2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 21 Jul 2003 16:12:44 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Technology alters naval base cleanup
Technology alters naval base cleanup
BioBarrier used to neutralize MTBE
By Sylvia Moore, smoore@insidevc.com
July 21, 2003

On the surface, it looks like a long ditch covered over by asphalt and
surrounded by a wooden fence. Yet, this structure could revolutionize
how groundwater contaminated with methyl tertiary-butyl ether, or MTBE,
is cleaned up.

Called a BioBarrier, the 500-foot long structure is one of several MTBE
cleanup technologies developed at the Naval Facilities Engineering
Service Center at Port Hueneme. The BioBarrier, which uses bacteria to
neutralize MTBE, is the culmination of a five-year collaboration between
the U.S. Department of Defense, Arizona State University and the
petroleum company Shell Global Solutions Inc. It's being used to clean
up a 5,000-foot long plume of MTBE underneath the base. The plume
occurred after 10,000 gallons of gasoline leaked from a base gas station
in the 1980s.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and others have
given the green light for BioBarrier technology as a final remedy to
clean up the plume, saving taxpayers an estimated $30 million. Two more
BioBarriers will be built along the length of the plume. Project
officials say the technology could be used in place of the more costly
groundwater pump-and-treat method that's been around for decades. The
BioBarrier project has won several awards, most recently the 2003 White
House Closing the Circle Award for Environmental Preferability.

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