The Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing state and territorial environmental commissioners that develops innovative products and training to provide the knowledge and skills to address environmental challenges worldwide.

ITRC’s Environmental Teams are composed of state, tribal, and federal representatives, industry consultants, community stakeholders, and academia. These Teams develop guidance documents and training courses, providing state agencies and others with valuable technical knowledge and best management practices to address environmental challenges. ITRC is currently accepting registration for 2023 Teams.

There are currently ten active ITRC Teams tackling ongoing and predicted areas of concern, from PFAS and contaminants of emerging concern to microplastics and ethylene oxide emissions. BC is involved in many of the 2023 ITRC Teams and our experts share highlights from each of these active teams below.

PFAS ITRC Team Update

PFAS’ signature carbon-fluorine bond is considered the strongest bond in organic chemistry, which is extremely difficult to break, especially by natural attenuation processes. The prevalence and persistence of PFAS in the environment is emerging as a worldwide priority in environmental and human health. The ITRC PFAS Update Team is producing comprehensive guidance updates and new resources to help regulators, agencies, and other stakeholders to improve their understanding of the current science. Materials available include:

  • A series of fact sheets published between 2017-2018, updated in 2020, with September 2023 updates pending
  • A web-based technical and regulatory guidance document published in 2020, updated in June 2022, with September 2023 updates pending
  • Online training materials including 10 video training modules and a brief introduction
  • In-Person and online training workshops attended by nearly 3,000 attendees from 2018-2020
  • On-demand and online training materials, including ITRC’s Introduction to PFAS training
  • Focused Roundtable Webinars hosted in 2020 and 2021, available on-demand

The PFAS Team is currently wrapping up major updates to the web-based Technical and Regulatory Guidance Document and associated factsheets (anticipated publication in September 2023). Brown and Caldwell’s Andy Safulko serves as co-leader of the PFAS Treatment Technologies sub-group and is actively involved in the development of new content and delivering online ITRC trainings. ITRC’s next online Introduction to PFAS Training is scheduled for September 14, 2023. ITRC’s live, online training events can be attended at no cost.

For more information about this ITRC PFAS Team, please contact BC’s Andy Safulko, PE. Andy is an environmental engineer with more than 10 years of environmental consulting experience. He has wide-ranging environmental project experience and demonstrated success identifying innovative and adaptive solutions to complex problems. Most recently, Andy has focused on gaining technical expertise around emerging contaminants, specifically addressing PFAS.

Contaminants of Emerging Concern ITRC Team Update

As contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are identified, regulators and agencies are expected to immediately respond to meet the expectations of concerned or interested public stakeholders. Established in 2022, ITRC CEC Team is working to create a framework for anticipating and responding to CECs, building on the lessons learned from the emergence of PFAS and the proactive identification of potential future contaminants. The ITRC CEC Team is developing a series of fact sheets that:

  • Address how states can track and identify CECs to better manage them
  • Address the properties and traits that lead to identification
  • Provides guidance for evaluating these properties
  • Provide online training

The Team is currently in their second round of revisions and is looking into the training aspects for these materials. Brown and Caldwell’s Jason Lagowski continues to be involved in this Team and contributing to these materials. The group has developed the initial training material which is also under review.

For more information about this ITRC CEC Team, please contact BC’s Jason Lagowski, CPG, P.Geo. Jason brings more than 32 years of industry experience delivering a range of projects for municipal, industrial, manufacturing, automotive, and petrochemical clients. Since 2015, has been specializing in emerging contaminants, working to develop and commercialize new and innovative treatment solutions for impacted media (soil, groundwater, concrete) and landfill leachates to managing client liabilities.

Microplastics ITRC Team Update

Microplastics are small, plastic debris less than five millimeters long and pose one of the largest current emerging threats to the global environmental community. The ITRC Microplastics Team was formed in 2021 to develop technical regulatory guidance for agencies that includes:

  • An overview of microplastics in the environment and associated health effects
  • A comprehensive evaluation of engineering tools and biotechnological tools
  • Case studies on options for cleanup based on the type and size of the plastic.

In February 2023, the Team published an online guidance document providing information on microplastics and the state of applied science, and in March 2023 began offering online training. Brown and Caldwell’s Ali Teymouri continue to be involved in this Team. The latest efforts have contributed to a resource toolkit for environmental professionals to use when communicating about microplastics to the public. This toolkit is expected to be useful to regulators and utilities to help educate and inform employees, stakeholders, and customers and is available on the ITRC website. The Team is currently, working on several awareness/guidance documents and fact sheets about microplastics to inform 3 main groups including regulators and decision-making authorities, scientific and academic communities, as well as the general public using the material that was developed earlier in the microplastics toolkit.

For more information about this ITRC Microplastics Team, please contact BC’s Ali Teymouri, PhD. Ali manages BC’s treatability testing laboratory, where he implements QA/QC on the client-funded projects as well as research studies. He collaborates with subject matter experts across the country to research and implement new, innovative water and wastewater treatment technologies.

Sediment Cap Update

Engineered sediment caps are a widespread approach to achieving remediation objectives. The ITRC Contaminated Sediments Remediation Guidance Document developed in 2014, is in need of supplemental guidance to improve sediment remediation with capping by standardizing the design process. Established in 2022, the ITRC Sediment Cap Update Team is creating a new Technical Guidance document and online training to:

  • Incorporate recent advancements, new information, and more details on key design considerations
  • Provide a resource for regulators and agencies that regulate sediment capping projects and have expressed concerns with uncertainties on capping design and long-term monitoring approaches
  • Provide advancements on data collection and measuring of modeling input parameters in recently developed modeling tools
  • Develop construction specifications and construction quality assurance techniques to ensure effective cap construction
  • Compile key information from other capping case studies
  • Creation of a Technical Guidance document and online training course

Earlier this year, the Team drafted a Technical Guidance document providing information on advancements and design considerations in sediment isolation Caps. This guidance, expected to be finalized in Fall 2023, supplements the 2011 and 2014 sediment guidance series. On-line training is under development. Brown and Caldwell’s Tamara Sorell, who was a trainer for the past sediment Teams, continues to be involved in this Team, including writing sections and leading the training for the sediment cap monitoring portion of on-line course.

