NEW - Tygon Connectors!The Vapor Pin® Kit is designed to make your use of our products a success each time. However, one item was previously not included - the connector to match the barb fitting to the sample train. From this point forward, our kits will include Tygon connectors to bridge the distance between your sampling train and the Vapor Pin® Sampling Device. You may also purchase a bag of Tygon connectors separately or in 5 foot lengths. ... See MoreSee Less
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I'm thrilled to share with you the program of Remtech Europe 2021. This important environmental conference is made of 23 sessions fully ONLINE. Any session is completely FREE.To follow any session you have to register in our website with a valid email. To reserve your seat, receive the presentations in pdf and receive your Certificate of Attendance of the session you will attend, you have to register in the Google form of each session. In each form you would find also the detailed program and beginning and end in different time zones. Reserve your seat today!SESSION 1 (Organized by JRC-European Commission) From policy talking to industry actions: Zero Pollution for Soil Mon 20 SEPTEMBER 09:00 – 13.00 CEST 2 (Organized by US Army Corps of Engineers) TRAINING COURSE - PFAS: characterization, environmental impact, remediation strategies Mon 20 SEPTEMBER 14.30 – 19.00 CEST 3 Sustainable management of contaminated sites Mon 20 SEPTEMBER 14.30 – 16.30 CEST 4 Waste tailings and acid mine drainage: challenges for Mining Sites Mon 20 SEPTEMBER 17.00 – 19.00 CEST 5 Bioremediation and phytoremediation in agricultural, industrial, and military sites Tue 21 SEPTEMBER 09.00 – 11.00 CEST 6 Oil and hydrocarbons impacted sites Tue 21 SEPTEMBER 11.30 – 13.30 CEST 7 HRSC, High Resolution Site Characterization Tue 21 SEPTEMBER 11.30 – 13.30 CEST 8 (Organized by ASTM) TRAINING COURSE - ASTM STANDARDS: PFAS, Sediment and Climate Resilience Tue 21 SEPTEMBER 14.30 – 19.00 CEST 9 Innovative, digital and smart characterization techniques tools Tue 21 SEPTEMBER 14.30 – 16.30 CEST 10 Circular Economy: how to apply it in the context of the next Generation EU Tue 21 SEPTEMBER 17.00 – 19.00 CEST 11 Soil remediation: can we deal in a sustainable way? Wed 22 SEPTEMBER 09.00 – 11.00 CEST 12 DNAPL and chlorinated compounds: optimize the process to achieve the target Wed 22 SEPTEMBER 11.30 – 13.30 CEST 13 (Organized by SERDP-ESTCP) TRAINING COURSE - Current Approaches for Vapor Intrusion Site Investigation and Mitigation Wed 22 SEPTEMBER 14.30 – 19.00 CEST 14 (Organized by Ramboll) TRAINING COURSE - Sustainability assessment as a tool for a more sustainable and resilient remediation of soils, groundwater and sediments Wed 22 SEPTEMBER 14.30 – 16.30 CEST 15 PFAS, remediating the forever chemical Wed 22 SEPTEMBER 17.00 – 19.00 CEST 16 Microplastics and sediments: two main threats for ports and coastal areas Thu 23 SEPTEMBER 09.00 – 11.00 CEST 17 Sustainathon Thu 23 SEPTEMBER 14.00 – Fri 24 SEPTEMBER 14:00 CEST 18 Aeriforms and vapor intrusion: measures and models Thu 23 SEPTEMBER 11.30 – 13.30 CEST 19 Groundwater remediation in difficult conditions Thu 23 SEPTEMBER 11.30 – 13.30 CEST 20 (Organized by AESAS) TRAINING COURSE - State of the art of contaminated sites in Brazil Thu 23 SEPTEMBER 14.30 – 19.00 CEST 21 River environment: managing impacts from different sources Fri 24 SEPTEMBER 09.00 – 11.00 CEST 22 Wastewater and sewer sludge, handling the last link in the chain Fri 24 SEPTEMBER 11:30 – 13.30 CEST 23 TRAINING COURSE: Wastewater control and seawater quality: it is possible to do it acting differently? Fri 25 SEPTEMBER 14.30 – 19.00 CEST free to share to your colleagues or to any contacts that you think he/she may be interested. REMEMBER THAT THE CONFERENCE IS FREE, NO FEES. JOIN US !See you online!Laurie A. ChilcoteRemtech Europe Ambassador ... See MoreSee Less
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Decontamination and Decommissioning of Warehouses - Gela Industrial Site. - Author: Mariangela Venco (ENI Rewind) RemTech Expo ... See MoreSee Less
We are excited to announce our Brazil Patent BR 11 2018 004186-6 has been granted!#remediation #vaporintrusion #contaminatedsites #vaporpin #vi #coxcolvin #patent #Brazil ... See MoreSee Less
Don't miss out, join us next week at one or all of the following webinars to see and be seen!Tuesday - May 19th with Brownfield Summit, Craig Cox will be presenting at 10:35 EST - Evaluating and Remediating a Complex Contaminated Groundwater Plume - May 20th with MSECA - Craig Cox will be presenting on Sanitary Sewers as the Expected Preferential Pathway in Vapor Intrusion Evaluations. - May 20th with Alpha Labs, Join Craig Cox and Laurie Chilcote as they do a live sub-slab demo Vapor Intrusion: Sampling with Confidence for Mid-Atlantic States ... See MoreSee Less
We are excited to participate in the virtual seminar Vapor Intrusion: Sampling with Confidence for the Mid-Atlantic region, with Mark Mank of the Maryland Department of the Environment, Todd Creamer of Geosyntec Consultants, Christina Lewis at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Craig Cox at Cox-Colvin and Associates, Inc. and our own William Elcoate and Andy Rezendes. This event is free. NJ LSRP CEC Application for credits is pending. Registration is open: ... See MoreSee Less
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Main Content

EPA Revises Johnson and Ettinger Model for Vapor Intrusion

In 1991 Paul Johnson and Robert Ettinger, then of Shell Development Company, developed a complex mathematical model to predict vapor intrusion from subsurface contamination. As vapors migrate from source to receptor, their concentrations are attenuated (lessened) by varying degrees, depending on a number of factors, including: Building size, Soil-gas entry rate, Building air exchange rate, Soil type, Soil porosity, Soil moisture content, Depth to source, and Chemical-specific volatilization from groundwater.

