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

Spring 2015 Technology News and Trends

Posted: June 22, 2015

This issue highlights innovative approaches for remediating sites that are contaminated due to the presence of mining-influenced water or solid waste associated with the mining of hard rock, coal or uranium. Mining operations, both past and ongoing, can create a host of contamination issues, including the release of contaminants of concern such as arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc, into soil and groundwater. Much of the contamination is associated with acid rock drainage generated when surface water or groundwater comes into contact with acid-generating mine wastes or with bedrock exposed by mining processes. The projects featured in this issue illustrate the collaboration between federal partners, such as the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, EPA and Forest Service, and state agencies, tribes and other stakeholders, to find solutions for mining sites and identify cost-effective and low-maintenance treatment systems for mine site cleanups.

Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization and Tools Selection

Posted: June 11, 2015

This document reviews the current knowledge of DNAPLs and their subsurface behavior. Using an integrated site characterization approach that emphasizes adequate data resolution to fully characterize a site, this document describes how to align data on contaminant distribution, geology, and groundwater flow at a spatial resolution appropriate to the site-specific remedial objectives. With improving understanding of subsurface contaminant behavior, both existing and new tools and techniques can be used to measure physical, chemical, and hydrologic subsurface parameters to better characterize the subsurface. This document synthesizes the knowledge of DNAPL site characterization and remediation and provides guidance on simultaneous characterization of contaminant distributions, hydrogeology, and attenuation processes to allow for improvements in the following areas: assessment of ongoing contaminant exposures; quantification of contaminant transport, storage, and attenuation patterns; prediction of future exposures that would occur without intervention; prediction of changes in future exposures that would occur in response to remedial actions; and selection and design of remedial actions.

Semiannual Progress Report: Third and Fourth Quarters Fiscal Year 2014 (April 1 to September 30, 2014) for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Hazardous Waste Facility Permit

Posted: May 19, 2015

Activities conducted by LBNL under its RCRA Corrective Action Program consist primarily of 1) continued operation of the corrective measures approved by the CalEPA's Department of Toxic Substances Control to clean up groundwater affected by TCE and 2) monitoring groundwater quality. The corrective measures required for contaminated soil were completed in 2006. The corrective measures required for groundwater currently are in the operation, maintenance, and monitoring stage. Contaminants include PCE, TCE, and daughter products; metals; PCBs; TPH; and tritium. Treatment consists primarily of in situ soil flushing with groundwater capture. Secondary measures in some areas include subsurface injection of HRC®, soil vapor extraction, and monitored natural attenuation. Extracted VOC-contaminated groundwater is treated using granular activated carbon filters and when not injected into the subsurface to flush the soil is otherwise discharged under permit to the sanitary sewer. During the current reporting period, ~2 million gal of water were treated, with more than 154 million gal treated to date.

Mitigation of PCB Using Permeable Reactive Barrier Technology at Resolution Island, Nunavut From 2005 to 2013

Posted: May 19, 2015

Three permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) at Resolution Island, Nunavut, were installed in 2005 and 2006 to deal with surface runoff of PCBs at the site. These barrier/filter systems are unique in that they are designed to deal with surface sediments as well as surface runoff containing PCBs. This technology was selected because the fractured bedrock at Resolution Island contained soils at PCB concentrations between 1 and 5 ppm (Tier I), between 5 and 49 ppm (Tier II), and ≥50 ppm (CEPA) levels that could not be accessed during excavation. Steep inclines also inhibited access to areas of contaminated soil. Field filter samples showed that partitioning of PCBs between contaminated soil and granular activated carbon filter particles was occurring at levels of 62 ± 11%. This sequestration requires both particle retention within the granular sorptive filters and a maintained contact time between particles for sorption processes to proceed. Eight years after installation, the barriers continue to function very well and are mitigating PCB migration. This presentation describes PRB construction, monitoring results from 2006 to 2013, successful capture of PCB-contaminated sediment, geotextile stability, and plans for decommissioning the barriers.

Vapor Intrusion Guidance

Posted: May 19, 2015

There are two parts to the NC DENR vapor intrusion guidance: the DWM Vapor Intrusion Guidance and the DWM Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels (Apr 2014, 4 pp). To allow for flexibility in updating information on a frequent basis as U.S. EPA revises the Regional Screening Level Tables, the DWM Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels are separate from the main guidance document.

