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DECEMBER 1989

. 3rd ·National Conference on HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT - COMMUNITY ISSUES - AMERICAN AND PACIFIC SITUATION - EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES - MERCURY tN STREAMS •

Registered by Australia Post - Publication No VBP 1394.


water

Official Journal

ISSN 0310-0367

Vol. 16, No. 5, December, 1989. After the changeover during 1988 from four to six issues a year, the February 1989 issue was wrongly labelled Vol 15 No 6 (instead of Vol 16 No 1). Thus the December issue, No 5, completes Vol 16. Volume 17 will contain six issues.

AUSTRALIAN WATER AND WASTEWATER ASSOC IATION

CONTENTS

My Point of View Association News ..... . . . . . .. . ........ . . IAWPRC News .......... . .. . ........... . Industry News ........ .. . . . ........ .... . Third National Conference on the management of hazardous waste Conference Report Bob Swinton . . .

. .. .. .......... .

3 4 9 10

Total Catchment Management in NSW ..... . Calendar. ...... . . .. ...... . . . ........ . 23rd IAHR Congress Report . . ............. . Book Reviews .. ..... ..... . . Plant, Products and Equipment

32 33

34 34 35

12

Emerging Technologies for Hazardous Waste Management S. Moore .............. . . .. ...... .

18

Mercury in the Freshwater Environment A Legacy of Gold Mining in Victoria D. G. Tiller

.........

. ........... .

20

OUR COVER

Emerging Technologies for Contaminated Site Clean-up R. Wolfe and P R. Nadebaum .. .... . .... .

A heritage of our past! Hazwaste disposal of 100, years ago pollutes our streams. We shake our heads ruefully but consider.: what will our great grandchildren think of us?

24

The Generation and Control of Hazardous Waste in the Pacific Basin R. R. Ciril lo . . . .

. . . .......... . ...... .

28 Photo: courtesy of EPA

FEDERAL SECRETARIAT PO. Box 460. Chatswood NSW 2057 Facsimile (02) 410 9652 Telephone (02) 413 1288 Office Manager - Margaret Bates

BRANCH SECRETARIES Canberra . A.C.T. M . Sharpin, G.H. & D., PO. Box 780. Canberra 2601 (062) 498 522

FEDERAL PRESIDENT Timothy Smyth , GHD Group Director, Telephone (02) 690 7070

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Peter Hughes, Telephone (02) 410 9654

FEDERAL SECRETARY Greg Cawston, Telephone (042) 29 0236

New South Wales Mr Davi d Hope, PO. Box 460, Chatswood 2057 (02) 269 5212

Western Australia A. Gale, Binnie & Part P/L. PO. Box 709. Garden Office Park. Herdsman . 6017 (09) 242 4677

Victoria J. Park, Water Training Centre, PO. Box 409, Werribee. 3030. (03) 741 5844 Queensland D. Mackay, P.O. Box 412 , West End 4101 . (07) 840_4844

EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE E. A. Swinton, 4 Pleasant View Crea. , Glen Waverley 3150 Office (03) 560 4752 Home (03) 560 9306 Fax Ci- 543 6613 (Advise per phone)

ADVERTISING Ann Sykes,

Applta, Tasmania

FEDERAL TREASURER Joh n Molloy Telephone (03) 615 5991

South Australia R. Townsend , State Water Laboratories, E. & W.S. Private Mail Bag , Salisbury, 5108. (08) 259 0244

A. B. Denne, PO. Box 78A, Hobart 7001 (002) 30 5562 Northern Terr itory D. Hardiment, GPO Box 250 Darwin,

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PRODUCTION EDITOR J . Grainger, Applta, 191 Royal Parade, Parkville 3052 (03) 347 2377 Fax (03) 348 1206

WATER December, 1989


3rd National Conference on the Management of Hazardous Waste

KEY COMMUNITY ISSUES IN HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT A Report by Bob Swinton

19-21 November, Melbourne. The first National Conference was organised by the Melbourne Board of Works in 1985. AWWA then took up the challenge to mount subsequent biennial conferences. As Timothy Smyth, our President, has said, AWWA has a specific interest in the prevention of pollution of surface and groundwater, but our interest extends much further into environmental and community matters. The aim of this Conference was to bring together waste producers, technologists, environmentalists and the general public so that they can better appreciate each others' perceptions and strengths, and so work together towards solutions to the problems facing us all.

