Gene Expression Factor (GEF) Cleanup of Brownfields Reduces Cost and Time - Biotech Restorations (1)
What is Gene Expression Factor (GEF) for Soil and Brownfield CleanupPart 1 (Part 2)
Biotech has been touted as the coming solution for many ills. But genetic engineering of food crops has caused a lot of concern by many people...and left a lingering pall of doubt about ANY biochemistry solution. That has been my response as well -- especially as a communications and marketing person rather than a technical expert. Until today.
There is a critical distinction to be made between Gene Expression Factors and genetic engineering or genetic manipulation.
Where genetic engineering and manipulation endeavor to attach a capability not inherent to the microorganism, Gene Expression Factors simply restore to the microorganism the natural and inherent reductive capabilities that have been inhibited or repressed in the presence of man-made pollutants.
Chris Young sent documentation from California EPA's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and I've excerpted parts of this documentation below regarding one project, the cleanup of the 14-acre Borello Property in Morgan Hill, CA. Following the DTSC information is a lengthy explanation of the research behind "Gene Expression Factors". I've also published BioTech Restorations' entire research report because it explains this new approach so well.
The Morgan Hill Project, Oct, 2005(News Release Quote from California EPA/Department of Toxic Substances Control, October 31, 2005)
DTSC announced the completion and certification of the hazardous substances cleanup project at the 14-acre Borello Property that used a bioremediation technology enabling cleanup to residential standards within two months at a relatively low cost.
The natural bioremediation process is considered a safe, low impact and effective method of removing pollutants from the environment. The site received an "unrestricted use" certification, the Department's most rigorous and health-protective standard.
"The success of this cleanup is encouraging," said Acting DTSC Director Leonard Robinson. "Using the best available science to rturn properties to productive use is a priority for Governor Schwarzenegger's administration. This property located along Peet Road, was a vacant lot and now can be developed into a residential subdivision," Robinson added.
The Borello Property was historiacally used as an apricot orchard from the early 1900s through the mid 1990s until it was replaced with a cherry orchard that operated until 2004. Environmental investigations at the site found elevated concentrations of the pesticides toxaphene and dieldrin within the initial 1 1/2 feet of soil beneath the entire property.
DTSC and the borello property owner entered into a voluntary cleanup agreement to remediate the site in late September 2004. Cleanup activities, which occurred atthe site from June 2005 to August 2005, included a bioremediation process that helped breakdown harmful chemicals in the pesticides and changed them into non-toxic substances (salt, carbon dioxide and water). In this case, the entire site was bioremediated at depths of 1 1/2 feet.
The Borello Property is now a vacant lot, which was recently zoned for rsidential use. The property owner plans to develop it into a residential subdivision.
Additional information was found in a DTSC Public Involvement Factsheet, May 2005. Here are some excerpts:
The Borello Property Proposed Remediation Plan Is Available For ReviewThe fact sheet provides: history and background of the site; findings of the investigation; options for remediation the site (Draft RAW) proposed activities for remediation; California Environmental Quality Act - Notice of Exemption; and next steps.
Preferred cleanup methodThree alternatives were evaluated for the Borello Property to clean up the pesticides.
DTSC’s RecommendationDTSC believes that the bio-remediation with GEF alternative is the preferred cleanup method. Through the addition of additives and fertilizers, the population of soil bacteria will grow and consume the residual pesticides as a source of food. When the remediation of the soil is complete, the bacterial populations will return back to normal levels.
At no time during the process, do the bacteria represent a potential risk to the environment, people or animals that may cross, travel by or live near the site. As a natural biological process, bioremediation is considered a safe, low impact and effective method of removing pollutants from the environment.
Proposed activitiesAt the Borello Property, if the Bio-remediation process is selected, the following are the proposed activities.
Information RepositoriesThe Draft RAW and related documents can be reviewed at:
Morgan Hill Library, Morgan Hill, CA (408)779-3196
DTSC, Berkeley, CA; File room, (510)540-3800 (By appointment only)
DTSC Website: For information abotu DTSC, visit www.dtsc.ca.gov
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