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Your Environment. Your Health.

Progress Reports: University of Maryland-Baltimore County: Pilot-scale Research of Novel Amendment Delivery for in situ Sediment Remediation

Superfund Research Program

Pilot-scale Research of Novel Amendment Delivery for in situ Sediment Remediation

Project Leader: Upal Ghosh
Grant Number: R01ES016182
Funding Period: 2007-2010

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Progress Reports

Year:   2010  2009 


In situ treatment with low-impact delivery of activated carbon can be especially attractive for PCB-impacted vegetated areas and sensitive wetlands. This study was performed at USEPA Superfund site contaminated wetland and a creek that flows into the James River in Virginia. This research is aimed at developing the in-situ remediation technology through laboratory and pilot-scale testing and addresses the critical barriers in the advancement of the technology. Laboratory studies demonstrated reduction in the bioavailability of PCBs and a range of chlorinated pesticides in sediment after amendment with activated carbon. Pilot-scale control and treatment sites were 15 meters by 15 meters, half within the channel segment and half in the bordering marsh. Activated carbon was formed into pellets named SediMite and was applied using a boat-mounted dispersion device similar to a commercial fertilizer/herbicide spreader. The treatment was deployed in the summer of 2009. Samples were collected and examined before treatment and two months after treatment. Black carbon measurement in sediment cores demonstrated that the applied activated carbon remained in sediment after application and was found in the top 5 cm of sediment. Bioaccumulation studies using the benthic organism Leptocheirus plumulosus as well as aqueous concentration measurement using a passive sampler showed reductions in PCBs at the treatment sites two months after deployment. Benthic community sampling after application demonstrated no significant impact of the application on native biota. A second round of sampling is planned for the first week of November 2010 as part of the ongoing investigations at the pilot testing site.

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