Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
Ryan Andersen is a Project Engineer with Langan Engineering and Environmental Services and has been with Langan since 2005. His practice involves site investigation, remedial assessments and site remediation, brownfield redevelopment support, waste management, and due diligence support under multiple state and federal regulatory programs. More recently his practice has focused on strategizing, investigating, and remediating complex emerging contaminant issues arising at existing sites.
Emerging Retail, Consumer, and Regulatory Drivers in Mitigating Industrial and Environmental Contaminants and Toxins
The purpose of this presentation will be to illustrate the technical, regulatory and ethical challenges faced by LSRPs and other members of the regulated community as a result of inconsistent promulgation of groundwater remediation and drinking water standards for emerging contaminants (ECs) under federal and state programs. While the USEPA's Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) has identified potential concerns with the presence of ECs in the public water supply, state and federal policy makers have been unable to agree on how (or even whether) to regulate these contaminants. The tangle of inconsistent regulations/guidance that has emerged from this morass has confused the regulated community and the general public about true risks and legal obligations, and has reinvigorated debate on the question of "how clean is clean?" This presentation will review some of the reasons for the divergent scheme of EC regulations that exists today, along with related technical, legal and ethical problems. It will also provide a recent case study involving ECs at a multi-party site in New Jersey that is regulated under numerous, conflicting regulatory programs (CERCLA, RCRA, New Jersey's Industrial Site Recovery Act [ISRA], and the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program).
Approach/Activities. 1,4-dioxane materialized as a contaminant of emerging concern at our case study site in 2015 and 2016 based on two unrelated regulatory developments: 1) the NJDEP's lowering of the groundwater quality criteria from 10 Âµg/L to 0.4 Âµg/L (November 2015), and 2) the release of data from UCMR 3 indicating that 1,4-dioxane had been detected above 0.4 Âµg/L in finished water from a nearby municipal well field (April 2016). We promptly notified key stakeholders including our client, the NJDEP, the USEPA, and the water purveyor. Discussions followed with the various stakeholders taking divergent positions on how to respond, based on the conflicting regulations that govern groundwater, drinking water and site remediation at the state and federal levels. Resolution required proactive LSRP-facilitated communication between stakeholders, re-sampling using the best available methods, and implementation of a conservative remedy to mitigate potential risks to public health.
Results/Lessons Learned. The water purveyor agreed to temporarily shut-down the well field pending an evaluation of alternative treatment technologies. Treatability testing is being performed to support this evaluation and to provide a basis for the design of a new or upgraded treatment system. Proactive steps are also being taken to evaluate and design for other high-profile ECs including PFAS. Next steps will include identifying the source(s) of the ECs and characterizing the relative contribution of these sources to the well field.