Land treatment and the toxicity response of soil contaminated with wood preserving waste


  • Scott G. Huling,

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    • Scott G. Huling is an environmental engineer (P.E.) with the USEPA Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Laboratory (RSKERL) in Ada, Oklahoma. He has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio, an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

  • Daniel F. Pope,

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    • Dr. Daniel F. Pope has researched allelopathy, biotransformation of wood preserving and petroleum wastes, and designed soil and water bioremediation systems. Currently be assists EPA-RSKERL with site characterization and remediation.

  • John E. Matthews,

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    • John E. Matthews, environmental scientist, received a B.S. and an M.S. in aquatic biology from Utah State University (USU). He worked at the EPA-RSKERL for 26 years in the areas of subsurface investigations, land treatment, and soil bioremediation, and is the president of JMCO, Inc., Environmental Consulting. Juditb L. Sims is a researcb Laboratory at USU. As a soikl scientist, her reserachb interests include the development of guidance concerning the opplication of remedial technologies to contaminated soil systems. Dr. Ronald C. Sims is a Professor and head of the Division of Enviromental Engineering, Department of civil and Environmental Engineering at USU. His research interests include assessment and development of treatment technologies for soils contaminated with hazardous wastes. Dr. Darwin L. Sorensen, an environmental microbiologist, is a research associate Professor of the Utab Water Research Laboratory at USU. He recevied a Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 1982 and his research interests include intrinsic bioremediation of subsurface systems.

  • Judith L. Sims,

  • Ronald C. Sims,

  • Darwin L. Sorensen


Soils contaminated with wood preserving wastes, including pentachlo-rophenol (PCP) and creosote, are treated at field-scale in an engineered prepared-bed system consisting of two one-acre land treatment units (LTUs). The concentration of selected indicator compounds of treatment performance included PCP, pyrene, and total carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (TCPAHs) was monitored in the soil by taking both composited soil samples at multiple points in time, and discrete soil samples at two points in time. The mean concentration of the indicator compounds and the 95-percent confidence interval (CI) of the composite and discrete samples agreed relatively well, and first-order degradation rate kinetics satisfactorily represented the mean chemical concentration loss of indicator compounds in the LTU. Toxicity of the soil, as measured by MicrotoxTM assay of the soil extracts, indicated that toxicity reduction corresponded with indicator compound disappearance. No toxicity effects were observed with time in treated layers of soil (lifts) buried beneath highly contaminated lifts of newly applied soil. This indicated that vertical migration of soluble contaminants from such lifts had little effect on the microbial activity in the underlying treated soil.