The Conference addressed the theme of Key Community Issues, rather than just technological aspects. This was regarded as so significant that no less than three Ministers from the Commonwealth, NSW and Victoria, took time to address the conference. There were 45 other speakers, including a number from overseas, 170 registrants, plus 20 "Sunday only" registrants. To enable participation by interested members of the public, the first sessions were run on a Sunday, as a forum style meeting, followed by workshops, where small groups of 20 or so with varied backgrounds were able to voice their own opinions and experience, and so generate a sort of concensus.

THE FORUM Dr Peter Nadebaum, Chairman of the Conference, welcomed delegates and drew attention to the rapid development of the subject since the concerns of six years ago, when the first of these conferences was held. As he stated, the bush-fires have now been extinguished, and we must now mount logical attacks on the problems. What we have to do now is to evolve a balance between community concerns, community ability to pay, the technology available and under develapment, and the long term effects of hazardous waste. He called on The Hon. Peter Milton, MHR for Latrobe, and Chairman of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment, to open the Forum. Peter Milton:

The Minister remarked that it was only seven years ago that the preceding Committee on Environment and Conservation issued its report on hazardous wastes. It has proved to be a far-sighted report, and many of its recommendations have been implemented, though there is still much to be done. The report called for Regulations, but some States do not yet have effective regulations. It called for Treatment Plants, and some of these are yet to be approved . It called for Waste Minimisation, and this policy has only just started, led by the State

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The Hon Peter Milton opening the Forum -

12 WATER December, 1989

of Victoria. Moreover, in these seven years, there has been a gradual shift in the emphasis from regulation and treatment and disposal, towards minimisation, clean technology and efficient resource utilisation, with the key words now being ''sustainable development" Concern has also shifted to chemical residues, to contaminated sites, and now to contaminated land ... and sea. The Commonwealth Government itself has an international role. It was a leading advocate in the formulation of the Basel Convention earlier this year, which aims to control, if not ban, the transport of hazardous wastes between nations. However, before Australia can ratify the Convention, it is necessary to have the domestic regulations completely in place. Consultation has taken place with all the States in this respect and the Commonwealth parliament has passed the relevant Hazardous Wastes Bill. Future legislation will also encompass an Industrial Chemicals Assessment Bill. All new chemicals whether to be manufactured or imported must first be assessed for environmental safety, (including safe means for ultimate disposal), as well as for public and occupational health effects. One outcome of these regulations is that it will be essential to have suitable high temperature incinerators working in Australia to cope with wastes which can no longer be exported, and the decision by The Joint Taskforce to install such a facility in NSW, to be shared by NSW and Victoria is to be applauded. Mr Milton remarked that it was regrettable that some conservationists oppose such an incinerator. Whatever the policies of the future, the problems of the existing hazardous wastes are with us now, and for some time to come, and adequate and safe means to destroy them are essential. The Minister noted that the Conference was addressing a number of the points

he had mentioned, and was most pleased to open the Forum. This opening was followed by a keynote speaker, Dr Joel S Hirschorn, a Senior Associate at the US Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, who presented an overview of the situation in USA for the control of hazardous wastes. Dr Joel Hirschom: An Overview of the US Situation

He stated that the USA was the' largest generator of hazardous waste in the world. This has been estimated as over 500 million tonnes per year, or 2 tonnes per capita. The US definition is much broader than for other countries, but on the other hand, the legal definition used in the State of California would bring in double this amount for the whole of the nation. Irrespective of the figures, the US public has categorically stated that it is too much, even though they spend for control a larger percentage of the national income than any other country. The present system of control stresses legal pressures, with a series of environment laws which are embodied into 10 000 pages of fine print, expanding at the rate of more than another 1000 pages per year, at an enormous cost. Nevertheless, the public still sees the system as ineffective, with massive complicated laws, combined with an enforcement system which is slow and weak. In the USA, the EPA is a "reactive" body, not a "proactive" one. Unfortunately, there now seems to be a lack of confidence in the EPA by the public. There is a lack of trust in both Government and technology, so that anxiety, fear, and mistrust add on to any perceived hazards. The public perceive high risks, but many of the scientists view the public with disdain because the public have blown the hazard out of all proportion. Unfortunately for the scientists, it is "perceived risk" which matters. The inference is that no matter what advances there may be in technology or epidemiology, it is the Government system which must be made to work better if the public is to regain confidence.

