Sustainable Site Management through High-Resolution Characterization Strategies at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
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Background. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), along with their Remediation Program consultants, has developed and implemented a high-resolution, data-collection strategy at multiple legacy chlorinated volatile organic compound (CVOC) contaminated sites at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida.

The high-resolution characterization strategy has been instrumental in the development of detailed conceptual site models (CSMs) that enable NASA to implement sustainable, site-management strategies. Approach/Activities. High-resolution characterization of contaminated sites is performed using direct push technology soil and/or groundwater sampling techniques and analysis of samples by a mobile laboratory to efficiently provide a high level of characterization detail. These projects commonly result in the collection of over 1,000 groundwater samples and, in some instances, the discovery of multiple source zones contributing to dissolved plume(s). Site characterization may also be supplemented with membrane interface probe, cone penetrometer, and/or hydraulic profiling tool investigations to obtain additional information on contaminant distribution and subsurface characteristics. Sampling data are presented using a three dimensional Environmental Visualization Software (EVS) model to generate a robust CSM that can effectively convey large data sets. In contrast to historical assessment techniques, high-resolution characterization has proven to be an effective approach for the sustainable management and remediation of legacy contaminated sites at KSC, resulting in: (i) more refined lifetime cleanup cost estimates, (ii) improved budgeting of estimated capital and annual expenditures for cleanup, (iii) more effective feasibility study evaluations and selection of appropriate remediation technologies, including more focused source remediation approaches, and (v) decreased timeframes for active remediation phases of projects. The combination of benefits associated with the additional upfront costs for high-resolution characterization has proven to significantly outweigh traditional assessment techniques. Results/Lessons Learned. This presentation will focus on multiple case study sites that demonstrate how the high-resolution characterization approach implemented at KSC has achieved more sustainable site management decisions. The presented case studies will document the magnitude of the data collection and EVS presentation efforts at KSC and compare differences in CSMs developed from high-resolution characterization and traditional methods. The presentation will also demonstrate that while meeting regulatory delineation requirements is important, sustainable site solutions leading to cost-effective remediation ultimately depend on developing an accurate CSM through high-resolution characterization.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Jim Langenbach, Rebecca C. Daprato
  • All Authors: Jim Langenbach, Rebecca Daprato, Mike Deliz, Anne Chrest
  • Title: Sustainable Site Management through High-Resolution Characterization Strategies at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
  • Event or Publication: Battelle Second International Symposium on Bioremediation and Sustainable Environmental Technologies
  • Practice Areas: Groundwater Assessment and Remediation, Site Investigation and Remediation
  • Date: 2013
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida