EPA Representatives and Scientists from Across the Country to Attend and Present
Scientists from across the country will attend a workshop facilitated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research on June 17-18. The workshop titled “Altavista’s 6-acre Petri Dish: Testing Sustainable Solutions for PCB Contaminated Sediments” will highlight lab and field work as well as research resulting from three years of in situ PCB bio-degradation research in the Town of Altavista.
“PCBs are widespread in the environment and many localities may face similar challenges with contamination of waste water treatment facilities” said Dr. Scott Lowman, IALR scientist. For many years prior to 1977, PCBs were unknowingly deposited into the town’s 6.1 acre overflow pond adjacent to the waste water treatment plant from nearby industries. The use of PCBs was outlawed that same year. In 2002, the town entered the Department of Environmental Quality’s voluntary remediation plan to reduce the PCB levels.
“Opportunities of in situ research such as this are incredibly rare,” said Steve Rock, an environmental engineer in the remediation and contaminant branch at EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio. The town of Altavista’s Mayor Mike Mattox added, “We look forward to additional information and discussions as to the state of the research for Phytoremediation of PCBs and how this knowledge may be applied to our own site.”