October 9, 2013

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Michael Kavanaugh Co-Authors Article on Chlorinated Solvent DNAPL Cleanup in Environmental Science and Technology

Michael Kavanaugh, P.E., Ph.D., and a principal engineer in Geosyntec's Oakland office, co-authored a significant article regarding remediation of chlorinated solvent source areas in a recent issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Dr. Kavanaugh, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, co-authored the article with a team of recognized chlorinated solvent remediation experts representing academia, government, and consulting. The article, "Chlorinated Ethene Source Remediation: Lessons Learned," appears in the journal's June 19 edition and is a must-read for practitioners and stakeholders engaged in the cleanup of sites contaminated with chlorinated solvents — one of the most of commonly occurring classes of pollutants generated by human activity in the environment.

Chlorinated solvents released to the subsurface often form dense, non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) that dissolve slowly and may persist for decades to centuries. Regulators, academics, and practitioners have long debated the ability of current technology to remediate DNAPL sites impacted by chlorinated solvents. This article presents a state-of-the-science review of the capabilities and limits of technologies for investigating and remediating chlorinated solvent source areas.

The article offers reasons for optimism in the cleanup of many chlorinated solvent sites, but also helps to set realistic expectations for what current technologies can achieve at sites that are highly contaminated or characterized by complex geology. The guidelines and recommendations in the article present a roadmap for effective management, investigation, and remediation of chlorinated solvent sites.