Ramboll is a session sponsor at this year’s Cleanup Conference that provides a global forum to discuss all aspects of contaminated site assessment, management and remediation. The event will be composed of plenaries with renowned keynote speakers, along with a wide range of networking opportunities.
Abstracts of the Ramboll presentations at the Cleanup Conference are as follows:
Defining Sustainability and Resiliency in Remediation Design
Scott Warner - Monday, 9 September at 10:30
The concepts of sustainability and resiliency remain a developing and growing theme in environmental protection. When focused on approaches involving the design of soil and groundwater contaminant clean up measures, sustainability is used to capture methods that reduce negative impacts on the environment by complying with the concepts of social, economic, and ecological balance and protection – the so-called “do no harm” approach even when constructing remediation systems. Equally important, the concept of resiliency considers how a remediation system can adjust to environmental adversity (such as changing groundwater gradients and flow rates for a groundwater remediation system) and still meet performance and compliance objectives. A review of the past three decades within the environmental remediation community may find that “sustainability” and “resiliency” have been used as synonymous concepts during remediation design. We make the point herein; however, that each concept has its own important place and should be considered and applied unequivocally as a modern manifestation of remediation practice.
Towards the Development of an Australian Human-Health Screening Criteria for TCE in Groundwater
Anand Chandra - Tuesday, 10 September at 11:30
Trichloroethylene (TCE, CAS 79-01-6) is a chlorinated solvent and is common in groundwater at chlorinated-solvent contaminated sites around Australia. Currently there is no TCE groundwater investigation levels (GILs) available in Australia for use during screening assessments, which is normally based on Australian drinking water guideline (ADWG) value. To remedy this, a draft GIL was calculated for the protection of non-threshold effects (0.3 µg/L) and for non-cancer threshold effects (0.8 µg/L) using the Australian framework for derivation. The derived values also account for inhalation and dermal intake during bathing and showering. The calculated non-threshold value incorporates the latest toxicological data and is amongst the lowest compared to those available internationally. Therefore, a revision of current ADW guidance for TCE may be warranted. The use of such a low guideline value may be complicated by limits on achievable LOR and the Health Canada value, which incorporates updated toxicity information may be the practical interim value.
The Impact of Climate Evolution on Contaminated Groundwater Resources
Scott Warner - Tuesday, 10 September at 14:15
Climatic shifts that manifest into extreme hydrologic events or cause long-term change to hydrologic systems will increase the stress on groundwater and surface water protection measures. The resulting conditions will challenge our ability to design new protection and clean up approaches, or maintain the performance of existing methods and technologies. This presentation will discuss the potential impact of climate change on technology performance and remedy approaches and will discuss methods and tools for designing groundwater and soil contamination clean-up measures that are adaptable to short and long-term hydrologic perturbations.
Improving Measurement Reliability of the PFAS Total Oxidisable Precursor (TOP) Assay
Annette Nolan - Wednesday, 11 September at 11:15
The PFAS TOP assay is an oxidative sample pre-treatment aimed at converting non-target PFAS (perfluoroalkyl acid precursors) within a sample into stable target perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) that can be quantified by conventional analytical techniques, thereby providing a better understanding of the extent of overall PFAS contamination present within a sample. Quantifying precursors is important to better understand ongoing sources of PFAAs, including PFOS and PFOA, both at contaminated sites and in the waste industry (sewage treatment effluents, biosolids, landfill leachates). Without the ability to reliably quantify (or semi-quantify) precursors, uncertainties in the long-term potential for PFAA formation hinders effective regulation, management and remediation. Currently the TOP assay, although useful as a semi-quantitative tool, is not regarded as sufficiently robust by many regulators to allow quantitative consideration of precursors in environmental regulation. This project involved an interlaboratory assessment of the TOP assay and produced recommendations to be applied to the TOP assay and reported to end users to provide improved confidence in the assay. The project also referenced proposed performance criteria in the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (NEMP, 2018) and provided recommendations on the relevance of this criteria, where relevant.
The project received funding from the inaugural Australasian Land and Groundwater Association (ALGA) Research and Development Grant.
Australian Broadcast Company (ABC) national radio broadcast “The Next Big Thing”
Wednesday, 11 September at 13:15
Scott Warner will participate in a live radio panel on the topic of “Trust and Expert Risk Communication in the Age of Social Media” along with other panelists from the regulatory, technical and site owner communities. The panel will be moderated by veteran ABC journalist, Cathy Van Extel.