In Situ Remediation of 1,4-Dioxane Using Electrical Resistance Heating

Posted: June 3, 2015

Concentration reductions >99.8% of 1,4-dioxane (dioxane) have been observed in the field using electrical resistance heating (ERH). The authors discuss dioxane concentrations in air and steam extracted by an ERH vapor recovery system and the development and correlation of field data for an ERH treatment cost model for the compound. Field observations and lab testing indicate that the steam stripping that occurs through ERH remediation is an effective treatment method for dioxane. Two case studies are reported that achieved substantial dioxane concentration reductions via ERH. See an earlier version of this paper at

Technical Guidelines On Performing a Sediment Erosion and Deposition Assessment (Seda) at Superfund Sites

Posted: June 3, 2015

This report outlines the processes that influence sediment transport and describes methods to use in developing a sediment erosion and deposition assessment (SEDA) at a designated Superfund site. A SEDA is a complex procedure that overlaps multiple processes, properties, and disciplines and includes consideration of sediment characteristics, groundwater movement, surface water stresses, sediment loadings, anthropogenic activity, and weather and oceanographic influences. Historical data also can provide a long-term record of system evolution, which not only is critical in assessing sediment erodibility but also supports conceptual site model development. The most successful SEDA studies have been guided by a technical review panel working with an RPM in SEDA development. Understanding of processes at a specific site, coupled with experience from other sites, is also critical to success.

Integrated DNAPL Site Characterization and Tools Selection

Posted: June 3, 2015

Current knowledge about DNAPL site characterization and remediation has been integrated into this Web-based document to develop a resource that can inform regulators, consultants, and other interested parties of the critical concepts related to characterization approaches and tools for collecting subsurface data at DNAPL sites. Coverage includes identifying site conditions to considered when developing an informative DNAPL conceptual site model; defining an objectives-based DNAPL characterization strategy; understanding the tools and resources that are available to improve the identification, collection, and evaluation of site characterization data; and selecting appropriate technologies to fill site-specific data gaps. Case studies are provided to illustrate the concepts.

Best Practice Guidance for Practical Application of Gentle Remediation Options (Gro)

Posted: June 3, 2015

Gentle remediation options (GRO) are risk management strategies or techniques for contaminated sites that result in a net gain (or at least no gross reduction) in soil functionality. The following phytotechnologies have been implemented as GROs: phytoextraction, phytodegradation, phytotransformation, rhizodegradation, rhizofiltration, phytostabilization, phytovolatilization, in situ immobilization, and phytoexclusion. These plant-based strategies and techniques have been applied successfully at sites affected by a range of organic, inorganic, and radioactive contaminants. This document focuses on GRO application at sites contaminated with trace elements (metal and metalloid). The guide and its appendices are accompanied at by a decision support tool for selecting the most suitable GRO for site-specific conditions.

Phyto: Principles and Resources for Site Remediation and Landscape Design

Posted: June 3, 2015

This text presents the concepts of phytoremediation and phytotechnology in one comprehensive guide, illustrating the consideration of plants for the uptake, removal, or mitigation of on-site pollutants. Current scientific case studies highlight the advantages and limitations of plant-based cleanup. Typical contaminant groups found in the built environment are explained, and plant lists for mitigation of specific contaminants are included where applicable. This book addresses the benefits of phytotechnologies from a design point of view, taking complex scientific terms and translating the research into an easy-to-understand reference for those involved in creating planting solutions. This text presents the concept of "phytobuffering," which is the creation of protective planting designs with preventive phytotechnology abilities where future pollution might be expected. The authors guide the reader through the process of selecting plants for their aesthetic and environmental qualities, combined with their contaminant-removal benefits. Some of the ideas in the book are illustrated by the authors in a "Phyto Practicum" course handout at

Enhanced Reductive Dechlorination (Erd) Design Considerations

Posted: June 3, 2015

ERD is a type of enhanced in situ bioremediation used to promote anaerobic biological dechlorination of chlorinated solvents in the subsurface by both direct and cometabolic degradation processes. ERD involves delivery into the subsurface of amendments (biostimulation) and in some cases specialized bacteria (bioaugmentation) to stimulate specific dechlorinating biodegradation reactions. This document was developed for the U.S. Navy to lay out a framework for ERD design submittals, including a summary of best practices for bioremediation design, tips for appropriate QA/QC measures, and a listing of standards and references. To be posted at

In Situ Chemical Oxidation Design Considerations

Posted: June 3, 2015

This document was developed for the U.S. Navy to provide a framework for in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) design submittals. It offers a summary of best practices for ISCO design, appropriate QA/QC measures, and available standards and references. To be posted at