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

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

NARPM Presents...Utilizations of the U.S. EPA - Environmental Response Team's Mobile Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer Laboratories to Address Environment Issues

Sponsored by: U.S. EPA Environmental Response Training Program (ERTP)

Archived: Thursday, August 30, 2018
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The U.S. EPA Environmental Response Team's (ERT) Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA) mobile laboratories have been utilized for numerous and varied monitoring and analysis operations. Over the years, the TAGA laboratories have been employed at traditional emergency responses, including chemical plant explosions, train derailments, pipeline breaks, oil spills, floods, hurricanes, etc., as well as terrorist events involving the World Trade Center attack and the weaponized anthrax assaults of the United States Hart Senate Office Building, United State Post Offices, and the American Media Incorporated Building. Additionally, the TAGA laboratories have been used to perform ambient air monitoring in highly industrial areas of Texas and Louisiana as part of the US EPA's Urban Air Toxic Program. Moreover, the TAGA labs have been implemented to investigate vapor intrusion at over 100 Superfund sites across the country involving hundreds of buildings using the instrumentation to provide analytical results for soil gas, sub-slab vapor, indoor air, and ambient air matrices. Furthermore, the laboratories have been involved in research and development operations for chemical warfare agents' detection and remediation effectiveness of materials, as well as, fumigant detection and containment during building remediation of biological agents.

The TAGA mobile laboratories are currently comprised of analytical instrumentation, which includes but is not limited to a PE Sciex 365 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (MS/MS) with a low pressure chemical ionization (LPCI) source and an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) source, an Agilent Gas Chromatograph (GC) 7890 and Mass Spectrometer (MS) 5975C with a loop injection system, and an Agilent MicroGC. Additionally, the TAGA laboratories are equipped with a global positioning system (GPS) and a geographic information system (GIS). The stated equipment was incorporated to perform the above analytical services.

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Dave Mickunas, U.S. EPA Environmental Response Team ( or 919-541-4191)
Mr. David Mickunas is a chemist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Response Team (U.S. EPA/ERT). He has been performing trace gas analyses for over thirty-four years. He holds a chemistry degree from Grand Valley State University and a chemical engineering degree from the Missouri School of Science and Technology (formerly University of Missouri-Rolla).

For over three decades, he has been the lead for the advancement, development, and operation of the Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA) mobile laboratories, which are outfitted with direct sampling triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, loop-injection gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer, and MicroGC instrumentation. He has extensive experience in monitoring, sampling, and analyzing outdoor ambient air, indoor air, and soil gas matrices.


A photograph of Jean BalentJean Balent, U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division ( or 202-566-0832)
Ms Balent is on the staff of the EPA's Technology Innovation and Field Services Division where she has worked to collect and disseminate hazardous waste remediation and characterization information since 2003. Ms Balent manages the Clean Up Information Network website and actively supports online communication and collaboration resources available to EPA. She formerly worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Engineering Division in the Buffalo District. Ms Balent was also a member of the SUNY-Buffalo Groundwater Research Group where she constructed and tested large scale models of groundwater flow. Ms Balent has also conducted research relating to the Great Lakes, environmental remediation, and brownfields re-development. She holds a Bachelor's degree in environmental engineering from SUNY-Buffalo and a Master's degree in Information Technology from AIU.

A photograph of Cindy FrickleCindy Frickle, U.S. EPA Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation ( or 202-566-0927)
Cindy Frickle is a physical scientist with EPA's Superfund program where she reviews and propagates technical information to site cleanup professionals through Clu-In, EPA forums, and interagency channels. Prior to joining EPA, she spent time characterizing contaminated sites, coring sediments, studying microbes, and teaching. She completed her Biogeology MS and Geology BS in the University of Minnesota's School of Earth Sciences.

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Technology Integration and Information Branch

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Technology Integration and Information Branch

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