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Ground Water Technical Support Center


The Ground Water Technical Support Center (GWTSC) provides support on issues regarding subsurface contamination, contaminant fluxes to other media (e.g., surface water or air), and ecosystem restoration. GWTSC creates critical links between research and real-world problems, providing a testing ground for research and allowing scientists to focus on high-priority problems.

GWTSC provides technical assistance to Remedial Project Managers and other decision makers on site-specific problems at Superfund, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), brownfields, concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), and ecosystem restoration sites. Additional support is provided for models and model reviews for site-specific applications. GWTSC also presents workshops and training courses on state-of-the-science issues and develops documents, issue papers, and project summaries. GWTSC consists of a broad base of scientists and engineers and is augmented by support contractors and specialized consultants in order to provide an interdisciplinary support team.

GWTSC works with support centers located in other laboratories and divisions within the Office of Research and Development as part of EPA's Technical Support Project. The center's activities include:

  • Quick-response technical assistance to Remedial Project Managers and other decision makers on site-specific problems at Superfund, RCRA, brownfields, CAFOs, and ecosystem restoration sites
  • Consultation and performance of treatability studies focused on the natural and enhanced remediation of subsurface contaminants
  • Support for models and model reviews for site-specific applications
  • Workshops, seminars, and conferences on state-of-the-science issues
  • Specialized training courses
  • Development of Superfund, RCRA, and brownfields issue papers, briefing documents, and summary papers
  • Dissemination of publications and technology-focused information packets


The center’s structure allows for rapid response to requests for assistance, such as review of site-specific issues and use of the most knowledgeable people in the environmental field. Available resources include:

  • Core team of scientists and engineers providing a readily available source of interdisciplinary support
  • Broad scientific base of scientists and engineers encompassing the entire Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division
  • Expert technical support from associated universities and research institutions
  • Augmentation by a number of technology oriented firms, support contractors, and specialized consultants


David Burden, Ph.D., Director
Ground Water Technical Support Center

Site-Specific Assistance

The Ground Water Technical Support Center has provided assistance at approximately 1,000 individual sites in all ten EPA Regions. This support has included:

  • Technical guidance in site characterization and the selection of remedial or management alternatives
  • Review and interpretation of site-specific applications of various models
  • Assistance in review of the design, construction, implementation, and evaluation of remedial systems
  • Engineering solutions to control contaminant sources, including soils, sludges, sediments, and nonaqueous phase liquids
  • Review and performance of laboratory and field-scale treatability studies focused on the remediation of subsurface contaminants

Site-Specific Technical Assistance

Yerington Copper Mine

Technical assistance is currently being provided to the region for evaluation of the fate and transport of inorganic contaminants, specifically uranium, at the former Anaconda Copper Mine in Yerington, Nevada.  An evaluation of the preliminary site characterization results and hydrogeologic framework is ongoing.

Macalloy Metal Manufacturing

EPA researchers conducted an in situ chemical reduction pilot study at the former MacAlloy Corporation Ferrochromium Alloy Manufacturing Plant in Charleston, South Carolina. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential for remediation of a chromium(VI)-contaminated site using a reductant solution (sodium dithionite and ferrous sulfate). Sodium dithionite maintains ferrous iron in solution, which allows it to be disseminated in the subsurface environment where it reacts with and converts harmful chromium(VI) to harmless chromium(III). Excess ferrous iron ultimately sorbs to aquifer solids and/or precipitates out of solution to form a diffuse in situ treatment zone capable of treating chromium(VI)-impacted ground water, which can subsequently flow into the treatment zone from upgradient locations.

Fort Devons

Technical assistance was provided to the region for evaluation of the fate and transport of arsenic in ground water and sediments at the Shepley’s Hill Landfill, a part of the Fort Devons Superfund Site. Results of the investigation indicate that the arsenic in Red Cove of Plow Shop Pond is consistent with ground water discharge as a source of arsenic contamination. While the source of arsenic originates from a direction west-southwest of Red Cove, investigators were unable to determine whether the contamination results from materials disposed within the landfill or from the landfill-induced reducing conditions that liberates natural sources of arsenic.


Highlights of technical assistance and selected research activities, and particularly the Ground Water Technical Support Center, are updated weekly and describe many of the accomplishments of the organization.


Prior Years

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Office of Research & Development | National Risk Management Research Laboratory

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