For more information about this ITRC Sediment Cap Update Team, please contact BC’s Tamara Sorell, PhD, BCES. Tamara is a board-certified environmental scientist with over 36 years of experience in environmental consulting across a broad range of Federal and State regulatory programs. Her areas of expertise include human health and ecological risk assessments, remedial site investigations, environmental chemistry, vapor intrusion, contaminated sediments, and emerging contaminants. Tamara has served on several ITRC Teams over the past 15 years related to sediments, background in risk, and incremental sampling. She is currently a trainer for the Sediment Cap Team.

Managed Aquifer Recharge Update

Groundwater is a major freshwater resource in the U.S., with 41 percent of the population relying on it for drinking water (NGWA 2020). Depletion of this critical resource occurs when the natural replenishment process is too slow for the demands placed on the aquifers. Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is the purposeful recharge of water to aquifers for subsequent recovery or for environmental benefit (NGWA 2023). MAR is a growing practice in response to water scarcity and groundwater overdraft to enhance replenishment using a variety of recharge technologies. The ITRC MAR Team was formed in January 2022 with experts from across multiple institutions and aims to:

  • Produce a Technical/Regulatory Guidance Document and Training Materials – to evaluate MAR for potential uses, applications and benefits, factors for successful implementation, including innovative characterization methods, and modeling tools to appropriately locate MAR infrastructure
  • Establish Reference Sites – where technologies and tools used in the planning, design and implementation of MAR projects are assessed for Project Management teams and Stakeholders

In April 2023, the Team published a draft Guidance Document for external review. Brown and Caldwell’s Brandon McLean has been involved with this Team and is currently helping address external review comments. The web-based guidance document is set to go live in December 2023. Training materials are due to be finalize by the end of the year as well with ITRC anticipated to offer the internet based training course sometime in early 2024. The target audience for the guidance document and training includes state and federal regulators, environmental consultants, local government officials and other stakeholders who may not be familiar with the opportunities and challenges associated with MAR. The goal is to help users of these materials to better understand the basic principles of MAR projects and to highlight key issues and challenges in undertaking and operating MAR projects to make informed decisions and drive successful projects.

For more information about this ITRC MAR Team, please contact BC’s Brandon McLean, RG. Brandon is a hydrogeologist with more than 16 years of experience in water resources consulting for private and municipal clients. His focus area is groundwater management, including development, replenishment, and restoration of this precious resource, with expertise in hydrogeological investigations to support the planning, design, permitting, and construction of our clients’ key projects.

Passive Sampling Technology Update

Developed more than 20 years ago, the ITRC’s four Guidance Documents on Diffusion/Passive Samplers are being reviewed and updated by this ITRC Team. The updates will reflect recent technology and sampling advancements and provide a roadmap for regulators and agencies to use passive sampling efficiently and confidently for groundwater monitoring and sampling programs. The ITRC Passive Sampling Technology Update Team was formed in 2023 to:

  • Review and update the four existing ITRC Guidance Documents
  • Provide an overview of new technologies for passive sampling, media differences, sampling devices, and device limitations and advantages
  • Inclusion of case studies to help transition to passive sampling appropriately
  • Conduct training and outreach

In 2023, the Team is working to update the four Technical Guidance documents and has extended an open call for industry personnel to participate in the document’s external review anticipated in the spring of 2024. Brown and Caldwell’s Tamara Berryman continues to be involved in this Team and is reviewing and helping to update the Technical Guidance document on grab sampler technologies and regulatory acceptance for passive sampling.

For more information about the ITRC Passive Sampling Technology Update, please contact BC’s Tamara Berryman. Tamara has developed, performed, and managed a wide variety of environmental investigation and remediation projects at industrial sites, working within many regulatory programs. She has performed and managed remedial investigations, feasibility studies and remediation projects within Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and other state hazardous waste programs.

Reuse of Solid Mining Waste Update

Waste from abandoned mining sites may contain recoverable mineral concentrations using advanced extraction methods and technologies. With more than 500,000 abandoned mining sites nationwide, the potential to reuse mining waste may reduce the volume of residual materials at the site, decreasing potential exposures to metal concentrations and risks to human health and the environment. The ITRC Reuse of Solid Mining Waste Team was formed in 2023 to develop:

  • Best practices and possibilities for environmentally safe reprocessing and reuse of chat, tailings, waste rock, and other solid mining wastes
  • An overview of the potential technical and regulatory issues with each reuse
  • Creation of a Technical Guidance document and online training course

In 2023, the Team is working to develop the Technical Guidance document and has extended an open call for industry personnel to participate in the document’s external review anticipated in summer of 2024. Brown and Caldwell’s Mike Puett continues to be involved in this Team and is contributing of particular interest to Brown and Caldwell because many of our existing mining clients have existing plans or are in the process of permitting new projects involving the redevelopment of historic mining areas and the remining or repurposing of mine wastes from past mining.

For more information about the ITRC Solid Mining Waste Team, please contact BC’s Mike Puett, PE, CEM. Mike has more than 30 years of experience as an environmental consultant. These projects have involved preparing mine operating, closure, and reclamation plans for active mining operations; and engineering design of a variety of facilities including precious metal heap leach facilities, waste containment repositories and cover and liner systems, industrial process ponds, infiltration galleries, surface water diversions, and erosion control structures.

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