in situ bioremediation: when does it work?
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When does it work?
Committee on In Situ Bioremediation
Water Science and Technology Board
Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems
National Research Council
NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESSWachmo+nn OT
TNational Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the GoverningBoard of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils
of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and theInstitute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report werechosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to
procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of theNational Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Insti-tute of Medicine.
Support for this project was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyunder Agreement No. CR 820730-01-0, the National Science Foundation under Agree-ment No. BCS-9213271, the Electric Power Research Institute under Agreement No.
RP2879-26, the Gas Research Institute, the American Petroleum Institute, Chevron USA,Inc., and the Mobil Oil Corporation.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
In situ bioremediation / Water Science and Technology Board,Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National ResearchCouncil.
Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 0-309-04896-61. In situ bioremediation Evaluation. I. National Research
Council (U.S.). Water Science and Technology Board.TD192.5.I53 1993 93-5531
628.5'2 dc20 CIP
Copyright 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Cover art by Y. David Chung. Title design by Rumen Buzatov. Chung and Buzatovare graduates of the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. Chung has exhibited
widely throughout the country, including at the Whitney Museum in New York, theWashington Project for the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Williams College Mu-seum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
In brilliant colors, the cover art shows the amazing variety of unusual shapesfound in bacterial life forms.
Printed in the United States of America
COMMITTEE ON IN SITU BIOREMEDIATIONBRUCE E. RITTMANN, Chair, Northwestern University, Evanston,
LISA ALVAREZ-COHEN, University of California, BerkeleyPHILIP B. BEDIENT, Rice University, Houston, TexasRICHARD A. BROWN, Groundwater Technology, Inc., Trenton,
New JerseyFRANCIS H. CHAPELLE, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia, South
PETER K. KITANIDIS, Stanford University, Stanford, CaliforniaEUGENE L. MADSEN, Cornell University, Ithaca, New YorkWILLIAM R. MAHAFFEY, ECOVA Corporation, Redmond,
WashingtonROBERT D. NORRIS, Eckenfelder, Inc., Nashville, TennesseeJOSEPH P. SALANITRO, Shell Development Company, Houston,
JOHN M. SHAUVER, Michigan Department of Natural Resources,Lansing, Michigan
JAMES M. TIEDJE, Michigan State University, East Lansing,Michigan
JOHN T. WILSON, Robert S. Kerr Environmental ResearchLaboratory, Ada, Oklahoma
RALPH S. WOLFE, University of Illinois, Urbana
JACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Study DirectorGREGORY K. NYCE, Senior Project AssistantGREICY AMJADIVALA, Project AssistantWYETHA TURNEY, Word ProcessorKENNETH M. REESE, Editorial ConsultantBARBARA A. BODLING, Editorial Consultant
Hi UnivorQitv I i
WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD
DANIEL A. OKUN, Chair, University of North Carolina, Chapel HillA. DAN TARLOCK, Vice Chair, 111 Chicago-Kent College of Law,
J- DAN ALLEN, Chevron USA, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana'KENNETH D. FREDERICK, Resources for the Future, Washington,
DAVID L. FREYBERG, Stanford University, Stanford, CaliforniaWILFORD R. GARDNER, University of California, BerkeleyDUANE L. GEORGESON, Metropolitan Water District of Southern
California, Los AngelesLYNN R. GOLDMAN, California Department of Health Services,
EmeryvilleWILLIAM L. GRAF, Arizona State University, TempeTHOMAS M. HELLMAN, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New
York, New YorkROBERT J. HUGGETT, College of William and Mary, Gloucester
Point, VirginiaCHARLES C. JOHNSON, Consultant, Bethesda, MarylandJUDY L. MEYER, University of Georgia, AthensSTAVROS S. PAPADOPULOS, S. S. Papadopulos & Associates, Inc.,
Bethesda, MarylandKENNETH W. POTTER, University of Wisconsin-MadisonSS?2 J SJJ?^^' Northwestem University, Evanston, IllinoisPHILIP C. SINGER, University of North Carolina, Chapel HillJOY B. ZEDLER, San Diego State University, San Diego, California
STEPHEN D. PARKER, DirectorSARAH CONNICK, Senior Staff OfficerSHEILA D. DAVID, Senior Staff OfficerCHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff OfficerGARY D. KRAUSS, Staff OfficerJACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Staff Officer^r^/SY ' Adm^^ative AssociateANITA A. HALL, Administrative AssistantG^?OW t SS' Senior pr Ject AssistantGREGORY K. NYCE, Senior Project Assistant
COMMISSION ON ENGINEERING ANDTECHNICAL SYSTEMS
ALBERT R. C. WESTWOOD, Chair, Martin Marietta Corporation,Bethesda, Maryland
NANCY CONNERY, Woolwich, MaineRICHARD A. CONWAY, Union Carbide Corporation, South
Charleston, West VirginiaGERARD W. ELVERUM, JR., TRW Space & Technology Group,
E. R. (VALD) HEIBERG III, J. A. Jones Construction ServicesCompany, Charlotte, North Carolina
WILLIAM G. HOWARD, JR., Scottsdale, ArizonaJOHN MCCARTHY, Stanford University, Stanford, CaliforniaALTON D. SLAY, Slay Enterprises, Inc., Warrenton, VirginiaJAMES J. SOLBERG, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IndianaCHARLES F. TIFFANY, Boeing Military Airplane Company, Yuma,
Arizona (Retired)JOHN A. TILLINGHAST, TILTEC, Portsmouth, New HampshirePAUL TORGERSEN, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University, BlacksburgGEORGE L. TURIN, Teknekron Corporation, Menlo Park, CaliforniaJOHN B. WACHTMAN, JR., Rutgers University, Piscataway, New
JerseyBRIAN J. WATT, Joy Technologies, Inc., Houston, TexasWILLIAM C. WEBSTER, University of California, BerkeleyROBERT V. WHITMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
ARCHIE L. WOOD, Executive DirectorMARLENE BEAUDIN, Associate Executive DirectorMARY FRANCES LEE, Director of OperationsROBERT KATT, Associate Director for Quality ManagementLYNN KASPER, Assistant EditorTEREE DITTMAR, Administrative AssistantSYLVIA GILBERT, Administrative Assistant
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emy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal governmenton scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is presidentof the National Academy of Sciences.
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Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community ofscience and technology with the Academy's purposes of furtheringknowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in ac-cordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Councilhas become the principal operating agency of both the National Academyof Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providingservices to the government, the public, and the scientific and engi-neering communities. The Council is administered jointly by bothAcademies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts andDr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, ofthe National Research Council.
Bioremediation is a technology that is gaining momentum in technical,policy, and popular circles. It also is a technology associated with
mystery, controversy, and "snake oil salesmen." When a representa-tive of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggested in thefall of 1991 that the Water Science and Technology Board conduct a
study on bioremediation, it converged with the board's internal ini-tiative to "do something" in the area. Several high-quality work-
shops and conference