanced technology development related to the SERDP program areas of Environmental Restoration (ER), Munitions Response (MR), Resource Conservation and Climate Change (RC), and Weapons Systems and Platforms (WP). The SEED Solicitation provides funding opportunities for work that will investigate innovative environmental approaches that entail high technical risk or require supporting data to provide proof of concept. Funding is limited to not more than $150,000 and projects are approximately one year in duration. This year, SERDP is requesting SEED proposals for the Munitions Response and Weapons Systems and Platforms program areas. All Core pre-proposals are due Thursday, January 8, 2015. SEED proposals are due Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Remediation of a Former Dry Cleaner Using Nanoscale Zero Valent Iron

Posted: November 19, 2014

Beneath a former dry cleaner located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, PCE was observed in site soil at concentrations up to 2,700 mg/kg and in shallow groundwater at concentrations up to 41 mg/L. Nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) was injected as an interim measure to treat the PCE source area. To achieve a design loading rate of 0.001 kg of iron per kg of aquifer material, ~725 kg of NanoFe™ (PARS Environmental) was injected over a 2-week period into a saprolite and partially weathered rock aquifer. The injections resulted in near elimination of PCE within one month, while cis-1,2-DCE accumulated at high concentrations (>65 mg/L) for 12 months. Mass reduction of PCE and total ethenes was estimated at 96% and 58%, respectively, compared to baseline conditions. Detections of ethene confirmed complete dechlorination of PCE. Based on hydrogen gas generation, NZVI reactivity lasted 15 months. This paper is Open Access at

Use of Large-Scale Electrokinetic and Zvi Treatment for Chlorinated Solvent Remediation at An Active Industrial Facility

Posted: November 19, 2014

The Lasagna™ system, which combines electrokinetic and ZVI technologies, uses a direct current electrical field to mobilize contaminants via electroosmosis and soil heating. The contaminants are intercepted and reduced in situ using treatment zones containing ZVI. Lasagna™ was implemented for soils contaminated with chlorinated solvents, including DNAPL, at an active industrial site in Ohio. The remediation systems were placed in tight clay soils beneath traffic areas without interruption to facility production. In the moderately contaminated soils around the actively treated source areas, a grid of ZVI-filled boreholes was installed for passive treatment of residual contamination. The active systems removed 80% of the TCE mass, while the passive ZVI borings continue to reduce the TCE. Cleanup goals have been met, and the site is now in monitoring-only mode to track contaminant attenuation. Additional information:

Phytoremediation of a Petroleum-Hydrocarbon Contaminated Shallow Aquifer in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA

Posted: November 19, 2014

A former bulk fuel terminal in North Carolina is a groundwater phytoremediation demonstration site where 3,250 hybrid poplars, willows, and pine trees were planted from 2006 to 2008 over ~579,000 L of residual gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Since 2011, the groundwater altitude is lower in the area with trees than outside the planted area. Soil-gas analyses showed a 95% mass loss for TPH and a 99% mass loss for BTEX. BTEX and MTBE concentrations have declined in the groundwater. Interpolations of free-phase, fuel-product gauging data show reduced thicknesses across the site and pooling of fuel product where poplar biomass is greatest. Isolated clusters of tree mortalities have persisted in areas with high TPH and BTEX mass. Toxicity assays showed impaired water use for willows and poplars exposed to the site's fuel product, but Populus survival for all four clones was higher than on-site willows or pines, even in an uncontaminated control area. This paper is Open Access at

Treatability Study Work Plan: in Situ Soil Flushing Pilot, Nevada Environmental Response Trust Site, Henderson, Nevada. Revision 2

Posted: November 19, 2014

A groundwater extraction and treatment system (GWETS) has removed chromate since 1986 and perchlorate since 1998 from the Nevada Environmental Response Trust (NERT) site's groundwater under NDEP oversight. Collected groundwater is first treated to reduce chromate to Cr(III) through a ferrous sulfate treatment system, and then the perchlorate is addressed in a series of fluidized bed reactors that contain perchlorate-reducing bacteria. Following treatment, groundwater is discharged to the Las Vegas Wash. This Work Plan details the pilot test conceptual design, preliminary lab-scale evaluations, and preliminary field work necessary for conducting an in situ soil flushing pilot test at the NERT site. The proposed pilot testing builds upon a preliminary evaluation of soil flushing technology conducted in 2010. Prior to implementation at field scale, the testing program will evaluate the performance of alternative flushing liquids (Lake Mead water versus GWETS effluent) and the potential for the technology to stimulate in situ biodegradation of perchlorate.

