Fate & Transport Modelling

GWcontoursEnvironmental projects usually involve the identification of potential sources, and the nature and extent of impacts to media such as soil, groundwater, and/or surface water. In addition to fundamental data assessments, AMO will often characterize potential source areas and apparent contaminant pathways through fate and transport modeling techniques.

Our assessment of potential fate and transport processes usually involves development of site-specific analytical models that may be used alone or along with industry software. AMO models consider many things including, but not limited to: a site’s hydrogeologic setting; physical and chemical properties of constituents of concern; potential off-site influences; known or possible receptors; and general needs of the project relative to the sophistication of our evaluation. To that end, we have developed several models to assess contaminant migration and attenuation in unsaturated (soil to groundwater pathways) and saturated settings.

Remediation by Natural Attenuation (or RNA) has gained acceptance as a viable cleanup alternative in the environmental community largely due to demonstrations (by AMO and others) that fate and transport models are reliable if applied responsibly. We have presented our fate and transport models in forums ranging from project-specific meetings with state agencies to multi-national conferences.

Brief: MDEQ Part 201 Closure
Directed site closure activities associated with a former chemical manufacturing facility in southeastern Michigan. Project tasks included: assimilation of historic data into a site-specific GIS; development of site-specific, health-based cleanup criteria; evaluation of soil and groundwater impacts relative to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ's) most stringent cleanup criteria, site-specific health-based cleanup criteria, and numerical fate and transport models; negotiation of Limited Site Closure strategies with MDEQ; and the preparation of the Final Data and Remedial Action Summary Report. Client received MDEQ-approved NFA for site.

Brief: NJDEP MOA Closure
Directed site closure and Phase II investigation of soil and groundwater contamination potentially related to on and off-site operations at a former warehouse/distribution facility in northern New Jersey. Among other things, specific tasks included soil/groundwater sampling and on-site aquifer testing to develop database for input into analytical models. The results of fate & transport modeling showed soil and groundwater contamination would not migrate to off-site receptors prior to its degradation by natural processes. Client received NJDEP-approved NFA for site.

Brief: Remediation by Natural Attenuation Seminars
AMO principals have been invited to present fate & transport models at conferences in Mexico City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia; as well as numerous state agencies in support of individual projects. The Mexico City presentation was attended by an international conglomerate of industry, academic, legal, regulatory, and scientific-community representatives. The models that we have presented/utilized include chemical-specific or batch advection, dispersion, and/or degradation processes.