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    As part of the U.S. EPA Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation Program, under the direction of Dr. Kumar Topudurti of Tetra Tech EM Inc. (Tetra Tech) in Chicago, Illinois, Tetra Tech performed the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of field measurement devices for TPH measurement in soil samples.

    Sitelab was one of seven devices selected for full-scale evaluation after screening 13 devices.  Stakeholders and project participants included EPA Regions, Department of Defense, American Petroleum Institute, British Petroleum, Chevron, Equilon (Shell and Texaco) and ExxonMobil.  The project took two years to complete and cost nearly $1 million dollars.

    Both quantitative and qualitative performance attributes of the field measurement devices were critically evaluated using a laboratory gas chromatography and mass spectrometry method as the “benchmark.”  To make sure that the evaluation produced practical and useful information for environmental scientists and engineers, Tetra Tech developed and implemented a comprehensive experimental design that was scientifically sound and statistically based.  The design included the evaluation of devices using a variety of soil types, fuel types, potential chemical and physical interferents, and TPH concentration ranges.  A total of 1,400 soil environmental samples collected from five areas across the U.S. and synthetic soil samples prepared under controlled conditions were analyzed to answer several critical questions on the effectiveness of field measurement devices.

    According to industry experts, “the innovative preparation of standards and spiked materials was a significant achievement...and the work here filled a large piece of the puzzle, answering a number of questions about the real-world capabilities of these technologies.”  They also stated that “this project was an engineering and logistical feat, as well as a successful analytical testing experiment that was a crucial step in advancing analytical science in the field.”  According to another stakeholder, “the project was exceptional in its planning and execution, and contributes important field information to our understanding of TPH test kits.” 



   Since the 1980's, The Excellence in Environmental Engineering® competition of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers® exists to identify and reward the best of today's environmental engineering research, planning and design and the best operation and management of environmental facilities and programs.  The 2002 edition drew entries from around the world that typify the creativity and innovations of consulting engineers, municipal utilities, industrial corporations, and academics.

     The Academy's Excellence in Environmental Engineering® competition singles out those projects and programs for recognition which testify to the genius of humankind.  Its criteria define what it takes to be the best in environmental engineering practice - a holistic environmental perspective, innovation, proven performance and customer satisfaction, and contribution to an improved quality of life and economic efficiency.  

Reference: Environmental Engineer Magazine, Page 8, Volume 38, No. 2, April 2002


The American Academy of Environmental Engineers® and Excellence in Environmental Engineering® are registered trademarks of American Academy of Environmental Engineers, Inc.

Copyright 2002 American Academy of Environmental Engineers; reprinted with permission. 

    Reference: Critical Evaluation of Field Measurement Technologies for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Soil, Topudurti/TTEMI, Inc. Newsletter, April 2002.   


     Disclaimer: AAEE, Inc., Tetra Tech EM, Inc, U.S. EPA, Stakeholders and project participants referenced here do not endorse any products offered for sale by Sitelab or other developers in the SITE Program. 


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