State Funding for Site Cleanup

For this blog, we discuss topics delivered at The Remediation Workshop, held at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport Hotel on February 7, 2017. The topics discussed included 1) State Funding for Site Cleanup, 2) Introducing Klozur® KP-an extended release ISCO persulfate reagent, 3) Incorporating Molecular Biological Tools (MBTs) into Site Management, and 4) High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC) Techniques: High Resolution Hydrogeological Characterization.

Yue Rong of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board gave the presentation on State Funding for Site Cleanup, and it is summarized as follows. The Cal-EPA is made of four principle entities: The State Water Resources Control, Air Resources Control Board, Department of Pesticides Regulations, Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). Available funds for impacted sites include cost recovery directly from the responsible party, cleanup and abatement accounts (enforcement), Underground Storage Tank (UST) Cleanup Fund (sub funds are EAR, Orphan fund), Federal funds (superfund, brownfield fund), or other specific funding. For cost recovery directly from the responsible party, typically the party pays regulatory agency staff time of around $150/hr, and there is a contract between the responsible party and the agency. For cleanup and abatement accounts, the fund originates from enforcement penalties and fines, can only be used by agencies, and is usually applied to the amount of $1 to $1.5 million per application. The Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund is generated from a gasoline tax and is administrated by the State Board. The responsible party spends for cleanup then makes a claim for reimbursement. The order and fund management are overseen by separate agencies, the State Board and Regional Board respectively. Total claims for the fund are approximately $200 to $300 millions per year statewide. The fund is dispersed to tank owners only, with a maximum of $1 million per site, and covers soil and groundwater cleanup (does not cover tank removal). Operation of the fund usually starts with a responsible party (RP) ordered by the Regional Board to cleanup up a site. The RP submits a work plan to conduct cleanup, the Regional Board approves the work plan, the RP implements the work plan, then the RP makes a claim for reimbursement. The RP claims the cost to the State Board, the State Board reviews the claim based on reasonable and necessary criteria, and if the RP disagrees with the reimbursement, it appeals to the State Board’s management. The Emergency, Abandoned, and Recalcitrant (EAR) Fund is a sub fund of the UST Cleanup Fund. It is used by agencies who nominate a specific number of eligible sites per year. The State contacts a consultant to do the work, and the State recovers the expense by a lien on the site. The Orphan Site Cleanup Fund (OSCF) is a grant program within the Division of Financial Assistance. The OSCF provides financial assistance to eligible applicants for the cleanup of sites contaminated by a LUST where there is not a financially responsible party, and the applicant is not an eligible claimant to the UST Cleanup Fund. The current property owner or potential owner applies, and must bear the cost first and get reimbursement later. Other funds include Federal funds such as Superfund (EPA declared sites), Brownfield fund (abandoned sites), and LUFT trust funds. For more information on funding available for cleanup of your site, contact McAlister GeoScience.

The next presentation at the conference was entitled Introducing Klozur® KP- an extended release ISCO persulfate reagent.  Klozur® KP is an extended release in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) reagent based upon an environmental grade potassium persulfate. The low solubility and extended release of Klozur KP can be utilized for a number of applications not traditionally thought of for chemical oxidation including permeable reactive barriers (PRBs), treatment of lower permeable soils, and contaminated groundwater plumes. Key benefits include: Powerful mutli-radical attack, can be applied as a solid or as part of a slurry mixture, well suited toward applications such as permeable reactive barriers, and extended lifetime in the subsurface. Example contaminants where Klozur® KP is effective include chlorinated ethenes, ethanes and methanes, petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, MTBE, vinyl chloride, BTEX, and 1,4-dioxane. Other potential applications of Klozur® KP include physical emplacement or construction, soil blending, hydraulic slurry injection, and pneumatic solid phase injection. For all of you that forget what in situ chemical oxidation is, in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) is the introduction of an oxidant into the subsurface for the purpose of oxidizing contaminants in soil and groundwater. ISCO is ideal for the elimination of contaminant concentrations in source zones and hot spots.

Incorporating Molecular Biological Tools (MBTs) into Site management was presented Microbial Insights. Founded in 1992 by Dr. David C White, the company specializes in molecular biological tools (MBTs). Why do we need MBTs? Contaminant concentrations and geochemistry don’t always provide the complete picture and plate counts do not accurately reflect the in situ microbial community (<1% of bacteria can be cultured in the (lab).

Case study: Chlorinated Solvent Site. DNA methods can quantify key microbes and functional genes, and help figure out what the concentration of contaminant degraders are by using qPCR and QuantArray.  The following questions can be answered: Is complete reductive dechlorination likely? Is aerobic cometablism occurring? Should an electron donor by added? Is bioaugmentation needed? Will an electron donor injection be effective? Knowing this information saves time and thus money.

For the sake of brevity, for more information on these and other topics discussed in the Remediation Workshop, contact McAlister GeoScience.

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