Appendix A

U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Division Plan for Hazardous Materials Science

INTERRELATIONSHIP OF PROGRAMS

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigations related to hazardous materials science are conducted primarily through four programs: (1) Core Hydrologic Research, (2) Toxic Substances Hydrology, (3) Federal-State Cooperative, and (4) Department of Defense Environmental Contamination. Together, investigations funded by these programs span a range of effort from long-term research on controlling processes to site-specific studies designed to provide near-term options for existing problems. Two programs, Core Hydrologic Research and Toxic Substances Hydrology, are funded by federal appropriations to the USGS. The other two programs are funded entirely or partially by other federal agencies or state and local cooperators. Details about the planning and decision-making process for each of these programs are provided in Sections 2 through 5 of this appendix. Section 1 addresses the interrelationship of the programs.

Activities–Research and Methods Development

Research and methods development projects are funded by the Core Hydrologic Research and Toxic Substances Hydrology programs. Both of these programs are line items in the USGS budget. As such, they must meet the goals and objectives outlined in the annual budget submission to the Congress. Within these broad goals, there is considerable flexibility



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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey Appendix A U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Division Plan for Hazardous Materials Science INTERRELATIONSHIP OF PROGRAMS U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigations related to hazardous materials science are conducted primarily through four programs: (1) Core Hydrologic Research, (2) Toxic Substances Hydrology, (3) Federal-State Cooperative, and (4) Department of Defense Environmental Contamination. Together, investigations funded by these programs span a range of effort from long-term research on controlling processes to site-specific studies designed to provide near-term options for existing problems. Two programs, Core Hydrologic Research and Toxic Substances Hydrology, are funded by federal appropriations to the USGS. The other two programs are funded entirely or partially by other federal agencies or state and local cooperators. Details about the planning and decision-making process for each of these programs are provided in Sections 2 through 5 of this appendix. Section 1 addresses the interrelationship of the programs. Activities–Research and Methods Development Research and methods development projects are funded by the Core Hydrologic Research and Toxic Substances Hydrology programs. Both of these programs are line items in the USGS budget. As such, they must meet the goals and objectives outlined in the annual budget submission to the Congress. Within these broad goals, there is considerable flexibility

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey to adjust the directions of projects funded by these programs to meet emerging needs. There is also an opportunity to address theoretical problems and questions that require longer-term research. Core Hydrologic Research provides partial support for the National Research Program. The Toxic Substances Hydrology program is conducted by scientists in the National Research Program and District offices. Activities–Site-specific Investigations The Federal-State Cooperative program, also a line item in the USGS budget, is based within Water Resources Division (WRD) District offices. At least 50 percent of the funds for projects within this program are provided by state or local cooperators. Typically, projects funded by this program address problems such as assessing the presence and distribution of contaminants in water resources, predicting the probable effects of alternative actions, and measuring the progress of clean-up operations. Projects must be highly relevant to the over 1,000 cooperators who help support them. The availability of federal funds is the controlling factor in the growth of the Federal-State Cooperative program. Every year there are several million dollars worth of cooperator funds that are unmatched by federal funds. Thus, federal interest in the project is a key factor in identifying priority projects for funding. Projects conducted with funds entirely supplied by other federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense Environmental Contamination program, are closely linked to the needs of the funding source. This program is administered at the district level. Often there is little flexibility within individual projects which must complete the tasks agreed to within the agreed upon time frame. However, it has been the USGS experience that, these projects can evolve into challenging areal hydrologic assessments. There is little opportunity for process-oriented research within this program, but there is much opportunity to field test methods and techniques, to demonstrate new study approaches, and to apply the scientific understanding obtained from the Core Hydrologic Research program and the Toxic Substances Hydrology program. Because growth of this program is primarily limited by the availability of personnel, the USGS has the opportunity to choose offers which are

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey most challenging and which will provide opportunities to further the general understanding of contaminant hydrology. Program Development and Interaction The mix of projects within the four programs provides a variety of activities related to hazardous materials science. The Core Hydrologic Research program and Toxic Substances Hydrology program provide continuity, long-term investigations, and the opportunity for development of methods and tools. At the other end of the spectrum, the Federal-State Cooperative program and projects funded by other federal agencies keep the USGS in touch with real-world problems and help to identify emerging issues. The balance of effort within programs and among programs is periodically adjusted to meet new challenges and to maintain an overall effort that provides understanding for the present and the future, as well as the capability for action at specific problem sites. The success of the USGS Hazardous Materials Science program is judged by its relevance and usefulness to the scientific community and to decision makers. The Core Hydrologic Research program has the longest time horizon; here exists the opportunity to fund scientific investigations that may have payoff years into the future. For example, scientists funded by this program were instrumental in developing the basic understanding of ground water hydrology that was fundamental for the development and application of ground water flow and transport models. Today, these models are used world-wide by the USGS and the academic and consulting communities, in studies of hazardous waste sites. Other tools developed under the Core Hydrologic Research program that are currently in widespread use or are emerging technologies include geochemical models and the use of chloroflourocarbon compounds for age-dating ground water. Although there is a component of undirected, long-term research within the Toxic Substances Hydrology program, most projects are more problem-oriented and of intermediate duration (4-10 years). The focus on interdisciplinary research at field sites known to be contaminated has allowed USGS to produce important understanding of contaminant trans-

