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Wetlands and Remediation International Conference: Nov 16-17, 1999



Wetlands and Remediation: An International Conference

Background:   The scope of this conference will include both the
treatment and remediation of contaminated wetlands (by engineered and
natural attenuation approaches) and the use of wetlands (natural and
constructed) for the treatment and remediation of contaminated water and
wastewater.

Program Overview:  This will be a two-day conference held in Salt Lake
City, Utah, November 16-17, 1999.  There will be two or three platform
tracks held each day.  The platform tracks will consist of talks of
about 15-20 minutes in length.  Assuming two tracks, this will mean
about 50 platform presentations will be given (roughly 12 talks per day
per track).  If the quality and quantity of the abstracts received
allow, we can add a third track.  There will also be an evening poster
session consisting of approximately 40-100 posters, depending on the
number and quality of the abstracts received.  The technical program
will include several invited speakers.  All other speakers and all
posters will be selected from the abstracts.  Speakers  already
committed to presenting at the conference include:

Dr. William Mitsch (Ohio State University/Olentangy River Wetland
Research Park)  Title TBD

Michelle Lorah (USGS)  "Natural Attenuation of Chlorinated Volatile
Organic Compounds in a Freshwater Tidal Wetland"

Ernie Schroeder (Parsons Engineering Science)  “Engineering and
Construction Challenges in the Remediation of a Large Superfund Site in
a Texas Coastal Wetlands"

Dr. John W. Day, Jr. (Coastal Ecology Institute, Louisiana State
University)  "Use of Wastewater to Enhance Wetlands Productivity and
Protect Threatened Wetlands"

John Pantano, (ARCO Environmental Remediation)  “Using Surface and
Subsurface Flow Wetlands to Remove Metals from Mining-Impacted
Groundwater”

Richard Post (Sikorsky)  “Investigations of Chromium Attenuation in a
Tidal Connecticut Wetland”

Joe McKeon (BASF Corporation)  “Metals Removal and pH Adjustment in a
Constructed Tidal Treatment Wetlands on the Chesapeake Bay”

David Burris (Air Force Research Laboratory)  “Reductive Dehalogenation
Mediated by Humic Acids in Wetlands Soils”

Organization:  Jeff Means (614/424-5442, meansj@battelle.org) will serve
as Conference Chairman, with Rob Hinchee of Parsons Engineering Science
serving as Co-Chairman.  Karl Nehring (614/424-6510,
nehringk@battelle.org) and Carol Young will serve as Conference
Coordinators.  The Conference Group of Columbus, Ohio, will serve as the
subcontractor in charge of handling meeting logistics.

Sponsorship:  Battelle is the sponsor and organizer.  Parsons
Engineering Science, ESTCP/SERDP, and NFESC have thus far committed to
being co-sponsors.  Co-sponsorship ($5,000) includes an exhibit booth
and two registrations.  Co-sponsors are identified as such on materials
we mail out, with their logos displayed.  Companies or organizations
interested in becoming co-sponsors should contact The Conference Group
at 800/783-6338.

Exhibitors:  The fee for an exhibit booth will be $1,795 before 30 July
99 and $1,995 thereafter.  Companies or organizations interested in
having an exhibit booth at the conference should contact The Conference
Group at 800/783-6338.

Participating Organizations:  Organizations interested in helping with
publicity for the conference and encouraging participation can be listed
as “participating organizations” in conference materials.   Their logos
are not used on mailings, but their names are listed.  So far, the
Environmental Business Institute (San Diego), the USDA NRCS Wetlands
Science Institute, the University of Florida Center for Wetlands, and
the New York State Wetlands Forum have come on board as participating
organizations.  Interested organizations should contact Joanie Purvis at
800/783-6338.

 Schedule:  The Call for Abstracts will be mailed in March.  It will
serve as an announcement for the conference and will be mailed to
Battelle’s conference mailing list database (about 30,000 names).  It
will contain registration information and will outline the scope of the
meeting.   Abstracts will be due on May 31.  We will review the
abstracts, put together a technical program, and notify the accepted
presenters approximately mid-July.  We will also produce a preliminary
program brochure that will be mailed to the mailing list approximately
the first week of August.

 Proceedings:  A proceedings volume will be prepared and then published
by Battelle Press and mailed to registrants shortly after the
conference.  Proceedings papers will be optional.  Authors wishing to
have their papers appear in the proceedings will be requested to provide
camera-ready copies of their papers (app. 6 pp.) by September 30.

Registration:  Because registration fees are by far the major source of
funding for the conference and a significant percentage of registrants
will make presentations, all presenting authors and session chairs are
expected to register and pay the standard fees.   Early registration
fees (payment received by 31 August 99) are $545 government/university
and $595 industry; after 31 August, the rates will be $595
government/university and $645 industrial.