Code of Good Practice: in Situ Chemical Oxidation

Posted: November 19, 2014

This code of good practice from the EU's CityChlor project provides an overview of the current theoretical knowledge of in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) in Section 1. To help environmental practitioners evaluate whether ISCO might be an appropriate remediation technique for a particular site, Section 2 offers six example case studies: three case studies of ISCO with activated sulfate, with ozone, and with permanganate and hydrogen peroxide, followed by three more case studies of ISCO with hydrogen peroxide alone.

Environmental Footprint Analysis of Steam Enhanced Extraction Remedy: Former Williams Air Force Base, Site St012, Mesa, Az

Posted: December 3, 2014

This green remediation study quantifies the environmental footprint for an in situ thermal treatment remedy using steam enhanced extraction for Site ST012, located on the Former Williams Air Force Base in Mesa, Arizona. The study quantifies contributions to the footprint and identifies and prioritizes best management practices to address the significant contributors during future construction and operation of the thermal system. The footprint analysis borrows from life-cycle assessment principles and uses data from life-cycle inventory databases to convert energy usage, materials usage, and various services associated with site remediation into the environmental footprints for that activity.

Pilot-Scale Treatment of Virginia Canyon Mine Drainage in Idaho Springs, Colorado, USA Using Octolig&Reg;

Posted: December 3, 2014

A pilot study was conducted from March 26 to May 7, 2012, to treat mine drainage from the Virginia Canyon in Idaho Springs, Colorado, using the Octolig® adsorption technology. Octolig® is a pH-responsive immobilized ligand that has a strong affinity for heavy metals. The chronic water quality criterion for Pb was met on all dates except 4/16/12, and the Virginia Canyon drainage itself met the acute criterion for Pb. The chronic criterion for Al was met only on 4/5/12. Neither acute nor chronic criteria were met for Cd, Cu, or Zn on any date. The best percentages of metals removed (>90%) were achieved during the first week of sampling, with decreasing and inconsistent removal observed over time. Sludge production was about 62% (by mass) less than the estimate for lime treatment of the same water. Concentrations of valuable metals were considered too low for economical recycling of the concentrated metals waste stream. The estimated costs for system scale-up indicated both capital and operating and maintenance costs were greater than costs associated with a traditional lime treatment.

Mercury in the Nation's Streams: Levels, Trends, and Implications

Posted: December 3, 2014

This report summarizes selected stream studies conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey since the late 1990s, while also drawing on scientific literature and datasets from other sources. Previous national Hg assessments by other agencies have focused largely on lakes. Although numerous studies of Hg in streams have been conducted at local and regional scales, recent USGS studies provide the most comprehensive, multimedia assessment of streams across the United States, and yield insights about the importance of watershed characteristics relative to Hg inputs. Information from other environments (lakes, wetlands, soil, atmosphere, glacial ice) also is summarized to help show how Hg occurence varies in space and time.

Protocol for Measuring Dioxin-Like Activity in Environmental Samples Using in Vitro Reporter Gene Dr-Luc Assays

Posted: December 3, 2014

Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds demonstrate high affinity binding to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-activated transcription factor that mediates most, if not all, of the toxic responses of PCDDs, PCDFs, coplanar PCBs, and PBBs. The DR-Luc bioassay, or DR-CALUX® (Dioxin Response Chemical Activated LUciferase gene eXpression), utilizes a recombinant rat hepatoma H4IIE cell line with a stably integrated AhR-responsive luciferase reporter gene. Exposure of this bioassay to extracts containing dioxin-like compounds induces the enzyme luciferase in a time-, dose-, and chemical-specific manner. Cells are cultured in the laboratory and transferred to 96-well plates. Luciferase activity is determined by measuring the light emitted, which is directly proportional to the amount of dioxin-like compounds within the test extract. Critical steps include the extraction of sediment or biota samples and subsequent cleanup of the extracts.

Determination of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Soil and Sediment by Selective Pressurized Liquid Extraction With Immunochemical Detection

Posted: December 3, 2014

In developing a streamlined sample preparation/cleanup procedure for determining Aroclors and coplanar PCBs in soil and sediment matrices, selective liquid pressurized extraction (SPLE) was coupled with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in two methods with different specificities: an Aroclor ELISA and a coplanar PCB ELISA. The estimated method detection limit was 10 ng/g for Aroclor 1254 and 125 pg/g for PCB-126. Estimated sample throughput for the SPLE-ELISA was about twice that of the stepwise extraction/cleanup procedure necessary for GC or GC/MS detection.

