United States
                Environmental Protection
                              Office of
                              Solid Waste and
                              Emergency Response
              March 1992
A Citizen's Guide  To How
Innovative Treatment  Technologies
Are  Being  Successfully Applied  At
Superfund Sites
Technology Innovation Office.
                                             .Technology Fact Sheet


 What Are Innovative
 Technologies?        1
 Why Does EPA Use
 These Technologies?
 Where Have These
 Technologies Been
 Successfully Applied?
 How f* EPA Encouraging
 The Use Of Innovative
 Treatment Technologles?4
 For More Information

          What Are Innovative
          Treatment Technologies?

          Treatment technologies are
          processes applied to the
          treatment of hazardous waste or
          contaminated materials, such as
          soils, sludges, sediments and
          debris, to permanently alter their
          condition through chemical,
          biological, or physical means.
          Technologies that have been
          tested, selected or used for
          treatment of hazardous waste or
          contaminated materials but lack
          well-documented cost and
          performance data under a variety
          of operating conditions are called
          innovative treatment
They are used as an alternative to
merely containing the hazardous
substances on site or in a
hazardous waste landfill that is
designed and operated under the
Federal Resource Conservation
Recovery Act (RCRA)
regulations. Today, treatment
technologies are being tailored to
deal with specific hazardous
      Do They Work At
        Every Site?

    All waste types and site
 conditions are not similar. Each
    site must be individually
    Investigated and tested.
    Engineering and scientific
    judgment must be used to
   determine If a technology Is
     appropriate for a site.
          Innovative treatment
          technologies have been used
          successfully at some
          contaminated waste sites around U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
          the country.                 5ig,Sn 5> Library (PL-] 2J)
                                     77 West Jackson Boulevard, 12th Floor
          	Chicago. II 00004-3590
              Successful Application of innovative Treatment Technologies; Profile

     Innovative treatment technologies have been used successfully to clean-up contaminated sites.

     Their selection at Superfund sites has Increased steadily, from 26 percent In 1987 to 58 percent In 1990.

     The appropriate technologies for each hazardous waste site are selected based on the specific
     characteristics of the site.
 Produced by the
Superfund Progrun
                                                 Printed on Recycled Paper

                                             Table 1
                      Descriptions Of Some Innovative Treatment Technologies
   Bio?emedlatlon: uses microorganisms, such as bacteria, to break down organic contaminants into harmless substances.

   Solvent Extraction: separates hazardous organic contaminants from oily-type wastes, soils, sludges, and sediments,
   reducing the volume of hazardous waste that must be treated.

   In Situ Soil Flushing: an in situ (in place) process that floods contaminated soils in the subsurface with a washing
   solution to flush out the contaminants.

   Soil Washing: uses water or a washing solution and mechanical processes to scrub excavated soils and remove
   hazardous contaminants.

   Thermal Desorptton:  heats soil at relatively low temperatures to vaporize contaminants with low boiling points.
   Vaporized contaminants are then captured and can be removed for further treatment or destruction.

   Glycolate Dehatogenatlon: uses a chemical reagent (a substance used to react with and change another
   substance) to change the structure of certain contaminants, thereby rendering them less hazardous.

   Air Sparging: injects air into the saturated zone (that part of the subsurface that is soaked with ground water) to
   remove hazardous contaminants.
contaminants. (See EPA's A Citizen's Guide to
Innovative Treatment Technologies for
Contaminated Soils, Sludges, Sediments and
Debris for further information on innovative
treatment technologies).

Table 1 above lists some innovative treatment
technologies and contains a brief description of

Why Does EPA Use These Technologies?

When Superfund began cleaning up contaminated
waste sites ten years ago, land disposal
technologies were the common method to dispose
of hazardous waste. As concerns for safety of the
environment increased, EPA worked to design
safer landfills and passed new restrictions on
landfill disposal. Simultaneously, the Superfund
Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA)
was passed, which directs EPA to carry out
research, development and demonstration of
innovative treatment technologies and to
emphasize selection or application of innovative
treatment technologies in site clean-up. EPA
believes that, whenever possible, innovative
treatment technologies should be routinely
considered as an option in addition to the
established remedies of land disposal,
incineration, and solidification/stabilization.

Innovative treatment technologies may offer:

•   Permanent solutions to hazardous waste

•   The potential for more effective performance

•   The potential for lower cost solutions

•   The potential for a better and more efficient
    clean-up than established technologies

•   Possible greater community acceptance.

For these reasons, EPA encourages the use of
innovative treatment technologies.

Where Have These Technologies Been
Successfully Applied?

Records of Decision (RODs) chronicle for public
information EPA's selection of the most
appropriate clean-up actions for a Superfund site.
These RODs indicate that, since the enactment of
SARA in 1986, EPA's use of innovative treatment

technologies has increased steadily. At Superfund
sites where treatment was employed as a
component of the clean-up, selection of
innovative treatment technologies increased from
26 percent in fiscal year (FY) (October -
September) 1987 to 40 percent in FY 1988 to 51
percent in FY 1989, and to 58 percent in FY 1990.
To determine the overall success of these
technologies, EPA needs to obtain more cost and
performance data in a variety of operating
conditions.  Listed below are descriptions of three
sites where different innovative treatment
technologies have been successfully applied:

          Wide Beach Development

  Wide Beach Development is a 55-acre suburban
  development of 60 homes located approximately
  35 miles south of Buffalo, New York. At this site,
  chemical treatment was used to treat 40,000 tons
  of soil contaminated with polychlorinated
  biphenyls (PCBs). These 40,000 tons consisted of
  the top 18 inches of soil on a mile and a half of
  roads. The contaminated soil was dug up and
  placed in a mobile treatment unit that was brought
  onto the site. The contaminated soil was heated
  and treated with chemicals to destroy the PCBs.