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Joel S. Hirschorn the American experience -


In more recent times, since the public sees waste management as failing, it has turned to another catch-cry. Pollution Prevention or Waste Minimisation. This is now the preferred solution, and has taken on across Europe as well. Yet, the USEPA, out of an annual budget of $4 billion, at present spends only $5-10 million on Pollution Prevention. ie 0.1 OJo. The public reaction nowadays in USA is that there is universal opposition to the building of any new hazardous waste treatment facility, even to the extension of existing ones. They now all go for 'Pollution Prevention'. The positive side to this is that the public are FOR something, not just AGAINST. Cleanup of contaminated sites is funded through the Superfund which at present is US$10 billion, to which should be added a similar amount being spent by industry. However, it has been estimated that the total cost of clean-up is likely to be as high as US$500 billion. Unfortunately, most of the work being done at present is inefficient, ie it is wasting precious money. Seventy-five per cent of all clean-up technology does not work, or is not permanent...leading to a need to clean-up the cleaned-up site again. There is also a vital need to allot proper priorities, based on real risks. There are too many marginal sites, with hazards analysis based on emotion, and too many appearing each week, for the money to be wasted. The overall message Joel gave to Australia was, don't just copy the Americans, learn from their mistakes.

Teo Warns: The European Situation Teo works for Friends of the Earth, Holland, specialising in toxic, domestic and other waste issues . He told the Forum that management of toxic waste had been on the front pages of newspapers in Europe for at least ten years. It arose from the discovery throughout NE Europe of what has now amounted to some 50 000 cases of soil pollution caused by legal and illegal dumping and old factories. However, even in 1988, thousands of drums with toxic waste were dumped illegally in a former domestic landfill in Holland. There is no such thing yet as a European policy on waste management. Each country has its own very different regulations, definitions and standards. Each country differs also in the amounts of waste and toxic waste produced per standard ton of industrial production. In this respect, Italy holds the world record, with 170 kg per tonne. Britain comes next with 160, then USA with 140, France with 125, Germany with 90, Netherlands with 60, then down to Sweden with 30, and Switzerland (despite its chemical indsutry) with 15. Most countries still rely on private companies to deal with wastes, even toxic wastes, and there is a movement towards multi-national private monopolies. The danger that profit will impede long-term safety is obvious. Thankfully, the Dutch Government is moving away from this policy. A survey of the major toxic wastes in the Netherlands is summarised in Table 1. In the sourse of this survey it was discovered that about lOOJo of some toxic materials "disappeared", mostly from small com-

TABLE 1. Major types~f toxic waste in Holland Per year tonnes x 1000

Cargo residues jarosite (from zinc smelter) contaminated soil bilge oil waste oil (garages) organic solvents oil sludges paints, inks, resins

Teo Warns F.O.E. (the Netherlands)

panies and garages. Considerable amounts of toxic materials are also thrown out by householders either into the garbage, or down the sewers. Attempts to collect such materials, using a whole barrage of techniques, has, at best, resulted in a mere 500Jo collection rate. More significantly, the Dutch Government does not yet have effective control over the host of companies who can engage in the collection and transport of industrial wastes. Because of the differences in regulations, enormous amounts of waste are being transported between countries: Holland has the world record, exporting some 180 000 tonnes each year to Britain, France, Germany and Belgium. The reason is that there is no decent site for a secure landfill in this densely populated and intensively farmed country. Not only that, the water table is so high, and is used so extensively, that contamination is greatly to be feared. The present situation in the Netherlands is that of these toxic wastes, 370Jo is incinerated (including 140Jo which is incinerated in UK and Germany) a further 50Jo is incinerated at sea, 250Jo is dumped, mostly in other countries, and 250Jo is disposed of by other means, again with half of this being performed in other countries. Many Dutch people are against such export of wastes. They consider that they have no right to dump poison in someone else's backyard, even if they do pay for it generously. Consequently, FOE was only one of the organisations responsible for the turmoil over the plans to export millions of tons of toxic waste to poor countries in Africa, or even Brazil. The European environmental movement considers that every country should solve its own problems, with rare exceptions where international co-operation is necessary to operate high quality treatment facilities. The Dutch Government has now agreed to this policy. Also, whereas incineration at sea will be banned in the North Sea by 1994, the Netherlands will stop this practice in 1990. Consequently, the public has also agreed that in the medium term more incinerators and secure landfill sites must be erected within their borders. The Rotterdam toxic waste incinerator is being doubled, without massive protests. A huge secure storage bunker is being built near Rotterdam. It is concrete, mainly above ground , and when full will be sealed over, then covered with soil to form a large mound. It will hold 210 000 m' of waste, enough for six years. The prospect of building, say, 20 more of these in the next century is not appealing,

