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CRC CARE's technical report series comprises a comprehensive collection of work carried out by CRC CARE and its partners. This work is done to address technical issues of importance to industry and government.

CRC CARE Technical Report 43 cover image

CRC CARE Technical Report 43: Practitioner guide to risk-based assessment, remediation and management of PFAS site contamination

This practitioner guide deals with PFOS and PFOA given their known physical and chemical properties, toxicity, and behaviour, fate and transport in the environment. These factors are considered in terms of their relevance to risk-based site contamination. The guide also provides an overview of the application of Australian approaches, which in turn provides the background for site-specific risk assessments, as well as the basis for the development and application of screening levels. It is a technical resource for the application of risk-based approaches to the assessment, remediation and management of PFAS site contamination.

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This guide complements the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999 (ASC NEPM) and the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (NEMP). Released by the Heads of EPAs Australia and New Zealand in February 2018, the NEMP is the key reference document for PFAS in Australia and covers a range of matters relevant to the identification and management of PFAS from the perspective of regulators. This practitioner guide is compatible with those requirements of the ASC NEPM that flow through to remediation. It is designed to also be consistent with the National Remediation Framework currently being developed by CRC CARE.

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CRC CARE Technical Report 42 cover image

CRC CARE Technical Report 42: A human health review of PFOS and PFOA

PFOS and PFOA have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern in Australia. Both chemicals are persistent, bioaccumulative and potentially toxic, and exist at a number of sites, particularly where AFFF firefighting foams have been used. Originally, this report was developed to recommend tolerable daily intake (TDI) values for PFOS and PFOA, at a time when there were no national TDI values available (early 2016). The report provides an overview of the international studies used in considering TDI values. It also recommends background intake levels for PFOS and PFOA in Australia, which may be useful when assessing multiple exposure pathways.This version of the report does not recommend TDIs, and has been published for information only.

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The report refers to data from animal studies to estimate effects on human health in order to derive TDI values – while this introduces interspecies uncertainties, animal models exclude human variability factors (such as diet, drugs, infections, radiation and endogenous processes). An in-depth discussion of the issues was published as a peer-reviewed paper – see Dong et al 2017, ‘Issues raised by the reference doses for perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid’, Environment International 105: 86-94.

This report was completed in early 2016 to complement CRC CARE's work on developing PFAS guidance at a time when there was limited Australian human health advice on PFAS.  The policy, scientific and political landscape has changed substantially several times since this work was completed, and it is strongly recommended that readers refer to the most up-to-date advice published by Food Standards Australia New Zealand and the Commonwealth Department of Health, as well as any jurisdictional requirements.

An in-depth discussion of the issues was published as a peer-reviewed paper – see Dong, et al 2017. ‘Issues raised by the reference doses for perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid’ Environment International 105: 86-94.

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CRC CARE Technical Report 41 cover image

CRC CARE Technical Report 41: Remediating and managing coastal acid sulfate soils using Lime Assisted Tidal Exchange (LATE) at East Trinity, Queensland

This report reviews the implementation and associated research activities of a successful coastal acid sulfate soil (CASS) remediation strategy. East Trinity is a case study of how a severely degraded tidal wetland has been returned to a functional estuarine habitat using a cost-effective, low technology method based on the reintroduction of tidal water. The East Trinity experience is a reference point for best-practice remediation and management of broadacre CASS and is an exemplar conversion site linked to the National Standards for Ecological Restoration.

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The remediation strategy known as lime assisted tidal exchange (LATE) was implemented in 2001 following a comprehensive site and operational methodology assessment. An initial trial of LATE proved successful in terms of the water quality and soil parameters. The short time period in which these parameters responded prompted the need for a research program aimed at understanding the interaction of daily tidal inundation and an acidified soil landscape. This research showed that LATE’s success can be attributed to the combination of an alkaline input alongside a huge flush of organic matter. The East Trinity site now has sufficiently high ecological function to transition from active to passive management. Under passive management, the addition of hydrated lime to the waterways ceases, and regular tidal inundation will remain in place to ensure that ASS remain protected from further oxidation.

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Technical Report 40_Silica Gel Clean-up_front cover

CRC CARE Technical Report 40: Weathered Petroleum Hydrocarbons (Silica Gel Clean-up)

This technical report has been prepared to review the available information on the presence of polar metabolite compounds in samples collected from weathered petroleum hydrocarbon–impacted soil and groundwater. The aim is to identify an appropriate silica gel clean up (SGC) method for removing these compounds from the analysis of petroleum hydrocarbons, and to provide guidance on interpretation of the data collected, to ensure that risks to human health and the environment are adequately protected.

