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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Benefits of Soil Amendments in Revitalization of Trace Element Contaminated Soils

Location: Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-12000-041-03-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 15, 2013
End Date: Mar 14, 2016

1. Assess the benefits of various soil amendments in revitalization/remediation of trace element-contaminated soils at sites where revitalization projects were conducted, including revegetation, persistence of organic carbon, nutrient and microbes added with amendments. 2. Assist USDA-ARS and US-EPA in communicating the capability of such revitalization procedures in achieving remediation of such sites by preparation of manuscripts, conduct of seminars and webinars, etc. 3. Conduct laboratory, greenhouse, and field experiments to test use of soil amendments in revitalization of contaminated soils.

In previous projects conducted by University of Washington, US-EPA, or USDA to test methods to improve revegetation, revitalization, and/or remediation of trace element-contaminated soils at U.S. Superfund sites, experiments have illustrated the successful use of soil amendments to support establishment of a persistent plant cover, reduce bioavailability and mobility of trace elements, and induce the accumulation of organic carbon and nutrients needed to support persistent vegetation. At field locations where such projects were undertaken, assessment of the conditions of previously remediated sites (e.g., trace elements, nutrients, organic carbon, microbes, acid generation potential, alkalinity) may help clarify the role of the several parts of the amendments which were important in achievement of persistent environmental remediation. In addition, such remediation may cause a significant increase in organic carbon stored in the initially barren soil, low-carbon, disturbed mine waste, contributing to carbon storage. In cooperation with ARS and US-EPA, sites for examination will be selected and sampled for field and laboratory evaluation. Communication of the success of these methods needs to be achieved to support ARS and US-EPA goals to extend the knowledge of these technologies for contaminated site revitalization to uses in government, universities and private industry. By preparation of publications and participation in seminars, briefings, and webinars, the program of US-EPA to extend this knowledge to users will be supported. The potential for use of additional soil amendments to achieve revitalization of contaminated soils will be assessed in greenhouse and laboratory studies which assess the effects of nutrients, limestone equivalent, metal adsorption capacity, microbe and other aspects of promising soil amendments.

Last Modified: 05/21/2017
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