400 220

160 80 60 60 57 32

particularly since experts agree that there is no guarantee that they will not eventually leak into the groundwater. Europe has problems. The long-term solutions must lie notin disposal, except at the very end of the chain, but in Pollution Prevention, integrated into the manufacturing processes. FOE is campaigning for the phase-out of chlorine-based products. There are plenty of alternatives, even for PVC. As a result of a public campaign, all major producers of foodstuffs and the supermarket chains have announced that they will stop using PVC packaging in 1990. Another example relates to mercury and cadmium batteries. If they are to continue, they must be sold on an exchange or deposit basis to ensure that the toxic metals can be recycled. In the longer term the chemical industry must be restructured towards a "green" industry. There is hope for the future, but only if the community insists. Peter Brotherton: Australian Conservation Foundation The third keynote speaker was Dr Peter Brotherton, Convenor of the Resources, Industry and Employment Committee of the Australian Conservation Foundation. His title: "Crawling Back up the pipe. ..towards Sustainable Development". In his typically ironic manher, he made a fervent plea, not just for sustainable development, but for real involvement of the community in the issues and decisions. At the outset, he stated that he had just attended an International Hazardous Waste Conference in Pittsburgh. There were 600 delegates, but three days of searching failed to reveal one other representative of an environmental or other community based group. He regard: ed that as a great shame, because the organisers clearly did not appreciate that the resolution of so many complex issues requires community participation, not just "education" through an external and almost certainly distrusted agent. Consequently, he applauded the efforts of the organisers of this Australian conference to structure a program of community

Peter Brotherton of ACF

WATER December, 1989

13


interest and to generate participation from the "public". Waste policies in the future will airri to the top of the hierarchy, away from the "end-of-pipe". There will be tighter regulations, not de-regulation; let us try to make them efficient. Recycling levels must increase (if newspapers in Victoria used 30% of recycled newsprint, which is common overseas, then 80% of newsprint could be recycled, since 50% already goes into cardboard). There will be greater reliance online and on on-site treatment, although there will always be a need for centralised facilities to handle wastes from small factories. But at the end of it all, there must be community right to know, and community involvement. He argued that community opposition to even well-founded technical proposals grows out of a distrust of the information provided by indtfl;try '!Ind government. Reasonable people know that tliey cannot be totally evil, but an extraordinary amount of work needs to be done; slowly, openly and creatively to get back a measure of public trust. Unfortunately, ham-fistedness is still abundant. One of the tragedies of this is that communities often act unwittingly against their best interest. The current case in point is the protest in Western Melbourne against the replacement of eight local hospital incinerators by a high-tech incinerator. Apart from an unreasoning fear that this somehow can be more dangerous than its old-fashioned precursors, the crux is the political fear that the Western Suburbs site will be used to dispose of all the medical wastes of the State. This is not the case, but so far, the public will not believe the Government. They have not been Involved. True progress towards a sustainable economy.. .and ecology... can only result from a combination of technology with social and political will. The final speaker in the Forum came from the chemical industry. lrevor Swee,1ey, Manager for Safety and the Environment for ICI Australia Operations Pty Ltd spoke on the Waste Management guidelines developed by ICI for implementation by the managers of its various manufacturing operations throughout the world. The company recognises that there is concern in the community that some wastes, particularly from the chemical industry, are a threat to public health and the environment. Some concern is the result of misconception, some is well-founded. The Guidelines state that the proper management of wastes is as important as the proper management of products, and responsibil-

