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A case study for demonstrating the application of U.S. EPA's monitored natural attenuation screening protocol at a hazardous waste site

Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0169-7722(02)00079-7
  • Modeling
  • Groundwater Contamination
  • Bioremediation
  • Biodegradation
  • Natural Attenuation
  • Reactive Transport


Abstract Natural attenuation assessment data, collected at a Superfund site located in Louisiana, USA, are presented. The study site is contaminated with large quantities of DNAPL waste products. Source characterization data indicated that chlorinated ethene and ethane compounds are the major contaminants of concern. This case study illustrates the steps involved in implementing the U.S. EPA's [U.S. EPA, 1998. Technical protocol for evaluating natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents in ground water, by Wiedmeier, T.H., Swnason, M.A., Moutoux, D.E., Gordon, E.K., Wilson, J.T., Wilson, B.H., Kampbell, D.H., Hass, P.E., Miller, R.N., Hansen, J. E., Chapelle, F.H., Office of Research and Development, EPA/600/R-98/128] monitored natural attenuation (MNA) screening protocol at this chlorinated solvent site. In the first stage of the MNA assessment process, the field data collected from four monitoring wells located in different parts of the plume were used to complete a biodegradation scoring analysis recommended by the protocol. The analysis indicates that the site has the potential for natural attenuation. In the second stage, a detailed conceptual model was developed to identify various contaminant transport pathways and exposure points. The U.S. EPA model and BIOCHLOR was used to assess whether the contaminants are attenuating at a reasonable rate along these transport paths so that MNA can be considered as a feasible remedial option for the site. The site data along with the modeling results indicate that the chlorinated ethene and chlorinated ethane plumes are degrading and will attenuate within 1000 ft down gradient from the source, well before reaching the identified exposure point. Therefore, MNA can be considered as one of the feasible remediation options for the site.

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