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Toward Transformational Remediation Strategies

The initiative was formed to better meet the challenges of efficiently and cost-effectively accessing and delivering remedial amendments to vadose environments without by-passing low-permeability zones, which frequently contain the majority of contamination, or without mobilizing contaminants to groundwater, to minimize environmental, safety, and health risks across the EM complex. It will develop transformational capabilities to improve our ability to monitor, and eventually predict, subsurface contaminant behavior and the delivery, emplacement, and long-term performance of the remedial actions. Goals of the initiative include providing the following:

Near-Term Goals

  • optimized foam and reactive gas technologies capable of treating low-permeability and deep vadose zone environments
  • provide advanced geophysical and natural system monitoring approaches for contaminant behavior, and emplacement and performance of reactive delivery technologies to overcome limitations of current monitoring technologies
  • design of effective in situ remedial strategies capable of treating low-permeability regions in vadose zone environments, with documented risk, cost, and timeline advantages to baseline technologies
  • demonstration of the efficacy of advanced technology strategies as alternative remedial approaches to baseline technologies
  • provide additional detailed information to help DOE sites meet specific milestones (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act process; Remedial Investigation-Feasibility Study).

Long-Term Impact

  • provide sites with alternative remedial technologies to baseline approaches for deep vadose zone contamination against which further progress can be made, that integrate a mass flux-based approach to remediation to foster transitioning from "active" to "passive" remediation, providing the necessary framework to gain regulatory approval to end pump-and-treat methods, and reduce the cost and time frame necessary to achieve cleanup goals, including the reduction of the EM footprint.

Metals and Radionuclides in the Vadose Zone

Project Information

DOE Office of Groundwater and Soil Remediation