Trevor Sweeney outlines the case for the chemical industry 14

WATER December, 1989

ities should be established for all steps in the chain. The Site Manager must allocate responsibilities for waste management systems, minimisation, best disposal options, documentation and reporting procedures, etc. It is realised that financial resources will be necessary, and he must ensure that they are provided. In new projects, there must be consultation with environmental specialists at all stages, to resolve waste minimisation and disposal options during the anticipated lifetime, acceptability to the statutory authorities and the community, and finally, site reclamation subsequent to plant shutdown. No expenditure proposal should be granted without the signed approval of the appropriate environmental manager. For waste minimisation mere transfer of waste from one disposal option to another is not reduction, though it may be justified in its own right if it reduces environmental impact. A continuing audit of waste generation, indexed to production, must be maintained. Start-up and shut-down procedures must minimise transient waste. All options of recovery, re-use or treatment must be explored, if necessary involving outside companies. Once waste has been minimised, the best disposal option must be chosen. (Ed: The options listed were as comprehensive as in any paper in the Conference). The duty of care of the manager extends to selection and supervision of any waste contractor employed. Finally, managers must maintain a sustained effort to demonstrate to the community the Company's commitment to sound waste management practices, and must be

prepared to help authorities in technical matters concerned with chemical waste. They also have a wider responsibility to encourage their customers, the users of their products, to adopt good industrial waste management practices. Trevor stressed that ICI were not alone in these commitments, other multi-national companies had drafted similar guidelines, and the ACIC had taken its initiative on responsible care. The 12 000 employees of the chemical industry were all very concerned members of the wider community. However, he noted that of the 41 presenters of papers to this Conference, only three presented a view from industry. Having presented the paper on the Guidelines, which addressed the future, Trevor then spoke on the legacies of the past, in particular the ever growing stockpile of intractable wastes in a very large shed on the Botany site in Sydney. This stands currently at 7700 tonnes of solids, mainly hexachlorbenzene, growing at 400 tonnes per year, resulting from the manufacture of PVC, industrial solvents and CFCs. The solvents and CFC plants will soon be shut down, and this means that the annual increment of 400 tonnes of solids will be replaced by 2500 tonnes of chlorinated liquids. Some of these may be reclaimable, using technologies which are being developed, but a High Temperature Incinerator is essential to destroy the stockpile of toxic waste which has accumulated, along with intractable wastes from other industrial stockpiles and sources. He said that the company strongly favours the policies drafted by the Joint Task Force on Intractable Wastes, and reiterated the firm commitment to responsible waste management.

,.

COMMUNITY ISSUES On the Monday, the formal Conference was opened by the Hon. Tim Moore, Minister for Environment for NSW. His opening speech was very much to the point of Waste Management, and is featured in this issue as "My Point of View" on Page 5. During his address to the Sunday Forum, Teo Warns had drawn attention to the effect of public opinion on the decisions of both the Dutch Government and industry with regard to export of wastes, waste reduction, collection of household chemicals and a boycott of PVC packaging. Further examples he quoted were the adverse rea1.:tion of locals to proposals to dump toxics underground, which had led to dropping of the proposal. The prime objective of the Dutch environmentalist is Waste Prevention. This requires massive changes, even co-operation between competitors, not a normal function of the capitalist system. The environmental movement in the Netherlands is often in an intermediary position between the protests of local communities and the waste treatment organisations. On the one hand, they want to maintain pressure towards the goal of waste prevention, by making disposal difficult. On the other hand, they have campaigned successfully against illegal dumping, incineration and export, so that they realise that some facil-

ities must be operated. There has to be a reasoned balance. He was convinced that there was a broad support for a rational toxic waste policy. For example, the capacity of the Rotterdam toxic waste incinerator is to be doubled, and the first of a number of huge bunkers for storage is to be erected just outside the city. In both these cases, there was only limited public protest. Two things are essential to keep protest to such levels; the first is a high quality environmental impact study which discusses not just the one proposal but extends to a number of realistic alternatives, including the zero alternative. The second is maximum openness towards the public duri:.~ all stages of the planning process.

