When: Thursday, August 30, 9:30 a.m.
Where: Town Hall, Durham, and Pease
Tradeport Site #32, Portsmouth.
1) MTBE Clean-Up Initiative Announced: Town Hall, Durham (9:30-10
am) The University of New Hampshire's Bedrock Bioremediation Center
(BBC), together with Congressman John E. Sununu and USEPA and NHDES
officials, will announce a major MTBE research initiative. Project
participants will be available for media interviews at this time.
2) Demonstration of Bioremediation Techniques: Pease (10:25-11:25
am) The bedrock at Site #32 at Pease Tradeport is contaminated with
chlorinated solvents. This portion of the event includes technical
presentations on progress to date and lessons learned from the BBC's
work at the research site. Photo opportunities at this site will
include demonstration of new bioremediation technology--some of
it never before used in this country.
*UNH's Bedrock Bioremediation Center (BBC) is the major U.S. center
for issues relating to remediation and monitoring of contaminated
water in bedrock. The center develops and tests ways to accelerate
the naturally occurring (but very slow) process by which bacteria
convert organic pollutants into harmless by-products.
*Researchers from the US Geological Service already are working
with BBC researchers in cooperation with the US Air Force and the
NH Department of Environmental Services. In the coming year, there
will be funding to help researchers from universities, governmental
agencies, and industry to work at the site.
Congressman Sununu's initiative in promoting engineered bioremediation
as a clean-up technology has been integral to the work of the BBC.
Sununu has secured a total of $3 million for the UNH Bedrock Bioremediation
Center: $ 800,000 in 1999; $ 800,000 in 2000; and $1,400,000 in
*Most underground pollution is caused by two types of organics--
chlorinated solvents and petroleum products. Pease Site 32 has bedrock
contaminated by chlorinated solvents. A second site to be opened
this fall has bedrock contaminated by gasoline and the fuel additive
MTBE. The first two grants funded research activities at Site #32.
The third grant, being announced at the ceremony, will fund work
at the new site (petroleum/MTBE contaminants) and continue work
at Site #32 (chlorinated contaminants).
*Hundreds of sites in New Hampshire have groundwater contaminated
with petroleum products and MTBE. In fact, the problem is more pervasive
than toxic waste sites because service stations and garages are
located everywhere, and until recently, monitoring and maintenance
of underground petroleum storage tanks was not standard practice.
*Pollution clean-up is so expensive that increased attention needs
to be placed on developing and testing better and more cost-effective
technologies. But actual use of those technologies has to be based
on rigorous scientific evidence to verify that they work.
the chlorinated solvent site was a two-year process. It involved
drilling test wells with precise understanding of fracture patterns,
water flows, and existing pollution. Tests were conducted to determine
whether commonly-used collection procedures result in samples that
reflect in situ conditions. Using newly developed technologies,
including some from around the world, new protocols were developed
for the work to ensure reliability and scientific credibility.
*Research activities at the chlorinated solvent site have focused
largely on methodologies for characterizing bedrock geology and
hydrology and monitoring contamination. Starting this year, the
site will be used by UNH and outside researchers to evaluate ways
to accelerate naturally occurring Bioremediation processes. Methods
and standards for monitoring clean-up will also be developed to
help regulators determine if the clean-up is successful. To make
this judgment, regulators need to understand what is occurring naturally
at a contaminated site and how to compare this to the results of
For more information, contact Suki
Casanave at 603-862-3102.
Press Packet: Powerpoint
file from August 30 Meeting (10.2 Mb)
Directions to Site: http://www.unh.edu/civil-engineering/research/erg/bbc/pease_directions.html
Previous Funding History: http://www.unh.edu/civil-engineering/research/erg/bbc/news