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Sediment Cap Chemical Isolation Training

Sponsored by: Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council

Go to Archive
Apr 30, 2024

In 2023, ITRC published the Sediment Cap Chemical Isolation Guidance to supplement the 2014 Contaminated Sediments Remediation Guidance with the goal of improving consistency in sediment cap performance outcomes. Sediment capping is a commonly selected remediation approach and numerous designs have been completed. Previous cap designs have been evaluated in multiple ways, and these varying approaches have led to some differences in selection of chemical design criteria, construction tolerance specifications, and monitoring/maintenance objectives for sites with similar characteristics and contaminants, leading to different expectations for long-term performance and reliability.

The ITRC Sediment Cap Chemical Isolation Guidance provides a framework for the design, construction, and long-term monitoring of the chemical isolation function of sediment caps. The framework consists of an iterative design process informed by site-specific data that balances achievement of chemical design criteria, physical design constraints, constructability and permitting requirements. In addition, the guidance summarizes key construction considerations and presents a recommended approach for monitoring and evaluating long-term chemical isolation performance. The recommended framework presented in the Sediment Cap Chemical Isolation Guidance is illustrated below.

The Sediment Cap Chemical Isolation Training will cover several key elements of the recommended framework, including:
  • A capping overview that summarizes objectives of capping, role of the chemical isolation layer, and generic cap types and compositions.
  • A discussion of performance objectives and design concepts that includes the selection of chemical isolation performance targets criteria and development of design criteria while considering the site setting and conceptual site model elements.
  • An overview of chemical isolation layer modeling tools and discussion of their applicability to support chemical isolation design, important model input parameters, and the impact of uncertainty and sensitivity of modeling results.
  • A summary of chemical isolation construction considerations, including an overview of available construction methods and tolerances and quality assurance and quality control measures.
  • A discussion of cap performance monitoring and maintenance objectives and approaches that include developing monitoring objectives to assess chemical isolation performance and methods for guiding long-term maintenance decisions.

We encourage participants to review the ITRC Sediment Cap Chemical Isolation Guidance (SD-1) before and after the training to become familiar with the topics and recommendations discussed during the training. This training is intended for all environmental professionals working in the field of sediment capping projects, including regulators and other government agency staff, consultants, project stakeholders, and industry.

A photograph of Wardah Azhar, Ph.D., PEWardah Azhar, Ph.D., PE, Parsons (
Dr. Wardah Azhar is a Sediment Remediation Technical Director with Parsons. They have over 11 years of research and project experience in contaminated sediment remediation, with focus on contamination nature and extent, contaminant fate and transport modeling, and cap design. Dr. Azhar provides technical support for site investigations, remedial design activities, and long-term monitoring at a variety of sediment Superfund sites across the United States. They are a current member of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council [ITRC] Sediment Cap team, as a significant contributor to the design and modeling sections of the Sediment Cap Guidance and co-leader for the training subgroup. Dr. Azhar earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology in Pakistan in 2008, a M.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015.

A photograph of Erik BakkomErik Bakkom, Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc (
Erik Bakkom is a principal environmental engineer with Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc., where he focused on brownfield and industrial site cleanup, sediment remediation, and solid and hazardous waste management. Based in Portland, Oregon, Mr. Bakkom works with diverse teams of technical professionals for development, industrial, and municipal clients. From investigation through feasibility study, design, and construction, Mr. Bakkom has led remedial efforts for complex, riverbank, sediment, upland, groundwater, and landfill projects in the Pacific Northwest. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

A photograph of John CollinsJohn Collins, AquaBlok, Ltd (
John Collins is General Manager and COO of AquaBlok, Ltd. Mr. Collins is responsible for all day to day activities of the company, which include; technology development, manufacturing and marketing. The company developed, patented and manufactures a wide range of AquaBlok® products in not only the environmental remediation markets, but also in annular sealants, pond/canal liners, and other segments as well.