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The Hon Tim Moore opening the Conference -


Don Owen, of Community Projects Pty Ltd, presented a stimulating paper entitled "A site is the answer, but what was the question?" His thesis was that the present sys·tem of tackling the public with a fully reasoned proposal, complete with watertight EIS, whether it be for a HTI, a freeway or a sewage plant, very rarely works, and every failure only accentuates the problem when the next round commences. Whatever the organisation, it always blames the emotional, irrational public, with dark hints of hidden agenda, vested interests and political grandstanding. Since everyone uses the same excuse, this indicates that it is not the fault of the particular proposal, it js a generic problem. Thirty years ago, proposals that were reasonable were invariably implemented without questioning from the public. Not so today. As the impacts and speed of impacts on the public have increased, the electoral vote has become too slow as a brake, and has been replaced by the demand that the public be taken into account into each decision, so we have EIS, SIS, Public Inquiries, Public Involvement Programs. However, though they undoubtedly make a contribution, they still do not work. The public seems to want more, and our current developmental practises are not meeting this demand. If, however, the Manager could identify the criteria that the public will apply to his proposal BEFORE the event, and structure his proposals to be consistent with those criteria, he would be nearly home. All he would have to do is back the proposal with reasonable managment in the public area. The public's criteria are its Community Standards and Values. Its components are: • the public interest • the private costs imposed on groups or individuals • the processes and conduct employed by the proponent. This seems straightforward, but unfortunately, the public's definitions are nearly always different from the reasoned guesses of the Manager, and it is the public's definitions which count. The only thing to do is to go out and discover what they are... before the proposal becomes too rigidly formulated for their criteria to become..incorporated. It is hard work, and sometimes the criteria are uncomfortable, but the alternative is expensive frustration . A similar theme of Communication with the public was developed by Dr Kathryn Kelly, of Environmental Technology International, Inc of Seattle. She re-titled her paper, "Risk Assessment from the Trenches.'' Taking a proposal for an hightech incinerator as an example, she discussed the way in which the very slight risks are communicated to the public. It is useless to repeat .. . "it is no more risky than smoking two cigarettes a day, or eating peanut butter". Such remarks only seem to generate outrage in the audience. Theoretical research on risk perception and risk communication does not seem to help the engineer or scientist whose job it is to speak effectively before a hostile audience about the estimated risks of technologies which are themselves not well understood by the lay public. 16

WATER December, 1989

In such a situation, getting the correct facts and making a risk assessment is only the beginning of the _process of communication. The goal is to produce a calm, thoughtful and involved public, not an angry mob, nor is the job just to pacify the aggrieved citizens. She summarised seven cardinal rules of communication (from Covello and Allen, USEPA, 1988). Rule 1. Accept and involve the public as a legitimate partner. Involve them early, involve them often, even if you don't have a lot of facts right at the beginning. Support an active committee which includes groups both for and against and find out what they want to know, then find answers. Rule 2. The engineers and experts who will themselves be working in the plant must talk to the committee. The PR staff have the job of coaching the expert in public speaking in this difficult situation. Make sure he is briefed, and run through a list of likely questions before time. If he can't answer a question immediately, take steps to forward the answer. He must deal with objections candidly and honestly, and if objections are based on inaccurate information, explain why it is incorrect. Afterwards, give him constructive criticism, to help him next time. Rule 3. Listen to the audience. Don't talk to a meeting just to explain away a jait accompli; if you want the public's cooperation, go out and get it early. Rule 4. Be honest, frank and open. Credibility and trust are the toughest assets to get, and the easiest to lose. The public is far more interested in trust and competence than in technical assessments of risk. Rule 5. Collaborate with other credible sources. Hire the best qualified expertise available. Get authoritative third party reviews so the public get to hear other expert opinions. Rule 6. Meet the needs of the media. We may want to discuss the pros and cons, they have to meet a five pm deadline, with the message pared down to a few seconds. Whereas we think in terms of safety measures, they want to know dangers. You can help them by briefing summaries, written in their language. Also, see rule 7. Rule 7. Speak clearly and with compassion, with non-technical language. Try it out on your family first. For example, don't talk about a risk of 10-•, talk about a million people, of whom 250 000 will die of cancer. An extra one on top of that is a vanishingly small risk . Finally, it is not for scientists and engineers to tell a community that a facility is "safe", but it is their job to present the facts so that the affected parties can make their own decisions as to whether it is ''acceptable". This is a value question, not a technical question. Another speaker addressed this issue of communication from a very specific but important point of view, that of industry. Geoff Angus, of Shell Australia, stressed the role of industry in the formulation of policies. In this particular Conference, the policies being considered would relate to wastes, but the principles would apply

