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Appendix E List of Recommendations from Ground~water and Soil Cleanup: Improving Management of Persistent Contaminants COMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGIES FOR CLEANUP OF SUBSURFACE CONTAMINANTS IN THE DOE WEAPONS COMPLEX C. HERB WARD, Chair, Rice University, Houston, Texas HERBERT E. ALLEN, University of Delaware, Newark RICHARD BELSEY, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Portland, Oregon KIRK W. BROWN, Texas A&M University, College Station RANDALL J. CHARBENEAU, University of Texas, Austin RICHARD A. CONWAY, Union Carbide Corporation (retired), South Charleston, West Virginia HELEN E. DAWSON, Colorado School of Mines, Golden JOHN C. FOUNTAIN, State University of New York, Buffalo RICHARD L. JOHNSON, Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, Portland ROBERT D. NORRIS, Eckenfelder, Brown and Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee FREDERICK G. POHLAND, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania KARL K. TUREKIAN, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut JOHN C. WESTALL, Oregon State University, Corvallis RECOMMENDATIONS Setting Technology Development Priorities In situ remediation technologies should receive a higher priority in the Subsurface Contaminants Focus Area (SCFA) because of their potential to reduce exposure risks and costs. SCFA should fund tests designed to develop and determine performance limits for technologies capable of treating the types of contaminant mixtures that occur at DOE sites. 62
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APPENDIX E 63 SCFA should focus a portion of the program's work on development of remedial alternatives (including containment systems) that prevent migration of contaminants at sites where contaminant source areas cannot be treated. Methods for monitoring long-term performance of these systems should be included in this work. Improving Overall Program Direction SCFA should continue its efforts to work more closely with technology end users in setting its overall program direction. Working with end users, SCFA should identify key technical gaps and prepare a national plan for developing technologies to fill these gaps. Although SCFA consulted with end users and developed a prioritized list of problem areas (known as work packages) for funding in fiscal year 1998, it was unable to use this list to guide its program because the entire SCFA budget went to supporting multiyear projects that began before SCFA was formed. SCFA should strive to increase the involvement of technology end users in planning the technology demonstrations it funds. End users should be involved in planning every demonstration that SCFA funds, as in the Accelerated Site Technology Deployment Program. SCFA should significantly increase use of peer review for (1) determining technology needs and (2) evaluating projects proposed for funding. Peer reviews should carry sufficient weight to affect program funding. SCFA should improve the accuracy of its reporting of technology deployments. SCFA should use a consistent definition of deployment and should work with the Office of Environmental Restoration to verify the accuracy of its deployment report. Overcoming Barriers to Deployment SCFA should sponsor more field demonstrations, such as those funded under the Accelerated Site Technology Deployment Program, to obtain credible performance and cost data. SCFA should consider whether sponsorship could include partial reimbursement for failed demonstrations, if an alternate remediation system has to be constructed to replace the failed one.
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64 TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SCFA should ensure that the project reports it provides contain enough technical information to evaluate potential technology performance and effectiveness relative to other technologies. The project descriptions contained in SCFA's periodic technology summary reports are not sufficiently detailed to serve this purpose. SCFA's project reports should follow the guidelines in the Federal Remediation Technologies Rour~dtable's Guide to Documenting and Managing Cost and Performance Information for Remediation Projects. A key future role for the SCFA should be the development of design manuals for technologies that could be widely used across the weapons complex. Possible models include the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence design manual for bioventing, the American Academy of Environmental Engineers WASTECH monograph series, and the Advanced Applied Technology Demonstration Facility surfactant-cosolvent manual. Appropriately qualified SCFA staff members (with in-depth knowledge of remediation technologies) should be available to serve as consultants on innovative technologies for DOE's environmental restoration program. These staff members also should develop periodic advisories for project managers on new widely applicable technologies. Addressing Budget Limitations DOE managers should reassess the priority of subsurface cleanup relative to other problems and, if the risk is sufficiently high, should increase remediation technology development funding accordingly. SCFA should pursue a variety of strategies to leverage its funding. Strategies include (1) improving collaborations with external technology developers to avoid duplication of their work, (2) developing closer ties with the Environmental Management Science Program, and (3) continuing involvement with working groups of the Remediation Technologies Development Forum.