Mr. Collins has over 20 years experience in a range of engineering and environmental related businesses, managing research, product development, technology licensing, capital goods manufacturing and venture capital investments. He has been with AquaBlok for six years and has guided the development of a range of new in-situ remediation products and managed multiple remediation projects.

A photograph of Todd CridgeTodd Cridge, Haley & Aldrich (
Todd Cridge (Haley & Aldrich) has 20 years of experience in the design and implementation of sediment investigation and comprehensive sediment remedies, with a special focus on sediment capping.  He is considered a technical leader for sediment capping projects including reactive caps for PCBs, PAHs and creosote, and is a technical expert at Haley & Aldrich for sediment remediation projects. He has led the design and managed construction for projects at MGP and industrial sites which featured sediment remediation in waterways including sediment capping, mechanical/hydraulic dredging, in-situ stabilization, as well as soil removal and barrier wall construction across the US in marine and freshwater environments. 

Mike Ellis, Barr (
Mike works on complex environmental remediation projects involving multidisciplinary teams and specializes in sediment remediation projects. His work focuses on evaluating remediation options by conducting feasibility studies and coordinating stakeholder collaboration; developing remedial action work plans; permitting; and designing and implementing remedial actions. He manages multidisciplinary project teams, works with regulatory agencies on timely permit approvals, provides hands-on construction management, and collaborates with contractors to facilitate successful project implementation.

A photograph of Jeffrey HaleJeffrey Hale, Kleinfelder (
Jeff Hale is a Senior Principal Professional with Kleinfelder. With 28 years of experience, he provides consultation, strategy, and direction for challenging environmental and natural resources issues with emphasis on contaminated sediments, PFAS, complex sites, contaminant hydrogeology, remediation, and environmental forensics. He served as a contributor, section leader, and trainer for ITRC’s PFAS and Fractured Rock Teams and is the recipient of ASTM International’s Special Service Award. His passion is to bring insight and clarity to emerging and seemingly complex environmental issues through a creative investigation approach that combines technology and research advancements. Located in Pittsburgh, PA, Jeff is a registered professional geologist in Pennsylvania.

A photograph of David LampertDavid Lampert, Illinois Institute of Technology (
Dr. David J. Lampert is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University, an M.S. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously served as a tenure-track faculty member at Oklahoma State University and as a staff scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Dr. Lampert’s research interests include energy and water sustainability, contaminant fate and transport modeling, water and wastewater treatment, life cycle assessment, and water quality modeling. He has been awarded external grants and contracts for his research exceeding $2,000,000 from sponsors including the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other private, local, and state organizations.

A photograph of Ashley LesserAshley Lesser, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (
Ashley Lesser, P.E., is an Environmental Quality Analyst for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), addressing sites of environmental contamination regulated under Parts 201 and 213 of Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. As part of EGLE’s Remediation and Redevelopment Division, Ashley oversees state-funded remediation projects and provides compliance assistance and technical review for response activities at liable party and brownfield sites in Washtenaw County. Before coming to EGLE in 2021, Ashley worked for over a decade in environmental consulting; her past firms include NTH Consultants, Testing Engineers & Consultants, and Shaw Environmental (now APTIM). In these roles, she performed due diligence and compliance assessments for a variety of property types and supported major infrastructure, construction, and remediation projects such as Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena and the Gordie Howe International Bridge. A civil engineering graduate of Princeton University (B.S.E.) and Wayne State University (M.S.C.E.), Ashley continues to seek solutions to complex pollution problems and values active involvement in the professional community. In addition to her participation in ITRC, she has assisted with internal technical guidance development efforts at EGLE and is a member of EGLE’s Groundwater-Surface Water Interface (GSI) Technical Assistance and Program Support (TAPS) Team. She currently serves on national career and leadership development committees for the American Society of Civil Engineers and Society of Women Engineers, and was recently installed as a Fellow of the Engineering Society of Detroit.

