NGWA to hold MTBE and Perchlorate Conference

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) will hold a special conference on engineered solutions for handling perchlorate and MTBE contamination in ground water on May 26-27, 2005 in San Francisco, Calif. at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel.
The meeting will include representatives from the engineering and environmental consulting, military, industrial and regulatory sectors.
The conference will feature extensive sessions on the fate, transport and treatment of perchlorate and MTBE plus cover hotly debated questions such as how much of the perchlorate is naturally occurring and caused by fertilizer? Lawyers will present a session covering current perchlorate litigation. The event features an industry display area, concurrent sessions, a reception and luncheon. NGWA will convene a regulator roundtable breakout session covering the implications of the National Academy of Science (NAS) reference dose for perchlorate.
MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) is an oxygenate compound added to gasoline to meet oxygen requirements under the Clean Air Act. Underground storage tanks, many of them containing gasoline with MTBE, are the number one source of ground water contamination in the United States. MTBE has been banned in a number of states and has been at the center of the debate over the Federal Energy Bill.
Perchlorate is a strong oxidizer used in rocket fuels, air bags and road flares as ammonium perchlorate and sodium perchlorate. It has been detected in ground water in more than 20 states from a variety of releases.
A minimum contaminant level has yet to be established for perchlorate. However, the conference is particularly timely with the U.S. EPA’s adoption in February of a reference dose for perchlorate. The EPA’s action is consistent with a National Academy of Sciences finding in mid-January, which places the reference does at a level 23 times higher than U.S. EPA’s original number.
The conference begins each morning with a keynote session and then provides concurrent sessions on MTBE and perchlorate. A sampling of the conference’s offerings include:
* John Gibbs of Kerr-McGee Corporation, who will speak on Thursday, May 26 from the industry perspective on perchlorate in his talk, Emerging Science with Implications for Perchlorate Risk Assessment and Science Policy Decisions.
* Stephen Kalkhoff of the U.S. Geological Survey, the first keynote speaker on May 26, who will discuss his paper, Perchlorate Occurrence in Ground Water in the North Central United States: Do Agricultural Practices Contribute Perchlorate to Shallow Aquifers?
* A NGWA Regulatory Roundtable chaired by U.S. EPA’s Kevin Mayer on May 26 focusing on scientific and policy issues surrounding perchlorate.
* Shannon Cunniff, Special Assistant for Emerging Contaminants from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, who on Friday, May 27 will present, U.S. Department of Defense's Overall Efforts to Proactively Address Emerging Contaminants.

National Ground Water Association

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