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Title: The complexities of discussing soil vapor extraction techniques with non-scientists

item Jabro, Jalal - Jay

Submitted to: International Soil Conservation Organization (ISCO)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/27/2007
Publication Date: 5/18/2008
Citation: Jabro, J.D., Jabro, A.D., Domalski, R. 2008. The complexities of discussing soil vapor extraction techniques with non-scientists. International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Proceedings. May 18-23, 2008. Budapest, Hungary.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Centre County Kepone Site is approximately 32.2 acres on which a chemical manufacturing plant and a portion of the Spring Creek watershed are located. Kepone and mirex, were custom manufactured between 1959 and 1974. Earthen lagoons were used to manage onsite waste disposal. Concrete lagoons were later constructed and macadamized with asphalt. Treated water was also sprayed on open grassy areas or spray fields. Thorton Spring, a part of the watershed, was later found to be impacted by the plant’s waste water treatment efforts. The complete aftermath was a National Priority Listing and contaminated groundwater, surface water, soils, sediments, and fish tissue which present both a carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risk to human health. The cleanup effort was divided into two phases: groundwater remediation and soil remediation. In the Record of Decision (RD), the soil remediation effort was soil extraction. The company petitioned the EPA to amend the RD to consider both soil vapor extraction (SVE), which is a method that applies a vacuum to the unsaturated soil, or soil that is groundwater free to induce the controlled flow of air and remove volatile organic compounds and soil limited excavation. Explaining how soil vapor extraction works and presenting the results of a 5-year pilot study conducted to gain EPA support to a non-scientific community can be difficult. This presentation describes the science and communicative aspects.