Saturday, June 23, 2007

Phytoremediation—Using Plants to Clean up Polluted Soil

(Conservation Currents, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, Feb 2004)

Polluted soil poses a severe problem for both ecosystem health and land development. Because soil lies at the confluence of many natural systems, soil pollution can be spread to other parts of the natural environment. Groundwater, for instance, percolates through the soil and can carry the soil pollutants into streams, rivers, wells and drinking water. Erosion can create the same problem. Plants growing on polluted soil may contain harmful levels of pollutants themselves, and this can be passed on to the animals and people that eat them. Dust blown from polluted soil can be inhaled directly by passersby. Additionally, in an urban setting such as Fairfax County, polluted soil makes valuable open land unusable for parks, recreation or commercial development.

Despite the benefits of cleaning polluted soil, remediation often never takes place because of the cost and effort of the work. Both soil minerals and soil pollutants carry small electric charges that can cause each to bond with each other, thus making polluted soil very hard to clean. Additionally, soil is a dense medium. This causes excavation of polluted soil for off site treatment or disposal to be very expensive because of the time, labor and heavy machinery necessary to do the job. Therefore, cheaper on-site, or in-situ, remediation techniques have been the focus of much attention and research lately. One of the most interesting and promising of these in-situ techniques is phytoremediation.

Phytoremediation is the use of specialized plants to clean up polluted soil. While most plants exposed to high levels of soil toxins will be injured or die, scientists have discovered that certain plants are resistant, and an even smaller...

For more information about phytoremediation

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Journal of Hydro-environment Research

We are pleased to announce that a new journal, the Journal of Hydro-environment Research, will be launched in July 2007. The journal is a collaboration between Elsevier, the International Association of Hydraulic Engineering (IAHR), and the Korea Water Resources Association (KWRA).

Published on a quarterly basis, Journal of Hydro-environment Research aims to provide an international platform for the dissemination of research and engineering applications related to water and hydraulic problems in the Asia-Pacific region.

The journal welcomes papers on all topics of hydraulics, in particular articles on sustainable water management, water-health issues, environmental hydraulics, eco-hydraulics, coastal engineering and integration of hydraulics with hydrology. Inter-disciplinary problems and linkage of theory to field application are particularly encouraged.

The full text of the "Aims and Scope" as well as information on the editorial board can be found on the journal homepage.

You can register to receive updates on this new journal and an alert when the first issue is live on ScienceDirect (Volume 1: Issue 1 will have free online access). At the same time you can enter into a draw to win one year's free print subscription to Journal of Hydro-environment Research.

Please do not hesitate to contact the editors or me should you desire additional information about the journal and Elsevier, or if you have any suggestions or ideas for Journal of Hydro-environment Research.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Christiane Barranguet
Publisher Journal of Hydro-environment Research

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Central Oregon Stormwater Manua


This e-mail is to update you on (1) new ways you can get the final
Central Oregon Stormwater Manual and (2) the third Stakeholder Workshop
and Manual Training.

How to get the Manual
The full final Manual is now available for download from the COIC
website: A Revision Suggestion Form has
also been placed on the webpage so that users and readers can start to
suggest revisions for the next round of updates (currently scheduled for
Spring 2008).

If you would like to purchase a hardcopy of the Manual, COIC is now
accepting orders. A color hardcopy in a binder will cost $40. Please
contact Kelly Elzner to let her know you would like one and to arrange
payment at: or (541) 548-9544. Hardcopies will be
available by June 29, the day of the third Stakeholder Workshop. If you
would like to order a hardcopy but will not be attending the Workshop
then alternate arrangements can be made for pick-up.

Third Stakeholder Workshop and Manual Training
The third workshop and training is scheduled for June 29, 2007. We
have already received 46 pre-registrations and have started to put later
registrants on a wait list for the workshop. As a result, we've been
working on additional space and it is very likely that anyone placed on
the wait list will indeed be able to attend the workshop. So if you
want to attend don't let the wait list deter you and please contact
Kelly Elzner to register soon: or (541) 548-9544.
Those on the wait list will be notified definitively on Friday June 22
whether there is space for them to attend or not.

For more information about the workshop please visit

Thanks for your interest in the Central Oregon Stormwater Manual and
please feel free to contact me about the Manual, workshop, or other
aspects of the project.

Phil Chang

Phil Chang
Program Administrator
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council
2363 SW Glacier Place
Redmond, OR 97756
(541) 548-9534

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

It's time for the public to speak, and for your concerns to be heard! On Wednesday, October 25th, at 7 pm in the Old Town Hall, the public hearing on the gravel pit proposal will reopen and now it's your turn. As chair and vice chair of the Mount Carmel Environmental Trust*, my wife and I would like to thank you for your interest in this issue, and for the hard work many of you have put into fighting the pits. From signing petitions to putting up signs (I think I counted 25 on Monday) to attending planning meetings to gathering information for your comments at the hearing, you have helped to strengthen the case against the pits.

It's important to stress how this mining operation would affect us all. Some of you may live near the site, as we do. Many of us make frequent use of the Farmington Canal trail (my wife is out there twice a day). Certainly we all drive on Whitney Avenue regularly! And, almost all of us use the public water supply. We should not have to worry about noise and dust in our backyards, dangerous trucks crowding our streets, possible contamination of our water, and definite destruction of our town's natural resources and wetland habitat. It's time to put a stop to this proposed operation once and for all!

Again, thank you for all your work so far. We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday evening and joining our voices in protest.

Andy Brand

* The Mount Carmel Environmental Trust was recently formed to protect and preserve the quality of life in the Mt. Carmel section of Hamden, CT