Superfund Research Program

Remediation research targeted for the cleanup of groundwater, sediments, soil and other environmental media has been a very strong and successful component of SRP. SRP-funded researchers have developed innovative biological, chemical, and physical methods that effectively remove and/or reduce the amount of hazardous wastes.

Many of these remediation projects are very pragmatic, frequently with direct applications to Superfund sites. These innovative technologies provide practical benefits such as lower cleanup costs at hazardous waste sites, improvements in human and ecological health and reduced risk. Examples include:

  • Bioremediation of Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE): Dr. Kate Scow, Project Investigator at the University of California – Davis was instrumental in a collaboration with a team of experts led by Haley & Aldrich in achieving an innovative solution that led to the successful bioremediation of a methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) -contaminated drinking water aquifer in North Hollywood, CA.

  • Low Cost Technology Cleans Up Contaminated Sites : An innovative technology, developed with funding from the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP), successfully delivers amendments that immobilize and degrade polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in aquatic environments. The technology has proven effective in the field and resulted in millions of dollars in estimated cost savings at cleanup sites.

  • Pioneering Interdisciplinary Approaches to Phytoremediation: Researchers at the NIEHS-funded University of Washington Superfund Research Program Center (UW SRP Center) developed innovative approaches to enhance phytoremediation of chlorinated solvents using poplar trees. Phytoremediation is a process that uses plants to remove, break down, contain, or immobilize contaminants from soil or water.

  • SRP Research Results in Site Deletion From EPA National Priorities List: The Southern California Edison Superfund site in Visalia, CA was removed from the National Priorities List thanks to remediation technology developed by Dr. Kent Udell with SRP funding. The Steam Enhanced Extraction (SEE) began as an alternative remediation method to the then-operating pump and treat method. SEE achieved clean-up standards sooner than pump and treat technology and saved nearly $80 Million.