  The benefits of using this innovative technology,
  as opposed to using an established technology,
  such as incineration or land disposal, are
  significant. The PCBs in the soil were destroyed
  and, since the contaminated soil was treated on
  site, the community surrounding the Wide Beach
  development was protected from any potential
  transportation problems.

               Verona Well Field

  At the Verona Well Field, approximately 1/2 mile
  northeast of Battle Creek, Michigan, vacuum
  extraction is being used to treat soil contaminated
  with chlorinated solvents.  Extraction wells were
  installed directly into the contaminated soil, which
  allowed the contaminants to be transferred into an
  air stream.  The air stream was then treated to
  remove and destroy the contaminants through
  either carbon adsorption or vapor incineration,
  depending upon various economic and engineering
  considerations at the site. When carbon
 adsorption was used, the air stream was passed
 through carbon filters to collect the contaminants,
 which were then incinerated. When vapor
 incineration was used, the air stream was forced
 into a treatment vessel where it was incinerated.

 Vacuum extraction and concurrent treatment have
 been effective in destroying 90,000 pounds of
 contaminants.  This is equivalent to 450 fifty-five
 gallon barrels. The contaminants were removed
 without disturbing the soil and, most importantly,
 without exposing the community to additional
 risks. A hazardous waste manager at the site
 remarked that, "at the Verona well field site, the
 vacuum extraction process has proven to be safe
 and effective for both the community and the
      Cannon Engineering Corporation

 Thermal desorption was used at the Cannon
 Engineering Corporation site in Plymouth,
 Massachusetts to treat soil contaminated with
 volatile organic compounds and semivolatile
 organic compounds. Thermal desorption uses heat
 to physically separate the soil from the
 contaminants, which then require farther
 treatment.  At this site, thermal desorption was
 applied ex  situ, which means the contaminated soil
 was excavated prior to treatment. This technology
 can also be applied using an in situ technique,
 which means keeping the soil in place. This
 technology used a direct heating method that
 resulted in  heating the contaminated soil at
 relatively low temperatures (200-1000°F),
 allowing the contaminants to vaporize and
 separate from the soil. The evaporated
 contaminants and dust particles were confined in
 an air stream, which was treated to meet
 applicable local, State, and Federal standards.
 (Direct heating is one of four extraction methods
 that can be used with thermal desorption.)

 Thermal desorption effectively treated 871 cubic
 yards (11,330 tons) of contaminated soil at the
 Cannon Engineering site, which is comparable to
 670 truck loads of soil.  The process began in May
 1990 and was completed five months later in
 October 1990. With this technology, cleanup
 goals for the site were not only met, but exceeded.
 In addition, the property was restored so that, once
 again, it can be put to commercial or industrial
      U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency
—-  Region
                                                          I ij«l II  fJfaUtmaUJiaa^atmmmmBmBmmmm***
                                                         a West Jackson Boulevard, 12th Floor
                                                         Chicago, IL  60604-3590

How Is EPA Encouraging The Use Of
Innovative Treatment Technologies?

The mission of EPA's Technology Innovation
Office (TIO) is to increase the government's and
industry's application of innovative treatment
technologies to contaminated waste sites.  The
Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation
(SITE) program sponsors field studies to obtain
the information needed about an innovative
treatment technology's effectiveness under
varying conditions.  The SITE program and TIO
share the resulting information with Federal
agencies, States, consulting engineering firms,
responsible parties, technology developers, and
the investment community.
    For More information                              ;

    Additional information regarding the use of Innovative treatment technologies can fee obtained by contacting
    the Technology Innovation Office (TK>) at (703) 3084800 or writing to:

                             U.S. Environmental Protection Agancy
                             Technology Innovation Office
                             401 M Street, S.W. (OS-110W)
                             Washington, DC 20460

    Among the documents available from TIO fa the fo novaflye Treatment Jeoh, no iooles: Serq|ann^|
          September 1991, EPA/154012-91/001.
    TIO ha* also produced a series of ten Citizen's Guide*, Including this one, on topics relating to Innovative
    technologies. The others are on the topics of :

       Innovative Treatment Technologies tor Contaminated Soils,
           Sludges, Sediments and Debris, EPA/542/F-92/001
       Soil Washing, EPA/542/F-92/003
       Solvent Extraction, EPA/542/F-92/004
       Glycolat* Dehalogenatlon, EPA/542/F-927005
       Thermal Desorptton, EPA/542/F-92AW6
       In SttU Soil Flushing, EPA/542/F-92AJ07
       Btoventing, EPA/542/F-92/008
       Using indigenous and Exogenous Microorganisms In Bteremedlatlon, EPA/542/F-92/009
       Air Sparging, EPA/542/F-92/010

    Copies of these fact sheets are available by calling (513) 569-7562 or writing to:

                             Center for Environmental Research Information
                             26 West Martin Luther King Drive
                             Cincinnati, OH 45268
 NOTICE: This fact sheet is intended solely as general guidance and information. It is not intended, nor can it be relied upon. to create any rights enforceable by any
 party in litigation with the United States. The Agency also reserves the right to change this guidance at any lime without public notice.
                                                                      'U.S. Government Priming Office: 1992—648-080/60002