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Re-Use Tools & Resources

The Center's research team, led by professor of law, Jon Cannon, has selected six Superfund sites for in-depth study. They are: Central Chemical, in Hagerstown, MD; Gilt Edge Mine in Leed, S.D.; Emmell's Septic Landfill in Galloway Township, N. J.; Barber Orchard, a former apple orchard, now being used for residential development in Waynesville N.C., a Naval Amphibious Base at Little Creek, in Virginia Beach, VA; and a cluster of three sites in West Virginia: Big John Salvage, Sharon Steel Corp and Ordnance Works Disposal Area. These sites were chosen in part because they are situated in a variety of contexts, ranging from rural to urban. The contaminants present and the physical landscapes also vary widely from site to site, giving investigators an indication of the scope of issues that can arise at the 1,235 priority Superfund sites throughout the country.

Beginning in the spring of 2002, faculty investigators and student researchers visited the sites, and their surrounding areas, gathering information, interviewing EPA officials, and talking with community stakeholders. Their efforts resulted in a set of working reports, which serve as a foundation for further research.

In this second year of the Center's funding investigators have conceptualized and begun work on several research projects at some of the case-study sites. They are also creating an optimization model that will integrate the faculty members' research and make it applicable to redevelopment decisions at Superfund sites across the country.


Specifically, Environmental Science professor Janet Herman, will be working with Engineering professors Rosanna Neupauer and Teresa Culver on developing methods for quantifying uncertainty in contaminant transport and remediation and creating a model of groundwater flow and solute transport for the landfill site in New Jersey. Landscape Architecture professor Julie Bargmann and her colleague Dan Bluestone, from the Architectural History Department are teaching two interdisciplinary courses this year linked directly to the Central Chemical site in Hagerstown, Maryland. Their studio course in the spring of 2003 will result in the creation of design alternatives for the site.

Director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Frank Dukes is working on a Best Practices Guide for collaborative decisionmaking at Superfund sites and designing a debriefing session involving all the Center's faculty for one of the selected sites. Bruce Dotson is developing a Best Practices report on community planning for Superfund site reuse. Commerce School professors, George Overstreet and Mark White have teamed up with Peter Beling and Jim Lambert, on the Systems and Engineering faculty to develop the multi-objective optimization model to provide decisionmakers with the tools to optimize Superfund site reuse. The model will also serve as a framework for integrating all facets of the Center's work. The Center's director, Jonathan Cannon, professor of law, has produced an analysis of site optimization and its temporal component--adaptive management-within the legal and policy framework of the Superfund program. He is refining that analysis in a way that will provide a synthesis of the Center's work.


The initial $200,000 under the cooperative agreement with EPA covered the first year of the Center's establishment and operation, including faculty and graduate student research stipends. EPA has already awarded the Center a second year of funding at $200,000 and Professor Cannon anticipates a possible third year of EPA funding for the Center as well. The cooperative agreement is a cost-sharing arrangement in which the University of Virginia has agreed to cover the cost of administrative support for each year that the Center is funded.


Faculty participating in the Center's early activities include Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Julie Bargmann , Urban & Environmental Planning Chair Bruce Dotson, Institute for Environmental Negotiation Director Frank Dukes, Environmental Sciences Professor Janet Herman, Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Roseanna Neupauer, Commerce Professor George Overstreet and Commerce Associate Professor Mark White, and lecturer at McIntire School of Commerce and President of E2, Inc., David Slutzky.

Recently three additional faculty members have joined the Center team. They are: Assistant professor in the department of Systems and Information Engineering, Jim Lambert; Teresa Culver, professor of Civil Engineering; professor of Architectural History and director of the Preservation Program Dan Bluestone.


EPA's awarding of this grant to the University recognizes that Virginia is uniquely suited as an academic institution to help advance the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative. University faculty members currently teach undergraduate and graduate course and conduct research in environmental sciences, policy, business and law. The Environmental Sciences Department is a multi-disciplinary program frequently cited as a model department in national reviews, in which faculty conduct research into the hydrological, geochemical, and ecological phenomena of surface and ground water. The department manages several long-term interdisciplinary field projects, including the National Sciences Foundation-funded Long-Term Ecological Research station at the Virginia Coastal Reserve. Other major research initiatives range from non-point source pollution in Virginia watersheds to the impact of forest growth on the global climate. Over the past five years, Environmental Sciences faculty have received over $2 million in funding from EPA, principally to support scientific research.

photoIn 1997, the School of Engineering and Applied Science identified environmental engineering and management as a major thrust area. The Departments of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Systems Engineering include faculty with expertise in environmentally-responsible chemical manufacturing, in computationally intensive ground water remediation modeling, in active and passive remediation design, and in risk analysis. In the School of Architecture, faculty research typically links architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and architectural history, and the curriculum includes several courses on sustainable design. The Institute for Environmental Negotiation has pioneered the development of alternative processes for resolving differences among "stakeholders" in a wide range of cases and jurisdictions.

The Center's initial focus will concern several main project areas: Integration of science, engineering and economics; site visualization and design; managing liability; community processes; and tool development and information dissemination. "Although each of these areas is a separate project," Professor Cannon explains, "linkages between them will help achieve the Center's overall objective to develop a fully integrated framework that will facilitate bringing contaminated sites back into productive, healthy use in local and regional communities."

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Last Modified: Friday, 13-Feb-2004 10:39:13 EST
Copyright 2004 by the University of Virginia Center of Expertise for Superfund Site Recycling