Aquarehab: Generic Guidelines

Posted: December 3, 2014

AQUAREHAB was an EU-financed, large-scale research project that explored innovative environmental remediation techniques. The project started in May 2009 with 19 project partners and completed its mandate at the end of 2013. Among the AQUAREHAB accomplishments is a series of generic guidelines developed from literature reviews and project outcomes. These documents provide information about specific innovative technologies and the application area and boundary conditions for feasibility testing. Nine generic guideline reports are posted at

Field Application of Modified in Situ Soil Flushing in Combination With Air Sparging at a Military Site Polluted by Diesel and Gasoline in Korea

Posted: December 17, 2014

A modified soil flushing procedure with surfactants and air sparging was implemented in full-scale operation at a fuel-contaminated military site. The objective was to improve removal efficiency at depths >7 m. Slurping and soil flushing operations were conducted for 10 months in the first stage, and a modified process of soil flushing serially operated with air sparging was used in the second stage. TPH removal efficiencies were 52.8%, 57.4%, and 61.8% for the soil layers at 6-7, 7-8, and 8-9 m, respectively. Total TPH and BTEX mass removed during the full-scale operation was 5,109 and 752 kg, respectively. Crucial factors identified from a serial pilot study and during unit process operation provide meaningful information for operations of more than 12 months that use surfactant-aided soil flushing at sites affected by gasoline and diesel. The findings also provide information regarding the scale-up process for modifying technology from a column test to a pilot study and then to full-scale application. This paper is Open Access at

Smalley-Piper Npl Site

Posted: December 17, 2014

Industrial activities conducted at the 9-acre Smalley-Piper site included the manufacture of magnesium battery casings utilizing caustic soda, acetic acid, and chromium acid, which contaminated soil, surface water pathways, and groundwater with Cr(VI). All on-site operations ceased in 2007. An amended Superfund State Contract (SSC) addresses the previously performed soil remedy of excavation and ex situ stabilization/solidification as specified in the 2008 ROD and adds a soil flushing component. The original SSC addressing soil remedial action was performed at a cost of $1,982,915. The amended SSC has a total current estimated cost of $7,781,970, with a state 10% match of $778,197. The intent of the in situ flushing remedy is to reduce remaining Cr(VI) subsurface soil concentrations that might leach into groundwater. Water will be extracted by on-site recovery wells; treated ex situ in chemical reduction, precipitation, and ion-exchange treatment modules; and then re-injected into the former source area via an infiltration gallery. The system is expected to operate for one year.

Review of Quantitative Surveys of the Length and Stability of Mtbe, Tba, and Benzene Plumes in Groundwater at UST Sites

Posted: December 17, 2014

Data from 13 published scientific surveys show the observed lengths of benzene and MTBE plumes to be relatively consistent among various regions and hydrogeologic settings, with median lengths at a delineation limit of 10 µg/L falling into relatively narrow ranges from 101 to 185 ft for benzene and 110 to 178?ft for MTBE. The observed statistical distributions of MTBE and benzene plumes show the two plume types to be of comparable lengths, with 90th percentile MTBE plume lengths moderately exceeding benzene plume lengths by 16% at a 10-µg/L delineation limit (400?ft versus 345 ft) and 25% at a 5-µg/L delineation limit (530?ft versus 425?ft). Stability analyses for benzene and MTBE plumes found 94 and 93% of these plumes, respectively, to be in a nonexpanding condition, and over 91% of individual monitoring wells to exhibit nonincreasing concentration trends. Three published studies addressing TBA found TBA plumes to be of comparable length to MTBE and benzene plumes, with 86% of wells in one study showing nonincreasing concentration trends. This paper is Open Access at

Standardized Procedures for Use of Nucleic Acid-Based Tools: Recommendations for Groundwater Sampling and Analysis Using Qpcr

Posted: December 17, 2014

SERDP project ER-1561 focused on identifying and minimizing the causes of variability during quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) enumeration of genes of interest in groundwater, with the goal of developing the knowledge needed to standardize methods for collecting, preserving, transporting, storing, and processing environmental samples for qPCR analysis. This document summarizes the project conclusions and recommends procedures for using qPCR analyses that will provide data of sufficient accuracy and reproducibility to allow site management decisions regarding bioremediation or monitored natural attenuation.