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey port and transformation mechanisms. This understanding and the study approaches used by the program have been adapted for use within USGS operational programs. For example, natural biodegradation of organic contaminants in ground water, as demonstrated at the Bemidji and Galloway field sites, is starting to be considered as a remediation alternative. Projects funded by the Federal-State Cooperative program and the Department of Defense are gathering data related to this process and evaluating their importance at contaminated ground water sites. The Federal-State Cooperative program and the Department of Defense Environmental Contamination program provide an important feedback mechanism to USGS research and methods development programs. First, it is through these programs that new research methods are applied to help solve problems. Second, these operational programs have, over the years, identified problems that have required increased attention from the research community. For example, in the 1970' s, projects within the Federal-State Cooperative program and meetings with local cooperators, as well as other sources of information, helped to identify the emerging problem of organic contaminants in ground water. The USGS responded to the general problem of ground water contamination by developing new procedures for sample collection, new analytical methodology in the laboratory, and new approaches to understanding ground water transport of organic contaminants. Further, concern about hazardous contaminants in water resources led to the initiation of the Toxic Substances Hydrology program. CORE HYDROLOGIC RESEARCH PROGRAM PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING PROCESS Origin The Core Hydrologic Research program is an important source of funding for the National Research Program (NRP), which had its beginnings in the late 1950's when core research was added as a line item to the Congressional budget. Since that time, the NRP has grown to encompass a broad spectrum of scientific investigations, and the source of funding for the NRP has expanded to include several other USGS

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey programs and other federal agencies. Because the planning process for Core Hydrologic Research program funds is included within the overall NRP planning process, the remainder of this section will focus on the plans and decision-making process of the NRP. The NRP uses the sciences of hydrology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, ecology, biology, geology, and engineering to gain a fundamental understanding of the processes that affect the availability, movement, and quality of the nation's water resources. The knowledge gained and methods developed have great value to WRD's operational program. Results of the investigations conducted by the NRP are applicable not only to the solution of current water problems, but also to future issues that may affect the nation's water resources. Plans for Program Development The NRP conducts basic and problem-oriented research in support of the mission of the USGS. Relevant hydrologic information provided by the USGS is available today to assist the nation in solving its water problems because of a conscious decision made in years past to invest in research. The NRP is designed to encourage pursuit of a diverse agenda of research topics aimed at providing new knowledge and insights into varied and complex hydrologic processes that are not well understood. The emphasis of these research activities changes through time, reflecting the emergence of promising new areas of inquiry and the demand for new tools and techniques with which to address water resources issues. For example, the National Water Quality Assessment program was conceived by NRP researchers, and has now become one of the largest operational programs in WRD. Recently, a new technique using chloroflourocarbon compounds to date ground water was developed in the NRP and is being widely used in the operational program. Knowledge gained and methods developed in this program apply to all of the hydrologic investigations of the USGS, to the water-oriented investigations and operations of other agencies, and to the general scientific community. Through the years, many of the USGS's major research and resource assessment initiatives related to existing and emerging national water resources problems had their origins in the NRP.