Potential topics to be addressed at this conference include:

Construction Problems Associated with Wetlands Remediation
Natural Attenuation in Wetlands
Remediation of Contaminated Wetlands
Sediment Treatment and Remediation
Groundwater/Surface Water Interaction (GWSI) Environments
Ecological Risk Assessment in Wetlands
Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment
Phytoremediation in Wetlands
Wetlands Geochemistry
Wetlands Hydrogeology and Hydrology
The Role of Wetlands in the Ecosystem and the Impact of Contamination
and Remediation
Using Wastewater to Enhance Wetlands
Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Wetlands
Chromium-Contaminated Wetlands
Natural Resources Damage Assessment
Subsurface vs. Surface Flow Wetlands
Mine Waste
MGP Sites
Research Programs
Regulatory Issues

Technical Overview:  Wetlands issues are becoming more and more apparent
at contaminated sites.  Historically, industrial sites were constructed
near water bodies for navigation to obtain process water and/or energy.
Many wetlands have been filled, often inviting convenient waste
disposal.  The EPA has estimated that more than 20% of Superfund sites
have groundwater plumes that discharge to wetlands or sensitive
habitats.  Some wetlands sit on contaminated sediments, some directly
contaminated by discharges into the wetland, some as the result of fill
with contaminated dredge material or other waste.   It has been shown
that wetlands can have significant capacity for assimilation of some
wastes.  The use of wetlands for wastewater treatment has become an
accepted practice.  More recently wetlands have been show to naturally
attenuate a variety of contaminants ranging from Chromium to TCE.  This
has lead to the development of concepts for the use and construction of
wetlands for the specific purpose of interception and treatment of
contaminated groundwater.

Addressing wetlands remediation issues requires the involvement of a
wide variety of disciplines, many times necessitating combining people
and organizations that are not accustomed to working together.  For
example, wetlands construction and studies of ecological structure are
well developed disciplines, as are remediation and hydrogeologic
assessment, but rarely have these people been brought together in a
venue appropriate for addressing the complex issues surrounding
remediation and wetlands.  This conference will seek to bring together
site managers, scientists, engineers, and regulators involved in this
field and to help start to lay the foundations for future progress.  As
the remediation business matures it is becoming apparent that to
effectively clean up many contaminated sites, a variety of wetlands
issues will need to be addressed, such as:

Remediation of Contaminated Wetlands - Contaminated wetlands present
many unique remediation problems ranging from the geotechnical
challenges of working in often difficulty conditions to problems
associated with the contaminated medium itself supporting sensitive
habitat.  Excavation of contaminated materials, which may be relatively
straightforward on dry land sites, becomes much more difficult on an
unstable and saturated wetland.  In some locations endangered species
concerns have even limited accessibility for the equipment required for
site characterization.  To successfully characterize and remediate
contaminated wetlands will require an understanding of conventional
remediation as well as unique environmental sensitivities and
geotechnical challenges.

Wetlands for Water and Wastewater Treatment - The assimilative capacity
of wetlands for a variety of wastes has long been recognized.  The
engineered use of wetlands to treat high BOD wastes and for nutrient
removal was proven in the ‘70s, and today has become accepted practice
in many areas.  More recently, the use of wetlands to treat metals and
more recalcitrant organics such as TNT, hydrocarbons, and chlorinated
solvents has emerged as viable technology.  For example, recent work has
been done showing the assimilative capacity of wetlands for treatment of
metals contaminated mine drainage.  Integration of the knowledge we have
gained in this area into the emerging use of wetlands in remediation
will be essential to developing cost-effective remedial approaches.

Natural Attenuation in Wetlands - Groundwater plumes that do not readily
attenuate in situ in an aquifer or are not captured in a pumping well
generally discharge to some form of surface water.  This is true of many
chlorinated solvent plumes, heavy metals plumes, perchlorate plumes, as
well as many other plumes of both organic and inorganic contaminants.
Many of these plumes do or will discharge to wetlands.  Wetlands are
frequently locations of high biological activity, and often result in
degradation or other natural treatment of the contaminants.  For
example, it has been shown that chromium in groundwater is readily
reduced from the soluble hexavalent form to the insoluble, and nontoxic
trivalent form in peaty materials underlying many wetlands.  Similarly
it has been shown that chlorinated solvents in groundwater may be
biologically reduced to nontoxic end products in similar high organic
materials in wetlands.  This is an emerging area, and an understanding
of the natural assimilative capacity of wetlands will help balance the
need for engineered remediation against potential environmental impacts,
and cost.

Engineering of Wetlands for Remediation - Wetlands are frequently
groundwater discharge areas, this coupled with the natural assimilative
capacity of wetlands has lead to the proposed use of constructed
wetlands to capture and treat groundwater plumes.  This approach has the
potential to become an environmentally sound and cost effective approach
to remediation of many plumes.  To date, however, very few such
engineered subsurface flow wetlands have been utilized.   One of the
reasons for this is the diversity and complexity of the technical issues
involved.  Successful engineering requires a good quantitative
understanding of the hydrogeology to ensure plume capture and understand
discharge rates into the wetland; the geochemistry and biology of the
attenuation processes; as well potential ecological and environmental
impacts.  Properly developed engineered wetlands have great potential
for practical application.

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Posted on behalf of Karl Nehring <Nehringk@BATTELLE.ORG>