Alternative Analytical Approach for EPA LEAF Method 1315 for MGP ISS Evaluation


Alternative Analytical Approach for EPA LEAF Method 1315 for MGP ISS Evaluation

Larry Matko (TestAmerica Laboratories, Inc.)
Matt Vanderkooy and Jennifer Arblaster (Geosyntec Consultants, Inc.)



Larry Matko

TestAmerica Laboratories, Inc.

Speaker Bio:

Larry Matko has more than 28 years of experience in the environmental testing industry, and is currently the Technical Director at TestAmerica in Pittsburgh, PA.

Mr. Matko’s technical knowledge and analytical expertise allowed him to implement the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) methods within TestAmerica. Methods 1313, 1314, 1315, and 1316 are new methods in SW-846 by the U.S. EPA.

Mr. Matko earned his BS degree in Chemical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University.


Contaminated sediment sites can be impacted by a wide range of organic and inorganic constituents. A major source of contamination at these sites can include the semivolatile compounds, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Report 3002004081 In-Situ Solidification (ISS) of Contaminated Sediments: A Technology Demonstration Project manufactured gas plant evaluated ISS as an alternative to dredging or capping and documented. In this evaluation, U.S. EPA’s SW 846 Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) Method 1315 was used to predict the leaching behavior of the solidified material. SW846 Method 1315 is a non- destructive leach test to measures the mass transfer rates of constituents in monolithic or compacted granular materials using a semi-dynamic tank leaching procedure. The challenged associated in using LEAF Method 1315 is that it specifically state “This method is not applicable to characterize the release of volatile or semi-volatile organic analytes.” In EPRI’s Report 1015553 Leaching Assessment Methods for the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of In Situ Stabilization of Soil Material at Manufactured Gas Pl ant Sites, the project team was concerned with low aqueous solubility and potential vaporization of PAHs, experimental data was published using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as a passive sampling medium. As an alternative to PDMS, TestAmerica Pittsburgh has developed the use polyethylene (PE) as a passive sampler to address this issue. The PE is placed inside a jar followed by the addition of water and the monolith sample inside of the PE. The system is sealed and left undisturbed for the prescribed time sets as defined by EPA LEAF Method 1315. Performance Reference Compounds (PRCs) were used to determine the extraction efficiency and equilibrium of the PE. The PRCs consisted of 9 discreet Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) congeners. Three contaminated monoliths were setup using the PE bag approach and following Method 1315 collection times. Three contaminated monoliths were setup without the PE for comparison purposes. All extraction and analytical data was performed using current SW846 methodologies. This presentation will provide the results of all these studied to review the advantages of using PE as a passive sampler to address the issues of PAHs for LEAF Method 1315.

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