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey Decision-making Process The activities of the NRP are divided into six research disciplines: Ground Water Chemistry; Surface Water Chemistry; Ground Water Hydrology; Surface Water Hydrology; Geomorphology and Sediment Transport; and Ecology. Activities in each discipline are conducted by project chiefs, and the general focus of, and guidance within, a discipline is provided by a Research Adviser (RA) and Assistant Research Adviser (ARA) for that discipline. Individual researchers within the NRP operate with a high degree of independence in terms of choosing a research problem and in carrying out research on that problem. The results of the research are published in peer-reviewed journals, as USGS publications, or sometimes both. In this way, the information gained in the studies is widely disseminated within the agency and to the scientific community at large. In addition, researchers in the NRP generally spend up to 30 percent of their time consulting with District personnel on specific problems, the approaches needed to solve those problems, and new methods and techniques useful to District projects. Researchers in the NRP are evaluated every three years (or more often if desired) by a panel of peers. The evaluation, based on material supplied by the researcher, prepared according to a standard format, considers the researchers achievements, publications, service to the organization, and other factors. Promotions and other personnel actions are based on the recommendation of the peer panel. Once a year, a meeting of the NRP Research Committee is held. The committee consists of: Assistant Chief Hydrologist for Research and External Coordination (ACH/R&EC); Assistant Chief Hydrologist for Program Coordination and Technical Support; Chief, Office of Hydrologic Research (OHR); Chief, Office of Ground Water; Chief, Office of Surface Water; Chief, Office of Water Quality; RAs, and ARAs. At this meeting, the NRP program is reviewed, strengths and weaknesses are identified, and recommendations are made for program direction and priority areas for new hires. In order to continue to foster effective and productive scientific research programs, managers of the USGS WRD require ongoing assessments of the quality of research being conducted. An important part of this assessment procedure is a periodic review of research activities and

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey accomplishments within related "subdiscipline" groups (clusters) of WRD research projects by panels of respected researchers from both inside and outside of the USGS. The primary purposes of the cluster reviews are to provide managers with expert opinion concerning WRD research activities and to provide the research staff with an evaluation of the direction, techniques, and perceived impact of their research. The goal of the cluster review is to improve future research within subdiscipline groups (clusters). Once a year, an NRP budget meeting is held. At this meeting, the ACH/R&EC; Chief, OHR; Chief, Branch of Regional Research (BRR), Eastern Region; Chief, BRR, Central Region; Chief, BRR, Western Region; RAs, and ARAs review each of the projects in the NRP and their requested budgets for the next fiscal year. Productive projects addressing high priority issues are treated most favorably. Funding restraints may be used to encourage changes in less productive projects and those addressing lower priority issues. In this manner, the budgetary process provides one method of directing reorientation of the focus and productivity of projects. USGS TOXIC SUBSTANCES HYDROLOGY PROGRAM PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING PROCESS Origin The USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology (Toxics) program began in 1983 as an outgrowth of a then-existing program on Subsurface Waste Injection. From 1983 until 1985, the program addressed only ground water contamination. In 1986, a surface water component was added. The driving force for the creation and continuation of the program is the fact that it will take enormous financial resources to clean up hazardous waste sites in this country and to reduce contamination from nonpoint sources. The objective of the program is to provide information that is useful in making decisions about remediation of existing contaminated areas and the prevention of future contamination.

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey Plans for Program Development Focused field investigations are conducted at sites that are known to be contaminated. The goal of these intensive investigations is to obtain a better understanding of the processes that control contaminant transport and transformation. Obtaining information that is transferable to other sites is a factor in selecting sites and planning investigations. The goal of the program is to address major sources and types of contamination of ground water and surface water. A decision was made early in the program that USGS could make an important contribution by conducting, long-term research at well-characterized sites. Thus, assessments of sites continue to be funded as long as they are productive. The program's budget has been stable for several years; therefore, new investigations can only begin when ongoing studies are completed and funds can be redirected. Original plans for the program were to gain additional insights into controlling processes by conducting comparison studies of the same contaminants in different climatic and geographic regions. For example, gasoline in ground water would be investigated in the humid northeast and in the and west, and pulp mills discharging to rivers in Florida and in Oregon would be studied. This overall plan has not been followed because of financial and human resource limitations. Duplication of studies in different climatic regions has been judged to be less important than addressing a number of the most important types and sources of contamination at least once. In the early years of the program, 14 studies of nonpoint source and ground water contamination were funded. Seven of these studies were continued through the late 1980's to allow for more extensive data analysis. The overall goal of all of these studies was to understand the relationship between ground water quality and land use and natural factors. In 1989, the program began a series of studies of the occurrence of agricultural chemicals (pesticides and nitrate) in water resources of the upper Midwestern cornbelt. These studies have been highly coordinated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey The Toxics program has investigated the following major sources and types of contamination: Source Contaminants Environment Status Wood treatment creosote GW, Pensacola, FL finished Sewage disposal nutrients, trace metals GW, Cape Cod, MA ongoing Crude oil organic chemicals GW, Bemidji, MN ongoing Gold-ore processing arsenic SW, Whitewood Creek, SD finished Petrochemical industry organic chemicals SW, Calcasieu River, LA finished Mining trace metals SW, Arkansas River, CO ongoing Copper-ore processing copper, trace metals GW & SW, Globe, AZ ongoing De-greasing operation trichloroethylene GW, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ report writing Leaking storage tank gasoline GW, Galloway, NJ ongoing Agriculture and urban land use pesticides, trace metals, organic chemicals SW, San Francisco Bay and tributaries, CA ongoing Landfill mixture of inorganic and organic contaminants GW & SW, Norman landfill, OK initiated FY 1994

