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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #438865

Research Project: Utilizing Sustainable Remediation Technologies to Reduce Bioavailability and Transport of Chlorinated Organic Compounds

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-66000-002-004-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2020
End Date: Sep 30, 2024

Prior to the mid-1970’s, organochlorine compounds were used as cleaning materials, pesticides, and insulating materials. However, when these compounds are released in the environment, they are not readily degraded, and they can bioaccumulate and/or be transported to sensitive ecosystems at toxicity levels of concern. This project will examine the use and optimization of recycled organic and inorganic materials to decrease the remediation costs of these persistent organic pollutants. In addition, the project will develop new statistical approaches to assess the changes in ecosystem risks as a function of remediation.

Research will focus on two contaminated sites at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The first is an area contaminated with the chlorinated insecticides as a result of DDT and dieldrin historical use. After conducting laboratory and small plot experiments suggested that this approach was effective, a 1.5 ha study was initiated. The first application of compost hast been applied, and additional applications of compost will be carried out in subsequent years. Spatial and temporal considerations will be examined. New statistical risk assessment techniques will be evaluated including the use of the Bayesian hierarchical model to characterize the soil concentration, earthworm concentration, and the bioaccumulation factor.