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Gina Bayer, CH2M HILL PBT Strategy Team Maumee Bay Meeting February 2005 Cleanup and Remediation of Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxics in the Great Lakes Basin Purpose and Scope of White Paper Bring the PBT team up to a general level of knowledge on existing activities

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Gina Bayer, CH2M HILL

PBT Strategy Team Maumee Bay Meeting

February 2005

Cleanup and Remediation of Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxics in the Great Lakes Basin

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Purpose and Scope of White Paper

  • Bring the PBT team up to a general level of knowledge on existing activities

  • “Describe how, and how much remediation of toxic substances happens in the basin, over against what we think the overall problem is”

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Information Tapped

  • USEPA and IJC sources

  • GE database of sediment remediation

  • GLRC PBT and AOC teams correspondence and web postings

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The Problem as it relates to Existing PBT Sediment Deposits

  • Lake-wide mass balance modeling efforts show resuspension of surficial contaminated sediment deposits control the current rate of reduction of banned chemicals such as PCBs, rather than watershed or atmospheric load reductions

  • or, Putting Clean Water in the Dirty Bathtub Results in Dirty Water, for a time...

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Existing Remediation Drivers

  • CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act

  • Port Redevelopment - address loss of use

  • Liability Reduction - address NRDA

  • Prime Real Estate Redevelopment

  • Private/public partnerships

  • Voluntary Actions

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Remediation Funding Sources

  • Industry

  • Insurance Settlements

  • Superfund

  • WRDA

  • Great Lakes Legacy Act

  • Direct congressional inserts in bills

  • State, municipal and local funds

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Sediment Cleanups By Sector

Total Number = 86

Active and Completed Projects

Data Obtained from USEPA and

Sediment Database Published by GE

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Estimated Quantities Removed from Great Lakes Basin April 2003 IJC report

  • Per USEPA estimate

    • 3.3 M cubic yards from 1997 thru 2003 in U.S.

  • Per Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy, 2003

    • 596 tons of PCB in U.S.

    • 519 tons DDT in U.S.

    • 3 tons benzo(a) pyrene in Canada

    • 43 pounds mercury in Canada

    • total 34,000 cubic yards in Canada

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Estimated Future Quantities and Cost April 2003 IJC report

  • As of January 2005, USEPA GLNPO has estimated there are 76 M cubic yards of contaminated sediment in the AOCs to be remediated, at a cost between $1.6 to $4.4 billion

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How the Remediation is done April 2003 IJC report

  • Monitored Natural Recovery

  • Capping (includes reactive caps)

  • Dredging

  • At many sites, a combination of these approaches are implemented

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Monitored Natural Recovery April 2003 IJC report

  • Uses known, ongoing, naturally occurring processes to contain, destroy, or otherwise reduce the bioavailability or toxicity of contaminants in sediment.

  • Burial by clean sediment is often the dominant process

  • Can be effective for low-risk sites where long-term stability of sediment bed is not a concern

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Capping April 2003 IJC report

  • Definition: “placement of a subaqueous covering or cap of clean isolating material over an in-situ deposit of contaminated sediment”.

  • Generally constructed of clean sediment, sand, or gravel, but can also include geotextiles, liners, or the additions of material such as organic carbon to sequester contaminants

  • Functions:

    • Physical isolation from benthos

    • Physical stabilization

    • Reduction in contaminant flux

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Capping April 2003 IJC report

  • Typically less expensive than environmental dredging

  • Requires long-term monitoring as contaminants left in place

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Placement Equipment and Techniques April 2003 IJC report

  • Conventional Placement

    • Hopper dredge

    • Pipeline

    • Barge

  • Spreading Methods

  • Submerged discharges

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Dredging April 2003 IJC report

  • Typically most expensive remedy, results in greatest mass removal

  • Currently most common means of sediment remediation in the Great Lakes Basin

  • Can be conducted in the dry, after water body or portion of is diverted or drained

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Velsicol/Pine River Site April 2003 IJC report

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Dredging Components April 2003 IJC report

  • sediment removal

  • staging

  • dewatering

  • water treatment

  • sediment transport and possible treatment

  • potential re-use

  • disposal

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Environmental Dredging Equipment Categories April 2003 IJC report

Conventional Clam

Articulated Fixed-Arm

Enclosed Bucket



Conventional Cutterhead

Horizontal Auger

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Major Dredging Considerations April 2003 IJC report

  • Have clear objectives, goals, and standards

  • Coordinate equipment availability and selection

  • Must understand:

    • Removal rate and precision

    • Resuspension of sediment during dredging

    • Release of dissolved and volatile contaminants

    • Residual sediment left behind

    • Requirements for transport for treatment or disposal

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Dewatering after dredging April 2003 IJC report

Fox River OU1 2004 Pilot Test geotubes

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Beneficial Uses of Dredged Material April 2003 IJC report

Examples of Beneficial Use

  • Clean

  • Habitat Restoration

  • Beach Nourishment

  • Top Soil

  • Parks and Recreation

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture

  • Shoreline Stabilization

  • Slightly Contaminated

  • Construction and Industrial Fill

  • Material Transfer

  • Top Soil

  • Contaminated

  • Mine Reclamation

  • Landfill Daily Cover

  • Recycled Soil Manufacturing Technology

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Beneficial Reuse of Dredge Material April 2003 IJC report

  • Particle separation to create clean fraction

Beach Nourishment

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Q & A April 2003 IJC report