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Hydrocarbon Workshop



January 6

HRSC: High Resolution Site Characterization

  • 9:00 a.m. - OIP and MIP: Direct Push Logging Methods for Investigation of Fuel Hydrocarbon Impacted Facilities


    Direct push (DP) logging methods can be useful to delineate the presence and extent of petroleum fuel LNAPL as well as dissolved hydrocarbons in groundwater. These logging tools typically include sensors that help define the lithology.


    An initial introduction will outline the DP logging procedure used with these tools which are designed for use in soils and unconsolidated formations. Under amenable conditions DP logs can be run to depths exceeding 50 ft to 100 ft. These tools will not penetrate consolidated rock while cemented soils or formations with cobbles and boulders can be challenging. The Optical Imaging Profiler (OIP) uses an ultraviolet (UV) light emitting diode (LED) to induce fluorescence of petroleum LNAPLs in the subsurface. The system provides both images and a log of fluorescence versus depth.  The Membrane Interface Probe (MIP) is designed with a semipermeable membrane on the side of the probe. The MIP system provides a log of total VOCs versus depth. Both the OIP and MIP probes are typically combined with an electrical conductivity (EC) array and the Hydraulic profiling tool (HPT) to provide information about lithology and permeability.


    Examples of OIP and MIP logs will be reviewed and interpreted. The OIP and MIP logging tools have been used to characterize sites at many locations across the country. Logs to a depth of 30 to 40 ft can often be completed in 1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on site conditions and operator experience. These direct push logging tools provide high resolution site characterization to assist with development of conceptual site models and guide remedial actions.


    Wesley McCall, Geologist KS28


    Wes McCallMr. McCall (M.S.) is a licensed geologist and he has managed investigations using direct push technology for over 30 years. Wes joined Geoprobe in 1995 where he conducts applications research related to groundwater, environmental and geotechnical investigations. He is active in the ASTM D18 Subcommittee on direct push technology and has assisted in development of several standards. Wes also supported the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Counsel (ITRC) on the Advanced Site Characterization Tools (ASCT) team. Wes has been involved with field studies about application of the MIHPT, HPT and OIP logging systems and groundwater sampling tools. He has published articles about these studies and provided several presentations for state, national and international conferences.

  • 10:00 a.m. - Electrical Hydrogeology of Hydrocarbon Impacts


    Electrical Hydrogeology is the use of electrical patterns in the subsurface to delineate hydrogeologic features. Equipment advances for data acquisition in the 1990s allowed large field datasets to be collected. Processing and visualization advancements in computing in the early 2000s allowed sites to be reasonably investigated with high data density. The technique works well to characterize hydrocarbon sites as they have a number of electrical patterns, which allow insight into hydrocarbon plume structure. Examples will be shown to illustrate the initial resistive pattern of a fresh hydrocarbon plume. Biodegradation patterns will be illustrated to indicate the three-dimensional structure of biogrowth in the subsurface. Finally, the effects of remediation will be illustrated as to how they affect the electrical patterns of hydrocarbon sites.


    Todd HalihanPresenter

    Todd Halihan, Ph.D., P.Gp.
    Professor, Sun Chair of Hydrogeology, Oklahoma State University
    Chief Technical Officer, Aestus, LLC.


    Dr. Halihan’s professional interests center in subsurface characterization and sustainable water supply. He has been an associate editor for Ground Water and has served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the U.S. Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. He served as the Chair of the Hydrogeology Division and the South-Central Section of the Geological Society of America. He also served on the Oklahoma governor’s Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity.


    Dr. Halihan has worked on over 200 different research and commercial sites in over 30 U.S. states and overseas. His international research work has occurred in Australia, Brazil, Iraq and Mexico along with a number of other countries on a commercial basis. He has also spent a significant amount of time in his home state of Oklahoma evaluating the Arbuckle Group of carbonates and associated springs.


    Dr. Halihan is the recipient of the Karin and Robert J. Sternberg Award for Excellence, the Partners in Conservation Award from the U.S. Department of Interior, and the Sterling L. Burks Award for environmental research. He was the National Ground Water Association’s 2018 McEllhiney Lecturer. He is also a professional driller in the state of Oklahoma and a PADI divemaster. He has provided input to stories on CBS, Fox News, NPR, CNBC, Popular Science, the New Yorker and the New York Times.


