Geo-Congress '98

An Analysis of the Success of RBCA in Tennessee UST Site Management


The University of Tennessee's (UT) Waste Management Research and Education Institute (WMREI) has been tracking the progress of Tennessee underground storage tank (UST) site management for the past five years. Initially, this research attempted to correlate the cost of site management with selected site characteristics, such as plume size and contaminant concentration. In 1995, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) implemented a new ranking system for sites to assign a level of risk and associated cleanup requirements. This ranking system, which scores sites based on 15 ranking score parameters, is one way in which TDEC is utilizing Risk Based Corrective Action (RBCA). As part of this phase of work, UT researchers are following the reported costs of managing a group of341 sites. Of this group, for which we have collected various site parameters, 114 are currently undergoing monitored natural attenuation (MNA), and 50 are currently undergoing active corrective action. Previously, we had looked at primary drivers behind the ranking score, which determines whether a site is allowed to undergo MNA. In this study, we show the impact of one of these parameters, the coefficient of permeability, has on determining whether a site is allowed to undergo monitored natural attenuation as a cleanup method. Also, we assess RBCA's contribution to cost reduction of UST site management.