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Your Environment. Your Health.

Partnerships

Superfund Research Program

Overview

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program's sister agencies - the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and state and regional hazardous waste agencies - are tasked to develop and implement policies that protect health and they depend upon the best science. SRP program staff and grantees actively engages with colleagues at federal and state agencies to improve the Program's ability to address societal needs, transfer the most recent research results, and identify potential future research needs.

ATSDR: Seminar Series

SRP grantees periodically present seminars at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in Atlanta. Held since 2008, these seminars provide a rich opportunity for academic-governmental collaboration. The seminars facilitate transfer of the most recent SRP research results relevant to ATSDR and help SRP scientists identify future research needs. Please contact Olivia Harris (OHarris@cdc.gov) in the NCEH/ATSDR Office of Science if you have questions.

Past Seminars

Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable (FRTR)

The Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable (FRTR) was established in 1990 to provide a forum for interaction among federal, state, and private industry to share information about technology-related efforts of mutual interest; discusses directions of the national site remediation programs and their impact on the technology market; and form partnerships to pursue subjects of mutual interest.

SRP staff participate in Roundtable conference calls, serve on serves on organizing committees and lead panel discussions for scientific sessions at FRTR conferences.

Other FRTR member agencies include the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

EPA Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM): Risk e-Learning Webinars

SRP staff work closely with the EPA Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM), which has responsibility for all EPA hazardous waste-related programs, including Superfund.

The SRP collaborates with OLEM to conduct interactive, Web-based "Risk e-Learning" seminars. These live, two-hour events are hosted on the Contaminated Site Clean-Up Information (CLU-IN) website. They provide information about innovative treatment and site characterization technologies to the hazardous waste remediation community: EPA risk assessors and regional project managers, state and local regulatory agencies, environmental engineering/consulting firms, and academia.

EPA Office of Research and Development and Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation: Ongoing Collaborations

The EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) has both an intramural and a university grant-based research program that support several environmental laws under the EPA's purview, including Superfund. The SRP has established an ongoing collaboration with the ORD's Superfund-related research program, interacting regularly with the Superfund and Technology Liaisons  to promote:

  • Mutual understanding of the research programs
  • Sharing of research results
  • Indentification of effective science communication tools

Other Activities

Research to Risk Assessment Interagency Working Group

SRP established a communication network of senior staff and managers from NIEHS, EPA Headquarters and Regional offices, and ATSDR to introduce new science for application to site risk assessments. It also provided academic researchers with the opportunity to work with environmental health practitioners to see that their research findings are applied to improve human and environmental public health.

The Research to Risk Assessment model of cross-agency collaboration conducted projects that were mutually beneficial to both the environmental health practitioners and the academic researchers. For example:

  • Airborne PCBs in Public Schools: To address a concern from EPA Region 2 related to elevated levels of PCBs in a New York City public school, EPA risk assessment experts and University of Iowa SRP-funded researchers collaborated to investigate source attribution and designed a lab study with the goal of reducing the uncertainty factors associated with the application of the reference concentration (RfC).
  • Vapor Intrusion: Working Group members from ATSDR worked with researchers from the Brown University Center on site-specific projects. The collaboration provided real-world data for the researchers to test and improve their models and allowed ATSDR to benefit from the SRP grantee's expertise in review of site data.
  • Fish Advisory Network: SRP and EPA grantees and staff established a network to share research and information on fish advisories, consumption, and fish trade programs at Superfund sites.
  • Lead Contaminated Soil Treatment with Phosphate Amendments: SRP grantees and EPA risk assessors organized sessions at the American Chemical Society Environmental Chemistry to discuss effectiveness and challenges of the use of phosphate amendments to treat lead-contaminated soils at hazardous waste sites and prepared a manuscript for publication in Environmental Public Health.
  • Information Exchange Webinars: Working Group members from EPA and ATSDR presented webinars that provided SRP researchers, particularly trainees, with information on the history, science, and policies of Superfund sites and an overview of human health risk assessment.
  • Best Practice Tips for SRP Grantees: Working Group members compiled a series of documents to provide SRP grantees with best practices for establishing and maintaining constructive working relationships with officials at hazardous waste sites. Individual components include:
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