January 13

Alternative Sampling

  • 9:00 a.m. - Natural Source Zone Depletion: An Important Tool to Manage Petroleum and LNAPL Contaminated Sites


    The term natural source zone depletion (NSZD) is used to describe the transformation of LNAPL into dead-end inorganic products. Although the biodegradability of petroleum has been acknowledged for a long time, this more recently minted term reflects the importance of NSZD-related data to inform the conceptual site model (CSM) for LNAPL-contaminated sites, as described in the updated 2018 LNAPL ITRC Guidance Document. A new paradigm for LNAPL contaminated sites is derived from the fact that the main biodegradation by-products, methane and carbon dioxide, are mostly expressed in the vadose (unsaturated) zone, rather than in the groundwater, as had been previously understood.


    This presentation will include an overview of biogeochemical processes related to NSZD, and examples of methods for data collection that are easy to implement, and yet are key to manage LNAPL contaminated sites.  These include: a) mapping the lateral extent of LNAPL sources based on vapor-based surveys of biogas profiles (methane and carbon dioxide) at dedicated points or existing monitoring wells, b) methods to quantify the in-situ biodegradation (NSZD) rates of LNAPL, and c) comparison of field-measured NSZD rates with active remediation technologies. These examples consistently illustrate the benefits of understanding NSZD processes in managing remediation projects in a cost-effective manner, and assessing the risk associated with LNAPL sites.



    Julio ZimbronJulio Zimbron



    Dr. Julio Zimbron is the founder and president of E-Flux, a company specialized on environmental measurements related to groundwater NAPL contamination sources.  After finishing a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from Colorado State University (2000), where he is now affiliated faculty, Dr. Zimbron’s experience includes environmental consulting, industrial research and development, and academic research. His work in the areas of natural source zone depletion (NSZD) and NAPL distribution and mitigation includes six patents, numerous technical papers, and guidance documents. Dr. Zimbron presents multiple times a year at national and international conferences and workshops.

  • 9:40 a.m. - Molecular Biological Tools:  Actionable data for petroleum hydrocarbon remediation

    Site managers have a broad spectrum of molecular biological tools (MBTs) at their disposal to comprehensively evaluate remediation strategies and monitor performance. While each can provide valuable information, selecting the most appropriate and cost-effective MBT to best answer site-specific questions is not always straightforward. MBTs and their applications for petroleum hydrocarbon sites will be discussed: QuantArray-Petro, Stable Isotope Probing, and in situ microcosm studies. After brief introductions that include the strengths and limitations of each MBT, the presentation will focus on real-world applications. Case studies will be used to discuss the interpretation of MBT results and show how these results impacted site management and regulatory decisions.



    Dora TaggartDora Taggart, President, Microbial Insights, Inc.


    Since joining Microbial Insights in 2001, the array of MBTs developed and validated at Microbial Insights has been greatly expanded from the first commercial qPCR analysis (Dehalococcoides) through the development of the QuantArray® and commercialization of stable isotope probing (SIP) to the Microbial Insights Database. Dora personally analyzed the first commercial Dehalococcoides qPCR samples and continues to propel MI forward by collaborating with leading researchers in academia and federal agencies to ensure that MI remains on the cutting edge. As President, Dora has become a global ambassador for MBTs, regularly presenting as an invited speaker at environmental and corrosion conferences, leading hundreds of technical workshops worldwide, and co-authoring guidance documents with groups like the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC) EMD team and ER Wiki (Remediapedia) to support appropriate use and interpretation of MBTs. In 2011, Dora was named the most valuable team member for the ITRC EMD team. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Bottle Rocket Productions, Boys and Girls Club of the Cumberland Plateau, Environmental Workshops, LLC as well as the Board of Visitors for the University of Tennessee Department of Microbiology. Dora received her degree in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

  • 10:20 a.m. - Using Radon as a Tracer for Mapping NAPL Contamination


    Non Aqueous Phase Liquids (NAPL) are contaminants that are immiscible in water, which can persist in soil and groundwater for many years after a spill. The traditional technique for localising and quantifying NAPL spills, direct core sampling, is expensive and time-consuming. This presentation will introduce the technique of radon mapping using continuous radon monitors as an inexpensive and fast alternative, whilst also highlighting its limitations. It will draw upon field studies from the scientific literature using DURRIDGE’s RAD7 radon monitor.