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey Decision-making Process Decisions about the nonpoint source investigations are discussed above. The most recent focus for that component of the program, the upper Midwest, was chosen after consultation with USDA and USEPA. New directions within the field-oriented investigations are established by the selection of new sites for study of specific types of contaminants. The process for selecting sites for new focused field investigations is a follows: Regional, District, and research offices are contacted to gain insight into the sources of contamination, types of contaminants, or hydrogeologic environments that are in need of investigation by the Toxics program. The intent is to provide understanding, methods, and study approaches for use in the USGS operational program. Because personnel in the USGS operational program have frequent contact with state agencies and EPA regional offices, they are an excellent source of information about emerging national issues. A call for site nominations is distributed. An interdisciplinary team of USGS experts is assembled to review site nomination packages and provide advice about which sites offer the best opportunities. The research team for the selected site prepares a 3- or 4-year integrated research plan which will guide activity at the site. The site-selection team provides some advice about the kinds of issues that need to be clarified during preparation of the research plan. After the integrated research plan is prepared, it is reviewed by several members of the site-selection team. Comments and suggestions are forwarded to the site team. Modifications to the research plan are made, as necessary. Progress of the site investigations is determined on a continuing basis through review of publications from the studies. A more complete review occurs every 2 and one-half years at technical meetings of the Toxics program. At the end of the 3- or 4-year research cycle, the site research teams are asked to prepare a plan for continuation of research. This is reviewed by program coordinators and technical advisors to deter-

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey mine relevance, quality of science, and past productivity. Decisions about closing out projects are based on this technical review. FEDERAL-STATE COOPERATIVE PROGRAM PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING PROCESS Origin The USGS Federal-State Cooperative Program has contributed directly to water resources knowledge for almost 100 years. The first USGS cooperative water resources investigation was with the State of Kansas in 1895. In 1905, Congress appropriated funds specifically for cooperative studies, marking the official beginning of the program. In 1928, Congress gave formal recognition to the federal-state partnership and limited the Federal financial contribution for cooperative water resources studies to no more than 50 percent of the total funds for each investigation. In 1977, Congress recognized the need for uniform, current, and reliable information on water use and directed the USGS to establish a National Water-Use Information Program, which is similar to the Federal-State Cooperative Program. The data collected and compiled on the nation's water use complements the USGS data on the availability and quality of the nation's water resources. The fundamental characteristic of the Federal-State Cooperative Program is that local and state agencies provide at least one-half the funds to the USGS and the USGS does most of the work. The Federal-State Cooperative Program contributes directly to water resources knowledge by fostering a working partnership between the federal and state and local governments in the advancement of earth science, and by compiling a major part of the nation's hydrologic information. From its earliest days, the program has been responsible directly for the development of procedures for streamgaging, concepts of surface water and ground water flow, and analytical techniques for investigations of water quality.

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey Plans for Program Development In fulfilling its water resources mission, the USGS performs four principal functions: It collects data needed for the continuing determination and evaluation of the quantity, quality, and use of the nation's water resources. It conducts analytical and interpretive appraisals to describe the occurrence, availability, and physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of surface and ground water. It conducts research in hydraulics, hydrology, and related scientific and engineering fields. It disseminates water data and the results of investigations and research. The collection of surface water and ground water data on a systematic basis under the provisions of the Federal-State Cooperative Program is a major part of the USGS's coordinated water resources activities. The resulting information provides a continuing record of the quantity, quality, and use of the nation's water resources. These data provide information necessary for the determination of water suitability for various uses, identification of trends, and evaluation of the effects of stresses on the nation's surface and ground water resources. Within the Federal-State Cooperative Program, typically about half of the funds support the collection of hydrologic data; the remaining half support hydrologic investigations and research. Investigations encompass areas that range in size from a square mile or less to multistate regions. In these investigations, USGS scientists bring together information to define, characterize, and evaluate the areal extent, quality, and availability of the water resource. Since the early 1970's, there has been an increase in the number of investigations that have emphasized water quality issues, such as aquifer contamination, river quality, storm runoff quality, and the effects of acid rain, coal mining, and agricultural chemicals and practices on the hydrologic system. All data and results of analytical studies are made available to cooperating agencies and to the public through published reports and