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Analytical methodology for silica gel clean-up of soil and water extracts is proposed in this report. The methodology follows closely with NEPM Schedule B3 (NEPC, 1999 amended 2013c), that is analysis of semi-volatile hydrocarbons (TRH >C10 to C40) using solvent extraction followed by determination by gas chromatography–flame ionisation detector (GC-FID). The NEPM describes an optional SGC procedure but more detail is required. Appendix C details two procedures for SGC which are in common use in environmental testing laboratories – in situ and ex situ. These procedures have been adapted from CCME 2001, Reference Method for the Canada-Wide Standard for Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Soil – Tier 1 Method, and Addendum 1. The in-situ method involves adding silica to the extract to form a ‘slurry’. This silica then interacts and absorbs polar analytes. In the ex-situ method, the extract is applied to a silica gel glass column which removes polars from the extract. The extracts are then analysed by GC-FID. Advantages and disadvantages of both techniques are discussed in this report.

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CRC CARE Technical Report 39: Risk-based remediation and management guidance for benzo(a)pyrene

This report provides guidance on the risk-based management and remediation of benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P)-contaminated sites. It provides information and a framework that will assist practitioners, regulators and site owners in effectively managing and remediating B(a)P-contaminated soil and groundwater.

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In particular, the guidance has the potential to promote best practice and reduce costs, uncertainty, and the risk to human health and the environment. Consideration has been given to accounting for site-specific variables such as bioavailability and bioaccumulation, and for providing more reliable screening criteria for determining when ecological effects might occur.

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The purpose of this guidance is therefore to illustrate how flux concepts, tools and measurements can be used to assess and manage groundwater contamination, including engaging with regulators and other stakeholders.

CRC CARE Technical Report 37: Flux-based groundwater assessment and management

The purpose of this guidance is therefore to illustrate how flux concepts, tools and measurements can be used to assess and manage groundwater contamination, including engaging with regulators and other stakeholders.

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In line with international progress, there has been an increasing acceptance in recent years by contaminated sites practitioners in Australia of the usefulness of mass flux concepts for the management of groundwater contamination. However, there is no nationally consistent guidance or methodology on how mass flux or mass discharge estimates may be used to assess and manage groundwater contamination, or the endpoints that should apply. CRC CARE has therefore commissioned this user guide for the better measurement and use of mass flux and mass discharge in the management of groundwater contamination.

The purpose of this guidance is therefore to illustrate how flux concepts, tools and measurements can be used to assess and manage groundwater contamination, including engaging with regulators and other stakeholders.

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CRC CARE Technical Report 36: Guidance for the assessment, remediation and management of MTBE

This document provides guidance in relation to the assessment, remediation and management of MTBE contaminated groundwater. MTBE will migrate rapidly from a source, through the soil profile, to groundwater and/or surface water. MTBE is degraded rapidly in surface waters, but it is relatively stable in groundwater. Once MTBE reaches groundwater it can migrate at almost the same speed as groundwater flow, given its solubility in water, and therefore can travel rapidly in the sub-surface.

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This document provides guidance in relation to the assessment, remediation and management of MTBE contaminated groundwater. MTBE will migrate rapidly from a source, through the soil profile, to groundwater and/or surface water. MTBE is
degraded rapidly in surface waters, but it is relatively stable in groundwater. Once MTBE reaches groundwater it can migrate at almost the same speed as groundwater flow, given its solubility in water, and therefore can travel rapidly in the sub-surface.

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Technical Report 35 front cover

CRC CARE Technical Report 35: Value-based land remediation: Improved decision-making for contaminated land

This report provides regulators and remediation professionals with a summary of research into how remediation institutions interact with the values held by various stakeholders, as reflected in site remediation decision-making processes, and hence the outcomes of these decision processes. Using case studies (three from Australia, one from Fiji), it highlights how the findings might be incorporated into current and future site remediation practice.

CRC CARE Technical Report 34: A practitioner’s guide for the analysis, management and remediation of LNAPL

This report is intended as a practical guide to LNAPL remediation in Australia and to accompany CRC CARE Technical Report no. 18, Selecting and assessing strategies for remediating LNAPL in soils and aquifers.

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This guide draws on the wealth of literature on LNAPL remediation globally, and on the documented experience of remediation practitioners in Australia, Europe and North America, where many of the approaches, terms and technologies discussed in this document have been developed.

It is aimed at industry project managers, environmental consultants, remediation practitioners, owners and operators of contaminated sites, and state and territory regulators in Australia – that is, those with an interest in the effective, efficient and sustainable remediation of LNAPL contaminated sites. The guide provides a practical step-by-step approach to site characterisation, remedial decision making, technology selection and implementation of remediation in an Australian context.

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Tech Report 33 - Lidar - front cover

CRC CARE Technical Report 33: Advanced Lidar Port Hedland dust study

This study confirmed that a Coherent Doppler Lidar system for monitoring dust emissions and wind fields can be used to identify dust emission sources, track dust plumes, and resolve the fine-scale wind field dynamics responsible for dust transportation and community exposure. The technology can potentially be used for multiple applications at ports and mine sites, including routine monitoring, health risk and occupational safety studies, validation of modelling, and evaluating dust mitigation strategies.

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