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EPA Research

EPA Tools and Resources Webinar: Urban Background Study

Date and Time

Wednesday 01/17/2018 3:00PM to 4:00PM EST
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If you are unable to listen through your computer speakers, please dial: 1-866-299-3188,  Access Code: 202-564-6669. Please note telephone lines are muted during the webinar.

Identifying the source of soil contaminants is vital to decision making during an environmental cleanup. Whether certain soil contaminant concentrations are site-related or are part of natural or anthropogenic background is a question that frequently arises during investigations of potentially contaminated sites in urban settings. Robust data on urban background concentrations on a large scale are lacking, so this study seeks to collect data that can be used to inform decision making in urban settings in the Southeast and establish methods that can be used elsewhere.

Study cities were selected by considering input from state partners, and summary statistics are being compiled for each contaminant by city. To date, six cities (Louisville and Lexington, KY; Memphis, TN; Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC and Gainesville, FL) have been sampled for this project. An additional city (Chattanooga, TN) was sampled using slightly modified procedures as part of a Superfund site investigation. EPA Region 4 (Southeastern US) is planning to sample at least two additional cities, and Region 4 also plans to publish the data through the states when data collection is complete. This webinar will present the methodology developed for collecting a city-wide or urban area background data set and general results of southeastern cities data collected to date, and will also highlight a case study that used the sampling methodology and data to inform decision making.

Who should attend?

State environmental and health agencies, tribes, communities, researchers and others interested in learning about decision making for environmental cleanup in urban settings. 

Please contact Lisa Matthews matthews.lisa@epa.gov for more information, or Amy Scheuer scheuer.amy@epa.gov  with registration questions.