The model did not take into account chemical breakdown, which is typically much more rapid for petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) than for chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs).

In 2003 EPA incorporated the J&E model into spreadsheets to calculate VI from soil, groundwater, soil gas, and Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (NAPLs). The spreadsheets calculated not only indoor vapor concentrations, but also the risk to building occupants, based on EPA Regional Screening Levels (RSLs) for each chemical, and exposure factors, such as exposure time. There were some serious limitations with the spreadsheets. One was that the risk factors built into the spreadsheets were not easily updated. Users had to use a password to unlock the spreadsheets and change risk parameters, such as Reference Concentrations (RfCs), to match the latest Regional Screening Levels (RSLs). In 2004 EPA revised the spreadsheets with updated RSLs, but RSLs continue to change over time. In 2004, EPA also dropped the NAPL spreadsheets and soil spreadsheets, due to questions regarding their ability to estimate VI with any kind of accuracy.

There were other problems with EPA spreadsheets as well. Paul Johnson, coauthor of the J&E model, was critical of EPA’s spreadsheet version for various reasons, including the fact that the spreadsheets had built-in automatic checks for numerical errors, but there were no built-in reasonableness checks, making it possible to enter wildly inappropriate and conflicting data. Similarly, coauthor Robbie Ettinger made the point that while EPA’s spreadsheets incorporated the J&E algorithm, they were separate from the J&E model, and he did not agree with everything in them. Not surprisingly, after EPA released a report titled, “Uncertainty in the Johnson-Ettinger Model for Vapor Intrusion Calculations” in September 2005, states started to disallow the use of J&E modeling.

The latest version of EPA’s Spreadsheet for Modeling Subsurface Vapor Intrusion remedies many of the problems. Because the revised spreadsheet is linked directly to EPA’s RSLs, there is no longer any lag between them, and the complications of entering risk factors are avoided, providing that state or other jurisdiction accepts US EPA’s factors. (Some states, particularly California, often disagree with US EPA’s risk factors). The revised spreadsheet is also simpler in that groundwater and soil gas are entered into the same spreadsheet. The earlier versions had separate spreadsheets for each. The updated model also displays many of the calculations on the main page, such as Qsoil and Qbuilding, the rate at which soil gas and outdoor air, respectively, enter a building. Previous spreadsheets displayed the calculations on separate pages, and in a way that was harder to interpret. Additionally, the revised J&E model performs calculations for multiple chemicals on a single spreadsheet, instead of requiring a separate one for each chemical. This will save a lot of paper!

More importantly, like EPA’s earlier spreadsheets for J&E modeling, the updated spreadsheet is less conservative than default Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels (VISLs), making unnecessary vapor mitigation for low-risk sites less likely. For example, using Excess Lifetime Cancer Risk of 10E-5, Hazard Quotient (HQ) of 1, and groundwater temperature of 11 degrees Centigrade), the residential groundwater VISL for trichloroethene (TCE) is 9.9 micrograms per liter (ug/l). However, the revised J&E spreadsheet indicates that TCE in groundwater, using the same settings, has a target concentration of 19.4 ug/l. Additionally, using the J&E model, the acceptable concentrations of chemicals in soil gas or groundwater can be considerably higher than VISL levels, depending on soil type, depth to source, and other factors. Using the same default factors in the J&E model, but changing the soil type from sand to loam, (a mixture of sand, silt, and clay), raises the allowable level of TCE in groundwater to 194 ug/l. And unlike the revised VISL calculator, you can make changes to the J&E spreadsheets after downloading them to your computer and exiting EPA’s website.

A technical problem with the revised J&E spreadsheet is that the earlier-mentioned Qsoil/Qbuilding ratio is currently fixed at 0.003. This hairy looking factor boils down to the rate at which subslab soil gas (Qsoil) mixes with indoor air (Qbuilding) – “Dilution is the solution to pollution”, as they say. For now, changing the Residential setting to Commercial/Industrial automatically increases the ceiling height, air exchange rate, and slab thickness, which is helpful, but the dilution ratio, Qsoil/Qbuilding, stays at 0.003, and is taken from a lookup table, not calculated. According to Rich Kapuscinski, EPA’s website content manager, “We are and will be expeditiously addressing these problems, as we intend to have (and publish) a (revised) tool that is suitable for commercial, as well as, residential buildings.”

The other issue with the revised J&E model will be its acceptance by state and local agencies.

Author: Mort Schmidt is a Senior Scientist with Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc. He received his BS and MS degrees in Geology and Mineralogy from The Ohio State University, and has been a Cox Colvin & Associates employee since 1997. His areas of expertise include vapor intrusion and contaminant investigation and analysis, and he currently serves as Cox Colvin’s Practice Leader – Vapor Intrusion Services. Mort is a Certified Professional Geologist with AIPG and is a registered Geologist in Indiana.