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Christopher Bell ENVL 4446 Phytoremediation Kauffman and Minteer, Jobstown, New Jersey This is a site found right

here in New Jersey and is still being dealt with to date. The problems were caused though from 1960 through the 1980s it was common to see tanker trucks hauling bulk liquid plasticizers, petroleum oils, and industrial soaps enter and leave a large white building in a small rural farming community in South Jersey (EPA/ERT, 2003,p11). The building was equipped with two large truck maintenance bays along with indoor and outdoor wash pads (EPA/ERT, 2003,p11). Between loads, tank trucks were routinely cleaned in the truck wash bay and wash pad areas with waste liquids being discharged into a leaky drain system that led to a collection pit and drainage ditch. In addition, tank residuals were discharged into an unlined 1.3 acre lagoon built on top of a wetland area on-site. Based on the presence of chlorinated volatile organics present in soils and groundwater beneath the truck wash areas, chlorinated solvents were used to clean tanker trucks between loads. Waste solvents, oils, soaps, and plasticizers seeped into the glauconitic, silty sands beneath the lagoon and truck wash areas. A 200-foot section of drainage ditch, down- gradient of the truck wash areas also received significant contamination. The shallow contaminated soils and groundwater overlie an underlying potable aquifer that has not been contaminated (EPA/ERT, 2003, p11). In 1991 and again in 1997, Removal and Remedial Programs joined efforts to address the lagoon liquids and contaminated sludges and sediments in the lagoon. The lagoon was pumped dry, sludges, and heavily contaminated soils excavated which were approximately 3 to 5 feet below grade and the area was restored to the previous wetland elevation (EPA/ERT, 2003, p11). While this effort was being conducted, Contractors revealed significant soil and groundwater contamination in the truck wash bay area. The removal program excavated contaminated vadose zone soils in the ditch area in 1997 and

completed excavation in the truck wash and collection pit area in 1998. These areas were backfilled with medium to coarse sands from a local quarry. The USEPA Removal and Remedial Programs decided to immediately implement a phytoremediation pilot study in both the lagoon area and the truck wash collection pit drainage ditch area to determine if this technology would be effective in containing and cleaning remaining shallow soil and groundwater contamination in the source area (EPA/ERT, 2003, p12). This technology was chosen because it was an emerging technology that could be immediately and economically implemented the contaminated groundwater is not imminently threatening any residential or commercial groundwater users, and the tree roots would be effective in penetrating the silty glauconitic sands and possibly obtaining hydraulic control in the source area. Also, the time frame for implementing long-term remedial action on-site was uncertain at the time. Native black willows and hybrid poplars were planted in both the lagoon area and the drainage ditch area during the spring of 1998(EPA/ERT, 2003, p12). Once excavation was complete in the truck wash bay area it was also in the spring of 1999. Although soil cleanup and groundwater cleanup goals were met in the lagoon area, it was though that residual soaps and oil residuals noted after excavation could be addressed by free-form planting of 48 willows and 23 poplars in this area (EPA/ERT, 2003, p13). These trees would also enhance the habitat of the newly restored wetland. Heavy rains and overly aggressive string trimming resulted in the death of 45 trees in 1998. These trees were replaced with deep-planted trees without sludge amendments in the fall of 1998. Since the willows were not rooted deep enough they were replaced with poplar trees in the truck bay in 1999. These trees also were shallow rooted like the willows. Although the poplars were good for the remediation process they were also not able to withstand frost and deer grazing them. Also these trees were not able to with stand the low pH of the soil here. This site was not properly thought out for the conditions that were present. The Kauffman and Minteer site was more of a testing site for a new progressive type of remediation. There were many things that went wrong with the planning and selection of plants.

Although this site didnt put any residents in immediate danger it still had the potential to ruin a fragile ecosystem. The wet lends where this site is located is home to a variety of organisms which were most likely damaged in the process. If the willows were not able to withstand the heavy rains, they should have not been a candidate for this process. Then after making the initial mistake they didnt take the time to pick a more suitable replacement. They seemed to just have rushed the whole process. Both of these plants are good for remediation but lack the length of their roots needed to cause a root barrier. The contaminates at this site were pretty deep within the soil therefore if I were in charge of this site I would have chosen a plants with much deeper roots and could with stand the elements. Being that this was still in the early stages of phytoremediation I can understand the feeling out process that was involved but we learn from our mistakes so these organizations just made it possible for us to learn from theirs. Work cited EPA/ERT (Summer, 2003) Phytoremediation of Dissolved Phase Organic Compounds: Optimal Site Considerations Relative to Field Case Studies retrieved from