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Ask-Guru-thread-60


Keywords :- Natural attenuation as a potential remediation option

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From: -Tony Epp
Date: 23rd August 1999
Organisation: Department of Environment, Alberta
Subject: Natural attenuation as a potential remediation option

 

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Dear Micky,

I am a hydrogeologist working for the Department of Environment for the province of Alberta in Canada. I am working on developing policy regarding the use of natural attenuation as a potential remediation / management option for contaminated sites.

I have tried navigating your website (it is slightly cheeky but not unfriendly) but thought it best to ask directly if England or Scotland has a formal policy and or regulations on the use of natural attenuation. Any help you can provide would be very much appreciated.

Thanks very much.

Tony Epp

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Dear Tony

As far as I am aware there is no actual policy, I think it is rather one of Natural Attenuation by default (if we ignore it maybe it will go away)

I have forwarded your enquiry to John Lapinskas, who has spoken at various DTI roadshows here in the UK about bioremediation etc and is a very approachable Canadian who knows his subject backwards.

He has published quite a lot on bioremediation so hopefully he will be able to point you in the right direction.

You could also check out a these two books in the Amazon bookshop to see if they are of any use :-

  1. Natural Attenuation: Cercla, RBCA'S, and the Future of Environmental Remediation
    Patrick V. Brady et al / Hardback / 42.43

  2. Natural Attenuation : Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds
    International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds / Hardback / 48.50

cheers

Micky

P.S. Glad you liked the site, sorry if it was a bit "cheeky" - it gets like that if it is left to its own devices (just like the two Burmese cats living next door!)

 

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Dear Tony

We do have an enforcement body The Environment Agency who will dictate if natural attenuation is permissible on a site by site basis. Generally natural attenuation is ruled out if either :

  • the site is directly above a major aquifer or
  • the site is contaminated with substances harmful if consumed.

I hope this is of help.

Stuart Summerfield

 

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Dear Tony

The 3rd national conference on natural attenuation in soils and groundwater was recently held at Sheffield University (12-14 June 2000). The keynote speakers were :-

  • David White, University of Tennessee
  • Stephan Haderlein, EAWAG, Zurich
  • Peter Grathwohl, University of Tubingen.

Workshops were held on a variety of topics, including :-

  • The SIREN initiative - a field site for NA research
  • Developing a conceptual model of subsurface biodegradation
  • Value of isotopes for assessing natural attenuation
  • Protocols for assessing NA and their implementation

cheers

Micky

 

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Dear Tony

A report on Natural Attenuation for Groundwater Remediation has just been released by The National Research Council, (part of the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering).

The report covers the public concerns about natural attenuation, the scientific basis for natural attenuation, and the criteria for evaluating the potential success and failure of natural attenuation. It makes various specific recommendation and conclusions, including:-

  1. Natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents is not a given, many sites are inappropriate for this technique. The report specifically states that current use of available 'scoring systems' is inappropriate and 'should not be used'.
  2. The level of sampling and monitoring required for natural attenuation remediation programs will be very costly and may be required for extended lengths of time ('many years or decades').
  3. On sites where natural attenuation is documented, the existing rates of natural attenuation many not be sustainable. Over time these rates are likely to drop due to the lack of 'electron donors'. These sites could be amended with additional 'electron donor' release substrates.

Cheers

Micky

 

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Dear Tony

On the 18th July 2000 there is a meeting at the University of Birmingham, Contaminated Land Meets Groundwater among the papers to be presented are

  • The use of remediation by natural attenuation (RNA) as an accepted remediation technology for groundwater contamination - Simon Cole + Christopher Dainton (CELTIC Technologies Ltd)
  • Controls on spatial variation of natural attenuation in a contaminated aquifer Steve Thornton & David Lerner (University of Sheffield)

Cheers

Micky


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