Superfund Research Program
Research Translation Core
Partnering with governmental agencies
The Research Translation Core (RTC) has established solid links to the EPA, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and Arizona Department of Health Services. Working with Mike Gill, US EPA ORD Superfund and Technology Liaison, the RTC has facilitated the tri-annual presentations of the program's Superfund Research Program (SRP) technology at EPA Region 9 and Web-seminar sessions. With almost 600 participants locally and worldwide to date, the RTC has extended its partnership and seminar series so it now includes all of the SRPs in EPA Region 9.
Additionally, the RTC and Community Outreach Core presented "Building a Community-Based Participatory Research Program with Promotoras" at the US EPA's 2009 Community Involvement Coordinator's Training Conference. Leana Rosetti, US EPA R9, Superfund Division Community Involvement Coordinator served as a Panelist during the Core's session.
Conducting technology transfer
RTC facilitated technology transfer by establishing relationships with EPA Superfund site managers. For example, the Core is involved in characterization activities at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Site Superfund Site. The Core has deployed a ten-stage air-sampling system to characterize air quality in the town of Humboldt, Arizona. The Core is conducting greenhouse studies to determine the phytostabilization potential of the Iron King Mine tailings. The RTC is working closely with the US EPA R9 Project Manager, Leah Butler, to incorporate these results into the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study Report for the site. Additionally, a five-year agreement has been established between the University of Arizona (UA) SRP and the property owner to begin a phytostabilization field trial at the site in spring 2010.
Another example is the Core's continuing activities associated with the Tucson International Airport Area Superfund site. The Core is working in 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. The Core works closely with the site owners and operators, EPA, ADEQ, and environmental-consulting firms to translate program results to enhance management of site-cleanup operations. The Core also meets with the site community advisory board to relay the results of its work and to promote informational activities related to site contamination.
Communicating to broad audiences
To keep NIEHS SRP continually informed of UA Superfund activities, the RTC communicated 14 "News and Highlights" briefs that have been added to the SRP Web site and distributed to diverse stakeholders. All developed printed bilingual educational material for the public has been converted into Web pages in order to increase accessibility to program information and to reduce paper consumption.
The RTC has established the UA SRP's role as a neutral, educational resource for the communities, community advisory boards, and technical advisory groups. Selected Superfund sites include: Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Site, Tucson International Airport Area, and Motorola/52nd Street. This year, the RTC has participated in 25 community events and community advisory meetings.