Technical Support Project
Technical Support Centers
EPA's Technical Support Project supports five Technical Support Centers:
- Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division in Ada, Oklahoma
- The Human Exposure Research Division in Cincinnati, Ohio
- Technology Support Center for Monitoring and Site Characterization in Las Vegas, NV
- National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory in Montgomery, AL
- The Land Remediation and Pollution Control Division in Cincinnati, OH
A fact sheet (PDF) (2pp, 313KB) is available with additional information on obtaining technical assistance from the Technical Support Centers.
Link to the list of Technical Support Center Contacts:
Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division (GWERD) of the National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) in Ada, Oklahoma (also known as the R.S. Kerr Environmental Research Center or RSKERL) conducts research and engages in technical assistance and technology transfer on the chemical, physical and biological structure and processes of the subsurface environment, the biogeochemical interactions in that environment and fluxes to other environmental media. Applying research results through technical assistance on a variety of environmental issues has been a tradition at the GWERD since its beginning in 1965. Even though the Laboratory gained a national and international reputation for its research, it was not until 1986 that events occurred which led to a structured program in technical assistance and made it an integral part of the Laboratory's activities, particularly with regard to the remediation of soil and ground water at hazardous waste sites. Following the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, Regional decision makers, charged with administering cost-effective and permanent restoration technologies at Superfund sites, quickly became overburdened by the technical complexity of this responsibility. Informed decisions concerning soil and ground-water remediation require a broad, interdisciplinary, state-of-the-science level of expertise in a rapidly developing and complex environmental field. In 1987, in order to make EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) scientists more accessible to Regional decision makers, the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) provided direct funding to ORD laboratories in Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Athens, and Ada to establish Superfund Technology Support Centers. The GWERD Technology Support Center consists of a Core Team of scientists and engineers supported by GWERD in-house and extramural researchers, the National Center for Ground Water Research, the GWERD Center for Subsurface Modeling Support, and an on-site technology support contractor with off-site subcontractors and consultants. In addition to Superfund which remains the major client, the RSKERL Technology Support Center provides assistance to Headquarters and to Regional and State personnel responsible for RCRA Corrective Action, Underground Storage Tank, Pesticides, and the Underground Injection Control Programs. These activities not only provide a real world testing ground for research results but aid RSKERL scientists in focusing on high priority research needs.
MCEARD conducts research to measure, characterize and predict the exposure of humans to chemical and microbial hazards. This research will provide information on environmental pathways which hazardous contaminants are transported via air, water, food, and soil to populations at risk. Analytical quantitative methods are developed to accurately and specifically measure human risk factors associated with inhalation, ingestion and dermal pathways. Surveys and monitoring studies are carried out to determine the levels of hazardous chemicals and microbials in environmental matrices, and human populations are studied to determine significant exposure pathways, the levels of exposure, and the sources of exposure factors. State-of-the-art analytical methods are used to measure organic and inorganic chemicals. Genomic and immuno-based methods, as well traditional cultural methods, are used to measure hazardous bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Molecular- and sero-epidemiological tools are used to assess human populations for evidence of exposure to environmental hazards.
The TSC began in 1987 and specialized in Superfund support to EPA's Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) and On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs). Since 1991, RCRA technical support has been available too. When on-site work is required, the TSC mobilizes specialized teams of field scientists equipped with portable or deployable instruments to aid the Regions with the screening and site-characterization. The diversity of expertise available through the TSC allows them to work with the RPMs and OSCs throughout a site characterization event, i.e., from planning and design to analysis and data interpretation. Often these projects lead to identification of further research needs or development of protocols for experimental or sampling design. Technical Focus Site characterization technologies such as field-portable X-ray fluorescence, Soil-gas Measurement, Geophysics, Special Analytical Services, Quality Assurance, GIS and data interpretation, Geostatistics, Statistical Design, Chemical Analysis, Radiochemical Analysis and Publications.
NAREL addresses radiation and mixed waste issues in the U.S. by determining, through analytical measurement, the radioisotopic and hazardous chemical constituents in environmental samples; evaluating data for environmental and health significance of radioactivity in the environment; assessing status and trends; and developing and applying measurement and assessment methods for environmental radioactivity. NAREL's national work includes assistance to Regional Superfund and Radiation programs during characterization and throughout the CERCLA process; support to the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air in technical studies and assessments for standard setting and guidance; and operation of the Environmental Radiation Ambient Monitoring System (ERAMS). Through agreements with other Federal agencies, the NAREL designs and implements field studies and data reviews to assess contaminants in areas potentially impacted by nuclear propulsion and research programs. The NAREL, in conjunction with the ORIA Emergency Response Team, provides radiological emergency response capability and support through the Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan (FRERP.) Technical assistance is provided by NAREL to other offices in EPA, EPA regional offices, states, and other government agencies. The laboratory organizationally is a component of the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (ORIA) and the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR).
The Land Remediation and Pollution Control Division (LRPCD) of the National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) conducts research, development, and demonstration projects on management of hazardous wastes and contaminated media. A formal technical assistance program has been in place since 1989 to provide site-specific assistance to EPA regions and technical support to EPA program offices.
LRPCD's Engineering Technical Support Center (ETSC), incorporating the Superfund Technical Assistance Response Team (START), offers short- and long-term assistance to remediation project managers. Assistance focuses on treatment technologies and engineering approaches to site management at any phase from problem identification through remedial action. ETSC is staffed by dedicated EPA scientists and engineers, whose expertise is supplemented by lab-wide technology teams and external contractors/consultants. Active tech teams include solidification/stabilization, destruction, thermal technologies, ex-situ water treatment, bioremediation, mine waste remedies, and wood treatment remedies.
Examples of services provided by ETSC include:
- Review of work plans/work reports prepared by responsible parties or EPA contractors.
- Assistance for technical discussions and meetings, including developing Records of Decision and consent agreements.
- Technical oversight of labs and field studies leading to selection and implementation of remedial actions.
- Troubleshooting of remediation at any stage from remedy selection screening to post-action monitoring.
EPA project managers can request assistance by contacting John McKernan via:
- Phone: 513-569-7415
- Fax: 513-569-7620
- Internet email: Mckernan.John@epa.gov