    Stephen SadlerStephen Sadler

    Chief Scientist, Durridge UK Ltd.


    After completing his PhD in 2014 in the High Energy Physics group at the University of Sheffield in the UK, Stephen joined DURRIDGE as Managing Director of DURRIDGE UK Ltd., the company’s newly founded European calibration and service centre for its RAD7 continuous radon monitor. In 2018 Stephen took on the role of Chief Scientist at DURRIDGE, at which time the role of DURRIDGE UK expanded to include Research and Development of new products, including an ongoing collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the sponsorship of a PhD student working on radon. Stephen has presented talks and posters at international conferences on DURRIDGE’s world-leading radon measurement technology, and is active in the field of radon measurement.


January 20

Extracting Value from Data

  • 9:00 a.m. - Groundwater Plume Stability Analysis at Petroleum Hydrocarbon Sites

    Converting numerical groundwater environmental data into unique, but easy to understand, visual graphics using statistics and mathematics is what we call “Groundwater Plume Analytics®”. Groundwater Plume Analytics® is an innovative evaluation technique to reliably and effectively communicate meaningful patterns in groundwater data and relies primarily on graphical displays to communicate valuable insight into groundwater plume behavior which leads to better site management decisions, from both a technical and financial perspective.


    The Ricker Method® is an example of a unique Plume Analytics® method of evaluating plume stability that overcomes limitations posed by conventional well-by-well analysis techniques. Outputs from the Ricker Method® can be used as a basis for primary analysis and other plume diagnostic tools that allow the user to further evaluate and communicate groundwater plume dynamics. Some of these innovative tools include: Remediation System Benefit Analysis (RSBA®), Spatial Change Indicator™ (SCI) analysis, and Well Sufficiency Analysis™. These tools have been successfully used as a basis for the cessation of remediation systems, evaluation of remediation progress, identification of potential unrealized source areas, providing additional lines of evidence for natural attenuation, and site closures. Examples of the use of Groundwater Plume Analytics® tools for evaluating petroleum hydrocarbon sites will be presented.


    Joe RickerJoe A. Ricker, P.E., Principal Engineer, EarthCon Consultants, Inc.


    For more than 26 years, Mr. Ricker has helped clients optimize a wide range of remediation solutions associated with past and present environmental liabilities under various regulatory programs in more than 30 states, as well as multiple remediation sites in Canada and Brazil. He brings a unique perspective to complex interdisciplinary projects and has managed remedial investigation and design projects involving a wide range of chemicals including petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, herbicides, wood-treating chemicals, solvents, and PCBs in soils, sediment, groundwater and air.

    Mr. Ricker is a licensed Professional Engineer in 26 states. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Memphis.

  • 10:00 a.m. - Using Parsimony to Address Common Real-world Contaminant Problems Under Conditions of Uncertainty

    Academic hydrogeologists, generally unconstrained by time, spend their careers trying to expand scientific and engineering knowledge to a degree of certainty “beyond a reasonable doubt”. To achieve this level of certainty, they conduct experiments and mathematical analyses far beyond the legal standard of “scientifically more likely more than not” used by non-academic practitioners. Practitioners outside of academia mine hydrogeologic mine publicly available information and then, depending on the project, couple it to detailed information collected at the local scale. In both academia and in practice, the science and engineering done have equal intellectual validity within the degrees of certainty needed for each practice area. However, the certainty obtained by non-academic practitioners usually is no better than factors to even an order of magnitude because of subsurface heterogeneities, particularly preferential flow paths. Given this, I present a series of quick case studies showing how parsimonious and simple approaches such as one-dimensional analysis and geochemical ratio methods usually can achieve the same level of certainty as complex and costly ones which may be intellectually more satisfying.


    Don SiegelDr. Donald (“Don”) Siegel, Partner, Independent Environmental Scientists, Inc.
    Professor Emeritus Syracuse University


    Don joined Independent Environmental Scientists in 2017 after retiring from Syracuse University (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences) to expand the firm’s client base and provide scientific and engineering expertise to industrial and other clients related PFAS, hydrocarbon, and metals contamination and various water supply issues.

