May 29, 2019

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Heather Rectanus Coauthored a Paper Entitled "Use of Omic Tools to Assess Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) Degradation in Groundwater" in the Journal of Hazardous Materials

Heather Rectanus (Maryland) coauthored a paper entitled "Use of Omic Tools to Assess Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) Degradation in Groundwater" that was published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials on May 6, 2019.

Her coauthors were Katarzyna H. Kucharzyk, Craig M. Bartling, Steve Rosansky, Angela Minard-Smith, Larry A. Mullins, and Kenda Neil.

Heather is a Senior Engineer based in Maryland with more than 12 years of experience focused on contaminated site assessment and cleanup, and environmental planning and management.

The Journal of Hazardous Materials publishes full-length research papers, review articles, and case studies that improve the understanding of the hazards and risks that certain materials pose to public health and the environment. Papers that deal with ways of controlling and mitigating risks of hazardous materials (HM) are within the scope of the journal.

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This study employed innovative technologies to evaluate multiple lines of evidence for natural attenuation (NA) of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in groundwater at the 22 Area of Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton after decommissioning of a biobarrier system. For comparison, data from the 13 Area Gas Station where active treatment of MTBE is occurring was used to evaluate the effectiveness of omic techniques in assessing biodegradation. Overall, the 22 Area Gas Station appeared to be anoxic. MTBE was detected in large portion of the plume. In comparison, concentrations of MTBE at the 13 Area Gas Station were much higher (42,000 μg/L to 2,800 μg/L); however, none of the oxygenates were detected. Metagenomic analysis of the indigenous groundwater microbial community revealed the presence of bacterial strains known to aerobically and anaerobically degrade MTBE at both sites. While proteomic analysis at the 22 Area Gas Station showed the presence of proteins of MTBE degrading microorganisms, the MTBE degradative proteins were only found at the 13 Area Gas Station. Taken together, these results provide evidence for previous NA of MTBE in the groundwater at 22 Area Gas Station and demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative-omic technologies to assist monitored NA assessments.

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