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A New Book on Soil Gas & Vapor Intrusion from Dr. Lorne Everett - Continuous Soil Gas Measurements: Worst Case Risk Parameters

By LEA Environmental, Inc. on Jan 15, 2014 at 11:05 AM in LEA Announcements

A New Soil Gas/Vapor Intrusion Book from Dr. Lorne Everett - Continuous Soil Gas Measurements: Worst Case Risk Parameters
Dr. Everett's New Soil Gas/Vapor Intrusion Book

Our CEO, Dr. Lorne Everett has published a new book from ASTM, Continuous Soil Gas Measurements: Worst Case Risk Parameters. This compilation, coedited with Dr. Mark Kram of Groundswell Technologies, contains peer-reviewed papers presented at the 2013 ASTM symposium in Jacksonville, FL. The symposium, chaired by Dr. Everett, addressed methods for identifying and managing vapor intrusion risks. This topic is significant because dry cleaners, gasoline stations, refineries, fracking sites, landfills, machine shops, electronics manufacturers, airports, and many other facilities that use (and may spill) chemicals are at risk for vapor intrusion. 

Articles in the book summarize state-of-the art thinking on vapor intrusion by an international team of authors from the USA, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany and other nations. This extensive interest is driven by widespread observations that prevailing sampling programs may fail to fully characterize vapor intrusion problems due to extreme spatial and temporal variability of VOCs and methane at contaminated sites. A developing theme among environmental scientists and engineers is that vapor intrusion risks are dynamic and, therefore, vapor intrusion investigations should be, too. Ideally, investigations should involve continuous monitoring, instead of relying on just one or two discrete monitoring events.

The book is available for purchase from ASTM International here.

From oil and gas companies, chemical companies through small industrial sites, there is a growing need to understand and mitigate worst case vapor intrusion conditions, explosive environments or high human health risk conditions. Dry cleaners, gas stations, refineries, fracking sites, landfills, machine shops and any industrial operation involving use of chemicals all can exhibit vapor intrusion risk. Often driven by litigation, the interest in vapor intrusion into homes and buildings has skyrocketed. Responsible parties often find that seemingly high groundwater cleanup costs are dwarfed by the potential liability from lawsuits alleging personal injury and property damage.  Recent dynamic risk observations pose serious implications about the adequacy of conventional approaches, best management practices, due diligence and even the validity of regulatory closure determinations. These developments create a need to identify and understand site-specific conditions, warranting continuous monitoring or at a minimum continuous monitoring over a couple falling barometric pressure cycles.  As such, several regulatory entities are now advocating for continuous vapor intrusion monitoring and equipment designers are working hard to bring continuous monitoring devices to the market. EPA’s recent reevaluation of TCE toxicity will have dramatic consequences for environmental site characterization, remediation and litigation. including possible reduction in the drinking water MCL for TCE as well as possible reduction of cleanup goals for Superfund sites.

Besides the seminal paper authored by Drs. Everett, Kram and Morris that presents findings of new multisensor technology from the United Kingdom capable of continuous monitoring to detect the often dramatic changes in soil gas concentrations in response to external parameters such as barometric pressure, the newly published book includes nine other papers that:

  • Highlight the uncertainty related to traditional one-time stationary (“spot”) monitoring,
  • Describe new proton-based mass spectrometry analytical methods,
  • Introduce a new thermal ionization detector (TID) gas chromatograph for continuous monitoring,
  • Summarize non-invasive methods for evaluating natural gas pipeline leaks,
  • Introduce an improved passive soil gas sampling method,
  • Evaluate the influence of soil moisture on soil gas movement in the subsurface,
  • Review best management practices (BMPs) for soil gas sampling,
  • Propose modifications to the standard soil atmosphere sampling procedure to optimized soil gas monitoring, and
  • Provide a case study using photoionization and flame ionization detectors (PID and FID) detectors for continuous monitoring of soil gas in treatment trains and VI into residential basements.

Please contact L. Everett & Associates for more information or for support on vapor intrusion problems, monitoring improvements, and risk management. Contact information: Bill Schaal, (805) 880 9305, [email protected]

Dr. Everett played a significant role in insuring that our demonstration projects would result in complete and fully acceptable data that could transition into cost-effective innovative technologies in the field.
Director of Environmental Programs
Naval Facilities Engineering Command