A photograph of Danny ReibleDanny Reible, Texas Tech University (
Danny Reible is the Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair and Paul Whitfield Horn Professor at Texas Tech University. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Caltech, is a Professional Engineer (LA), a Board Certified Environmental Engineer and in 2005 was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for “the development of widely used means of managing contaminated sediments”. In 2022 he was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his work developing and applying environmental technologies. His research is focused on the assessment and management of contaminated sediments and the development of beneficial uses of poor-quality waters in arid areas. He has more than 200 publications and has attracted more than $40 million in research funding.

A photograph of Deirdre ReidyDeirdre Reidy, Anchor QEA (
Deirdre Reidy is a senior manager at Anchor QEA, in Syracuse, New York. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of contaminated sediments. Her specific area of expertise is in the evaluation of environmental data, and modeling of organic and inorganic contaminants in surface water, sediments, groundwater, and biota. Deirdre has worked on numerous sediment remediation projects modeling the fate, transport, and bioaccumulation of chemicals to support the evaluation of remedial alternatives and remedial design, including natural recovery and capping. Deirdre has extensive expertise in applying contaminant transport models to design sediment isolation caps, having performed evaluations ranging from feasibility study to detailed design at over 50 sites within the United States, Canada, and Europe. She is a current member of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council [ITRC] Sediment Cap team, as a co-leader for the modeling subgroup developing the Sediment Cap Guidance. Deirdre earned a B.S. degree in Environmental Science from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1999, and a B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Manhattan College in 2001.

A photograph of Bhawana SharmaBhawana Sharma, Jacobs (
Bhawana Sharma, PhD, is an Environmental Engineer and Project Manager with Jacobs in Atlanta, Georgia. Bhawana specializes in sediment capping and leads the Sediment Community of Practice at Jacobs. She has more than 15 years of engineering and management experience for design and consulting, and construction projects for remediation of contaminated sediments, soil, and groundwater. She provides technical support and manages Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and state regulated sites, and international projects. Bhawana has contributed as a team member of the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council Contaminated Sediment Remediation guidance document. She was also a task group member for the ASTM Standard Guide for Sediment Corrective Action. She holds a bachelor's degree in life sciences and a master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Rajasthan, India, a master’s degree in environmental engineering and management from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, India, and a PhD in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire.

A photograph of Xiaolong ShenXiaolong Shen, Arcadis (
Xiaolong Shen is a staff engineer at Arcadis and a research associate at Texas Tech University. He earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. He has 8 years of experience in sediment remediation research and technology development and is the first author of the state-of-the-art sediment capping design software CapSim. He specializes in fate and transport analysis and remedial design addressing contaminants in sediment and involves in a diverse range of environmental projects, including passive sampling, air pollution modeling, groundwater modeling, water desalination, and the innovative application of activated carbon in various remediation efforts. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 publications and conference presentations.

A photograph of Tamara SorrellTamara Sorrell, Brown & Caldwell (
Tamara Sorell, PhD, BCES, has over 35 years of experience in the environmental consulting industry focusing on risk assessment and remediation. She currently serves as the National Practice Lead for Site Investigation and Remediation for Brown and Caldwell. Tamara has worked across the U.S under many State programs as well as on CERLCA and RCRA sites. Her projects have included a broad range of environmental contaminants and media. Tamara has been active in professional organizations and currently sits on the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Career Development Leadership Committee as well as the Sediment Interest Group. She was a co-author on the ASTM Sediment RBCA Standard. Tamara has been working with ITRC since 2008. She served as a co-author and on the Internet-Based Trainer for the Sediment Bioavailability, Sediment Remediation and ISM 2 teams, and was a member of the Soil Background Risk and 1,4 Dioxane teams. Tamara has a bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Sciences from Princeton University and a PhD in Pharmacology from Columbia University. She is a Board-Certified Environmental Scientist.

A photograph of Wesley ThomasWesley Thomas, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (
Wes Thomas is a Project Manager and Environmental Engineer at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Oregon and has more than 15 years of experience working on upland and in-water remediation and restoration projects. Wes served as a Team Lead during the development of the ITRC Sediment Capping Guidance. Wes holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute, and a M.S in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech.


Nicole Henderson, ITRC Contractor (

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