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey through computerized information programs, such as the National Water Information System (NWIS) and the National Water Data Exchange (NAWDEX) Program. Abstracts of completed reports are made available through the USGS Water Resources Scientific Information Center (WRSIC). Hydrologic data can be accessed by computer terminals at offices in every state. In many places, the Federal-State Cooperative Program provides the only source of support for water data collection and investigations required to assess, on a continuing basis, the status of the nation 's water resources. Information developed in the Federal-State Cooperative Program has relevance to potential and emerging long-term problems, such as water supply, waste disposal, energy development, and environmental management and protection. Because common analytical methods and techniques are used, the information also is relevant to problems having interstate, regional, national, or international significance. The program provides the basis required to abide by interstate and international compacts and federal law and court decrees, and to carry out congressionally mandated studies, regional and national water resources assessments, and planning activities. Decision-making Process Program priorities are based on national needs that have been identified by the President and Administration advisors, by the Congress, by the Department of the Interior, by other federal agencies, and from information the USGS has received from cooperating agencies and other interested parties. Issues that are identified through the National Water Summary preparation process also are taken into consideration. As a result, the priorities are developed in response to mutual federal, regional, state, and local requirements. The USGS and its cooperating agencies work together in a continuing process that leads to adjustments in the program each year. The number of requests for scientific and technical assistance continues to grow from state agencies responsible for ground water protection and for controlling and mitigating contamination. State offerings typically exceed federal matching funds each year and reflect the increasing emphasis on water

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey quality issues, as well as other concerns regarding the availability, distribution, and use of the resource. Each year, about $1.0 million in federal funds from the Federal-State Cooperative Program allocation are set aside for merit competition. Project proposals are reviewed by USGS peer panels and those with highest scientific merit are selected to receive the federal merit funds. The other half of the funds for these projects are provided by state or local cooperators. This process, which directs federal matching funds to the best proposals, assures that the Federal-State Cooperative Program will continue to provide relevant and high-quality information. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION HYDROLOGY PROGRAM –PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING PROCESS Origin The USGS Department of Defense (DOD) Environmental Contamination Hydrology Program became an official WRD program in 1987 when a manager was named to the program at WRD headquarters. Until that time the program consisted of a loose network of a few studies throughout the WRD. The objective of the program is to provide technical expertise to the DOD while simultaneously providing a forum for furthering WRD's understanding of the processes related to the fate and transport of environmental contaminants in ground water, surface water, and aquifer material. Plans for Program Development The program is developed by responding to the requests by DOD agencies to WRD headquarters and District offices. Agreements have been developed and are in the process of being developed with numerous DOD agencies. These agreements list WRD's interests and capabilities. DOD partners communicate directly with WRD District offices identified by the Program Manager as the appropriate partnering WRD office. The

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey program is developed at the District level where studies are undertaken within the District's capabilities and limitations. Current investigations address the following aspects of contaminant hydrology: Definition of hydrogeologic framework of many terranes. Movement of ground water and contaminants in different terranes. Ground water flow modeling of different terranes. Heavy metals in ground water. Isotope geochemistry. Surface and borehole geophysics. Soil gas and its relation to ground water contamination. Determination of aquifer parameters of different terranes. Development of relational data base and use of geographic information systems. Bioremediation of contaminants in different hydrogeologic environments. Quality assurance and quality control of laboratory analytical data and field data. Decision-making Process DOD commands contact the program manager who in turn contacts the Regional Hydrologist's representative in the affected region. The decision to undertake a DOD-funded project lies with the District Chief in consultation with the pertinent Regional Hydrologist. In some cases a DOD partner may request that WRD undertake a program consisting of many studies located throughout the country under the condition that WRD agree to work at some or all of the sites. In these cases the decision on any study remains with the District Chief in consultation with the Regional Hydrologist. Decisions to undertake these environmental studies are made when the process of conducting the investigation provides the WRD with opportunities to further advance its understanding of the processes related to the fate and transport of environmental contaminants in ground water, surface water, and aquifer material.

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Hazardous Materials in the Hydrologic Environment: The Role of Research by the U.S. Geological Survey SUMMARY In summary, USGS projects in hazardous materials science span a spectrum of hydrologic investigations. Collectively, the Core Hydrologic Research program, the Toxic Substances Hydrology program, the Federal-State Cooperative program, and the Department of Defense Environmental Contamination program allow the USGS to maintain the capability to undertake process-oriented research, conduct developmental activities, and address real-world problems. Each program has a planning and decision-making process that meets individual program needs as determined by program objectives. Balance and feedback among programs keep the USGS effort at the cutting-edge of science and relevant to policy makers and resource managers.