Superfund Research Program
Research Translation Core
Partnering with governmental agencies
The Research Translation Core (RTC) has established--and is maintaining--solid links with the US EPA, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and Arizona Department of Health Services. Working with Mike Gill, a US EPA Office of Research and Development Superfund and Technology Liaison, the RTC has facilitated the tri-annual "Live at Region 9" series of presentations conducted at Region 9 headquarters and through Web-seminar sessions. This year, the RTC prompted all SRPs in Region 9 to participate in the series. The sessions have proven to be a great success, with more than 670 participants to date.
Conducting technology transfer
The RTC facilitated technology transfer by establishing relationships with EPA Superfund site managers, such as our continuing involvement in characterization activities at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Site. Results from Project 9's (Phytostabilization of Mine Tailings in the Southwestern United States: Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions and Metal Speciation Dynamics) greenhouse studies to determine the phytostabilization potential of the Iron King Mine tailings have been incorporated into the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study Report for the site. A 0.5-acre field study at the Iron King Mine was initiated to investigate optimal implementation methods for phytostabilization.
Another example is the RTC's continuing activities associated with the Tucson International Airport Area Superfund site. Researchers are working as part of a collaborative effort, supported by SRP and the DOD, to characterize the transport and fate behavior of subsurface contamination at the site and to test and evaluate the effectiveness of various remediation methods.
Communicating to broad audiences
The RTC communicated 11 "News and Highlights" briefs to SRP headquarters that have been added to the SRP Web site and distributed to diverse stakeholders. A translational highlight of the year is the UA SRP involvement in helping to address a public concern regarding mine tailing dust violations in a local community adjacent to a mine site. The RTC served as a facilitator to translate and communicate information regarding results from air sampling conducted by the US EPA and ASARCO mining company. SRP investigators and the RTC interpreted the results and discussed potential health risks from the mine tailing dust at community meetings and Public Comment Open Houses.