Bacteria the new killer for PCBs?   Leave a comment

The soil and groundwater surrounding the Kaiser Trentwood plant is polluted with hydrocarbons. PCBs that were added to hydraulic oils as flame retardants are also present in the groundwater. Based on extensive analysis, including tracking the chemical “fingerprints” of PCBs on the site, company officials believe that contaminants aren’t leaving the Trentwood property. Ecology Department officials are also claiming they need assurance that low levels of PCBs aren’t migrating into the river. The company’s cleanup plans call for removing up to 20 feet of soil in polluted areas. Areas in which the pollution is deeper, the ground would be capped to prevent water from filtering through the site and mobilizing contaminants. Something strange that is occurring though is bacteria in the soil appears to be breaking down PCBs. It is almost like Mother nature is saying ‘We’ll take it from here…but thanks for your help!”.

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