September 2002

About the WRHSRC

The Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center (WRHSRC) is one of five regional hazardous substance research centers in the United States. The Centers are funded by grants from the US EPA Office of Research and Development and Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. Through periodic email updates, we hope enhance communication with our colleagues in the Western Region. For more information visit: or call 541-737-2751.



Quarterly Feature Story

In August, Center researchers, graduate students, outreach specialists, and advisory committee members met for the first annual meeting of the new WRHSRC. The meeting was an excellent introduction to the Center's goals -- to improve technologies for cleanup of chlorinated solvents in groundwater and to provide assistance to western communities affected by hazardous substance contamination.

Researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) and Stanford gave presentations highlighting the Center's seven main research projects and two community outreach programs.

  • Peter Kitanidis (Stanford) described his group's research on ways to increase the rate of delivery and mixing of additives required for in situ remediation. He highlighted a demonstration project they are working on for remediation of Uranium contamination at Oakridge National Labs.

  • Lewis Semprini (OSU) spoke about his project with Mark Dolan to test the cleanup effectiveness of a combined microbial culture for treating high concentrations of PCE and TCE.

    Roseanne Ford, Watanee Sriwatanapongse, John Westall, Naoko Munakata participating in the student poster session.
  • Mark Dolan reviewed his groups research to maximize rates of CAH remediation through cometabolism with Butane-grown bacteria. He also described field tests of the technology.

  • Naoko Munakata (doctoral candidate, Stanford) talked about her research with Martin Reinhard and John Westall to improve the effectiveness of palladium catalysts to treat chlorinated solvents. Their focus is on better understanding the fouling process that slows catalyst activity and to develop ways to retain or regenerate their effectiveness in situ.

  • Jeff Cunningham (post-doc, Stanford) described his project with Martin Reinhard to better understand contaminant sequestration in soil micropores.

  • Jennifer Field (OSU) spoke about her group's research to improve the effectiveness of the single-well push-pull test to monitor the effectiveness of bioremediation of TCE. She also described research on substances that may be used as surrogates for TCE in field experiments.

  • James Ingle (OSU) described his research on redox sensors. He is developing spectrometric sensing devices to monitor the redox status of new cultures in microcosm bottles and aquifer models.

  • Graduate students presented seventeen posters highlighting their thesis research on projects related to the seven topics described above.

  • Ken Williamson described the Technical Outreach Services for Communities (TOSC) and Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities (TAB) programs. He illustrated TOSC and TAB's role by describing a TOSC community in Santa Rosa, CA and asking the audience to serve as mock-technical assistance specialists. The audience had to review contaminant levels and advise the community about whether a brownfields redevelopment site was safe for children.

The meeting also included the first gathering of the Center's Science Advisory Committee (SAC) and Outreach Advisory Committee (OAC). The committees role is to provide oversight of the Center over the five-year life of our grant. Our thanks to the committee members -- we look forward to their insight and recommendations.

Science Advisory Committee members include:

  • Dr. Richelle M. Allen-King, Washington State University
  • Dr. Harold Ball, EPA Region 9
  • Dr. Roseanne Ford, University of Virginia
  • Dr. Joe Hughes, Rice University
  • Dr. Andrea Leeson, Department of Defense
  • Dr. Kirk O'Reilly, Chevron Research and Technology Company
  • Dr. Gregory D. Sayles, EPA Cincinnati
  • Dr. Jim Spain, Air Force Research Laboratory

Outreach Advisory Committee members include:

  • Tim Brincefield, Brownfields Coordinator EPA Region 10
  • Brooks Koenig, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
  • Debbie Schechter, Community Involvement Chief, EPA Region 9
  • Lenny Siegel, Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
  • Kathleen Veit, Program Manager, Community Involvement and Outreach, EPA Region 10
  • Susan Warner, Executive Officer, North Coast Regional Water Quality Board

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Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center

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