    He previously served as Chairman of the National Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academy of Sciences and on many of its blue-ribbon panels including one addressing how to assess groundwater vulnerability to contamination and another on the scientific definition of what constitutes a wetland. Based on his academic offerings, Don has offered short course to professional societies and State Agencies on applied contaminant geochemistry and hydrology, numerical modeling of groundwater contamination, wetland issues and tracer methods in hydrology. He has published widely on these and other topics and has been elected fellow of the American Geophysical Union, The Geological Society of America (GSA), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Don was also awarded the Geological Society of America’s O.E. Meinzer Award for distinguished research advances in hydrogeology and most recently served as President of the Society. Don earned his doctorate in Hydrogeology at the University of Minnesota and before joining the faculty of Syracuse University in 1982, worked in hydrocarbon exploration for Amerada Hess in Tulsa (OK) and the U.S. Geological Survey’s water research group. His current avocations include jazz guitar and writing fiction.


January 27

Remediation Approaches

  • 9:00 a.m. - Thermal Remediation of VOCs, SVOCs and PFAS

    Thermal remediation technologies are robust, work in difficult matrices and typically reduce the concentration of targeted compounds by 99%+ within six months of operations. Practitioners apply the technologies in the vadose and saturated zones and in tight and transmissive overburden and bedrock.

    The presentation will cover technology fundamentals and provide insights as where to apply the three most commonly used heating methods: electrical resistance heating (ERH), thermal conduction heating (TCH) and steam enhanced extraction (SEE). Further, the presentation will include the discussion of a novel approach of applying TCH to volatilize per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).


    Mark Kluger
    Vice President, Sales & Marketing, TRS Group, Inc.


    A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Mark Kluger has extensive experience in subsurface characterization and remediation technologies. Mark manages TRS Group’s business development efforts and works closely with the research and development team, investigating the application of in situ thermal remediation technologies for emerging contaminants, including PFAS and energetic compounds. Mark is a long-standing member of ITRC, working with the DNAPL and PFAS teams.

  • 9:30 a.m. - Remediation of Inaccessible Plumes Using Horizontal Wells



    Horizontal Remediation Wells (HRWs) provide an excellent means to intersect the strata of most plumes efficiently while providing significantly more linear contact area than vertical wells. However, HRWs have not historically offered discrete controlled treatment along the length of the plume. In addition to this drawback, varying lithology in the plane of the horizontal well may also allow preferential pathways that render the well system at best less efficient and at worst useless.


    New segmented horizontal well systems offer discrete control over each individual, custom defined, screened interval. Design allows for treatment proportioning and adjustments as needed, thereby solving both drawbacks to HRWs – lack of control and preferential pathway avoidance. The flow rate or volume to or from each segment of a horizontal well system can be individually controlled, allowing for changes in distribution of treatment along the well system’s length and increasing the efficiency of any remedial technology.


    To illustrate the control and application two cases studies will be reviewed; First, a fueling Station in Jacksonville, Florida to provide injection treatment control and reduce disruption to site activities. The remedy used horizontal installation provided ease and speed of system installation. The HRWs allowed installation in poorly accessible locations. Four well systems, with 26 well segments, were installed and used for injection. The site utilized chemical oxidants and an automated injection system to complete the application. Second, a fueling Station in Greeley Colorado provided air sparge treatment control and eliminated disruption to site activities. The segmented HRWs allowed installation under a busy highway covering 60% of the plume. Ten well systems, with 44 well segments, were installed and utilized for air sparging and soil vapor extraction. The site has been issued a closure and was an incredibly quick treatment, under 6 months of system operation to achieve state cleanup target levels.


    Results/Lessons Learned
    The treatment was efficiently applied as needed based on feedback in both cases. The discrete and controlled nature of the well system allowed precise chemical oxidant placement and sparging. The injection cleanup was conducted under a performance contract and was completed on time and the control using the horizontal well systems was key to the success of the project. The projects demonstrate a typical installation time reduction of nearly 60%. The project was completed within the one year time frame outlined by the performance contract. A substantial cost savings was recognized at both sites compared to conventional vault and trenching installation procedures.



