Zero-Valent Iron Shows Promise As a Strong Chemical Reducer of Perc

Written by Steve Henshaw, P.G., President & CEO, EnviroForensics, in Collaboration with Keith Gaskill, L.P.G., Project Manager and Geochemist, EnviroForensics
As seen in the May 2011 issue of Cleaner & Launderer

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Zero-valent iron (ZVI) has been used in the groundwater remediation industry for several decades.  Typically, granular scale ZVI was emplaced in trenches serving as a permeable reactive barrier wall, whereby contaminated groundwater would flow through the wall and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like Perc would react with the material and breakdown.

This technology worked so well that scientists started applying the ZVI into contamination source areas and hot spots.  Recent advances have produced smaller scale iron particles that can be mixed into a slurry and pumped into the ground through the use of pre-existing injection technologies.  Continue reading “Zero-Valent Iron Shows Promise As a Strong Chemical Reducer of Perc”

Advancements in Fingerprinting Contaminants; Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA)

Written by Steve Henshaw, P.G., CEO, EnviroForensics

Keith Gaskill, L.P.G., Chief Geologist, EnviroForensics

As seen in the February 2011 issue of Cleaner & Launderer.

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Among the challenges in environmental consulting is determining responsible parties in comingled plumes.  With so much money and liability at stake, confident determination of contaminant sources (fingerprinting) becomes vital to not only our clients’ personal stake, but to the timely cleanup of potentially dangerous contaminant plumes. 

The first and most utilized fingerprinting method is basic compound analysis.  Generally, it is known what hazardous substances were released to the subsurface and what chemical compounds can be associated with that release.  Analysis is completed by comparing compounds detected.  For example, two drycleaners next to each other are located directly upgradient from a residence where one drycleaner has used Stoddard solvents and one has used perchloroethylene (perc) in the drycleaning process.  When laboratory analysis reveals the presence of petroleum compounds (perc contains no petroleum compounds whereas Stoddard solvent does) in groundwater under the residence, it is determined that the Stoddard solvent plant is likely the responsible party.   Continue reading “Advancements in Fingerprinting Contaminants; Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA)”

Can PERC Releases Be Age Dated and Fingerprinted?

Written by Stephen Henshaw, P.G., President and CEO, EnviroForensics
As seen in the May 2010 issue of Cleaner & Launderer

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For years parties responsible for the costs associated with environmental investigations and cleanups of Perc contamination have been trying to determine when Perc releases have occurred.  This topic has important ramifications when sites have had a series of dry cleaning operations over time, when different insurance carriers insured dry cleaners and property owners, and when several dry cleaning releases have comingled together from different dry cleaning locations.

So, for the past 15 to 20 years, scientists like Dr. Konrad Banaszak with EnviroForensics, have been trying to figure out how to age date PERC releases.  So, can Perc releases be accurately age dated?  The answer is yes, no and maybe.  Continue reading “Can PERC Releases Be Age Dated and Fingerprinted?”

Score One for the Drycleaners in BAAQMD…at least for a little while

By Marti Russell, REA, Western Sales Manager, EnviroForensics

A Steering Committee Meeting was held on Friday, March 5, 2010 in San Francisco.  As if the economy isn’t bad enough for small businesses and depending on the outcome of this meeting, the cleaners in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in Northern California may have another hurdle in trying to stay open and meet the mandated regulations bestowed upon them.

The BAAQMD staff was directed by the Board of Supervisors last year to come up with a plan to shorten the time frame on phasing out perc in their District.  All perc cleaners in the BAAQMD know the District wants to accelerate the banning of perc faster than the California Air Recourses Board mandated timeframe of 2023. Continue reading “Score One for the Drycleaners in BAAQMD…at least for a little while”

News for Drycleaners Concerning BAAQMD

Submitted by Marti Russell, REA-1, Registered Environmental Assessor and Western Sales Manager for EnviroForensics

As it stands now, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in Northern California may be changing their regulations…again.  AND, things do not look so good for dry cleaners in that District.

BAAQMD staff will go in front of the Stationary Steering Committee on Monday, November 16, 2009 to discuss the social economic impact the current State’s Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) regulation is having on the Dry Cleaning Industry. Everyone should be aware by now, that it is extremely tough out there for businesses to survive.  Some businesses are down by 30%, banks are not lending money for equipment upgrades and credit scores need to be over 680 to qualify for loans or leases.

However, more important than the Steering Committee meeting, is the one that will be held on December 16, 2009. BAAQMD staffers go in front of their boss, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (BOS), to address the directive that the Board gave them last year.  This meeting will be open for public comments.

Continue reading “News for Drycleaners Concerning BAAQMD”