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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Evaluate the environmental risks and benefits from agricultural applications of agricultural and industrial byproducts (e.g., FGD-gypsum, compost/manure) including uses to remediate disturbed soils and to sequester and phytoremediate metal from metal contaminated soils.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Develop and/or modify existing analytical methods to evaluate physical and chemical properties of byproducts and the potential environmental risks and benefits from their use in agriculture. Characterize mercury (Hg) emissions from FGD-gypsum amended soils. Evaluate plant species recommended for phytoextraction of Cd from U.S. contaminated soils requiring remediation to protect food safety.

3. Progress Report:
In 2012, ARS scientists conducted laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments utilizing industrial, municipal and agricultural byproducts such as flue gas desulfurization-gypsum(FGD-gypsum), poultry litter ash, drinking water treatment residual, steel slag, biosolids, ground rubber, and bio char. These byproducts were effective when used as plant nutrients and for remediation of phosphorus, arsenic, cadmium, nickel, zinc, manganese, lead, asbestos and organic chemical contaminated soils. Application of these byproducts to metal contaminated barren soils reduces metal toxicity to seedling and increased vegetative cover which reduce the potential for phosphorus and metal runoff from these sites. Data collected from these studies are being used in developing risk assessment of these byproducts. Using these materials is an inexpensive ways to remediate several thousand acres of metal, asbestos and organic chemical contaminated soils in the U.S. It has been estimated that removal of 24 inches of contaminated top soil and replacing with clean soil would cost $1.3 million per acre. There is a growing interest in urban gardening. However, many urban vegetable gardens are planted on inner city lots or around homes with high lead levels from lead paint use. Inexpensive byproducts that urban home owners can have easy access, such as drinking water treatment residual, compost, steel slag and poultry litter ash were evaluated. Some of these byproducts were very effective in sequestering lead in lead contaminated soil and reduce the uptake by root and leafy vegetable crops. Data from this study will provide information to Maryland Agricultural Extension Service on home gardening on potential lead contaminated soils.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Zia, M.H., Codling, E.E., Scheckel, K.G., Chaney, R.L. 2011. In-vitro and In-vivo approaches for the measurement of oral bioavailability of lead (Pb) in soil: A critical review. Environmental Pollution. 159:2320-2327.

Eaton, H.L., De Lorme, M., Chaney, R.L., Craig, A.M. 2011. Identification of ovine ruminal microbes capable of biotransforming hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX). Microbial Ecology. 62:274-286.

Codling, E.E., Raja, A.W. 2012. Long Term Effects of Fluidized Bed Material Applied at Disposal Levels on Soil Metals and Nutrient Concentrations as Related to Soil Depth. Soil Science. 43:1720-1731.

Cassina, L., Tassi, E., Morelli, E., Giorgetti, L., Remorini, D., Massai, R., Chaney, R.L., Barbafieri, M. 2011. Exogenous cytokinin treatments of a Ni hyper-accumulator, Alyssum murale, grown in a serpentine soil: Implications for phytoextraction. International Journal of Phytoremediation. 13(S1):90-101.

Beyer, W.N., Krafft, C., Klassen, S., Green, C.E., Chaney, R.L. 2011. Relating forest injury near Palmerton, PA to zinc contamination from smelting. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 61:376-388.

Heighton, L.P., Zimmerman, M., Rice, C., Codling, E.E., Tossell, J., Schmidt, W.F. 2012. Identification and quantification of inositol hexa-kis phosphate (IHP) in environmental samples at neutral pH using electro-spray ionization and raman spectroscopy. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2:55-63.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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