    Lance I. Robinson, PE

    EN Rx, Inc., Tampa, Florida, USA


    Lance Robinson, P.E. is the CTO and design engineer working with EN Rx, Inc. He has been with EN Rx for eight years providing design aide in ChemOx and other multifaceted remedial systems to consultants. Mr. Robinson graduated from University of South Florida with a BS in Chemical Engineering. Prior to his work at EN Rx, Mr. Robinson has 10 years of experience as a design and assessment engineer for various environmental consultants in the remediation industry. Key to Mr. Robinson’s expertise is his wide range of experience involving three main types of projects, petroleum, pesticides, and solvents, from project inception through closure. Mr. Robinson holds two patents on products with EN Rx including Vertebrae Well Systems.

  • 10:00 a.m. - Dissolved Phase Bioremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Sites


    Soil and groundwater clean-up is critical to sustainable business practices across many industries. The conventional wisdom for remediation of aquifers contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) is to add oxygen. Oxidation is the primary metabolic pathway by which petroleum hydrocarbons are biodegraded. Petroleum hydrocarbons are oxidized when an electron moves from the petroleum hydrocarbon, an electron donor, to another compound known as an electron acceptor. A paradigm shift in the remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons has occurred that employs a sulfate-enhanced in situ remediation strategy to address the anaerobic portion of the plume.


    There are two types of enhanced anaerobic bioremediation: reductive, which is an established technology mainly used to treat chlorinated compounds, and oxidative, a less common application used to treat petroleum hydrocarbons. Anaerobic oxidation occurs when compounds such as sulfate act as the electron acceptor. The availability of sulfate is often the limiting factor in the naturally occurring biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons. However, it is possible to enhance the rate of natural biodegradation by supplying additional sulfate and nutrients to the subsurface microbial community. The focus of this presentation is on using sulfate enhanced bioremediation to oxidize petroleum hydrocarbons.



    Gary BirkGary M. Birk, P.E.
    Managing Partner at Tersus Environmental


    Gary Birk is a founder and Managing Partner of Tersus Environmental. He has a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University and holds registrations as a Professional Engineer in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. Gary’s focus is on engaging cutting-edge, sustainable green technologies that help environmental consulting companies restore or remediate groundwater and soil at challenging industrial and federal sites. Gary has worked extensively in the field of in situ remediation. His experience includes two decades as an environmental contractor and consultant focused on project management of multiphase, multidisciplinary environmental design and construction projects, predominantly for industry and utilities.

  • 10:30 a.m. - SEAR Surfactant Enhanced Aquifer Remediation

    Join David for a short overview on how to determine viability for a surfactant flood and how this technique is combined with ISCO and biostimulation for the remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons.


    We will go through basic design considerations and how to come up with ballpark costs during feasibility studies. Surfactants, solvents and polymers can physically remove petroleum hydrocarbons sorbed to the soil matrix. With adequate hydraulic control, this method is very efficient at contaminant mass removal which in turn allows polishing techniques such as ISCO, BIO and MNA to be more effective. Selection of a potential polishing technique should be considered early on in the project with help of geochemical parameters.


    The presentation will review surfactant flood and bioremediation design methods and highlight results and lessons learned from various projects.



    David AldenDavid Alden
    Tersus Environmental, Worcester, MA, USA


    David provides technical support for Tersus’s portfolio of biotechnology-based solutions to manage complex, challenging environmental liabilities and reduce costs for site closure. He is a graduate of Universidad de las Americas-Puebla, Mexico, where he majored in Civil Engineering with a focus on waste-water treatment, and he holds registration as a Professional Engineer in North Carolina.


    Alden worked for 4 years in the upstream oilfield sector performing offshore well tests and completion design and installation in the Gulf of Mexico. He participated in the in situ oil-shale extraction experiment in the Piceance Basin in Northwestern Colorado, where protecting groundwater was the main challenge. Alden recently specialized in groundwater studies, completing a Master’s Degree at Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France.


    David is a member of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC), a public/private coalition working to reduce barriers to using innovative environmental technologies that reduce compliance costs and maximize clean-up efficacy. He is currently an active member of the ITRC’s Remediation Management of Complex Sites Team and is the recipient of the 2015 ITRC Industry Affiliates Program Award in recognition of his outstanding service.


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