across the whole ri nge of industryGovernment relationships. Policies based solely on perceptions are dangerous. Knowledge is necessary. The formulation of any policy which relates to industry should utilise the knowledge which is available within industry, to complement the different knowledge of the public service system. (In this respect, exchange of personnel between the two sectors would be a great advantage). Policies are useless without effective implementation. Unless the means of implementation are considered at the time of formulation of polices, and there is interaction, then society will be stuck with a policy which is ineffective, unnecessarily restrictive, too demanding, or even just unworkable. The knowledge within industry should be harnessed to consider the means and effects of such implementation. Companies and industry associations are willing and able to contribute to the development of policies. Industrial waste management is an excellent example of the need to involve industry. Industry not only has a moral obligation for the wastes it will still produce, (however efficient it may become) but it needs to be pro-active to achieve a better end result from the policies which are being developed. An open forum towards the end of the Conference drew out some points in relation to community involvement. Peter Brotherton remarked that the "community" is more than a collection of hotheads and vested interests, as Don Owen had pointed out. There is such a thing as a rational consistent public opinion. However, the public needs holistic answers, not just technical fixes. An example of this is in the Murray-Darling~alinity Control Program. Over the past 25 years various "fixes" have been opposed, but now the public has agreed to a holistic 100 year time frame, and are prepared to support some short-term fixes provided they are consistent with the long-term. (This is also evident in Warns' paper about the Netherlands). The process of consultation is often more important than the issues. Post-decision consultation, ' as is happening in WA, generates opposition. Bill Pradham, who had been granted a Churchill Fellowship in 1988 to investigate the effects of community involvement in Europe, stated that in his experience there he came across nothing as open as the practice in Australia. In his opinion, we were five years ahead. Peter Brotherton had the opinion that in this we may also be ahead of USA. He thought that this may well be due to the relatively small size of our communities and the accessibility of politicians to the general public and specifically interested groups. (Ed: Australia may well have something to be proud of in this respect, but it seems we are not doing everything right, We still cannot achieve harmonious decisions with the public in relation to wastes, whether they be industrial, hazardous, medical, or just plain domestic sewage. NIMBY still rules, aided by the other acronyms, NIME and NIMT. Perhaps some of the lessons learnt from this Conference will improve matters in the future.)


TECHNOWGY The conference continued with an overview of the situation in the Pacific Rim countries, which is published in this issue, followed by representatives from each of the States and Territories of Australia, and one from New Zealand (now a member of the ANZ Environment Council). They summarised the situations in their jurisdictions and the current practices and future plans to improve them. It was noteworthy that although the basic technologies may be comparatively simple, the legislative and punitive systems being adopted to ensure that hazardous waste was actually disposed of safely were widely variant, showing their origins in the different political histories, and political colours, of the States. The wide mix of publicly owned and privately owned organisations for collection, transport and disposal is a case in point. ¡ None the less, as noted earlier in this report, all authorities now consider waste minimisation to be a high priority, and apart from the above papers presented by the representatives, three papers concentrated on minimisation policies and practices. The operating experience of three of the major facilities were compared, Geoff Vincent describing the very rapid construction and commissioning of the VICWASTES plant at Tullamarine, Errol Samuel listing the problems they had experienced during the first year's operation of the MWMA plant at Lidcombe (particularly the problem of scroll wear in the centrifuge) and Craig Hudson describing, amongst others, the simplified yet effective methods of solidification sometimes employed at the South Dandenong facility of Active Environmental Resources and Recycling Pty Ltd, using a Kato to mix the cement direct into a pit. Emerging technologies for disposal or destruction were summarised by Stephen Moore (published in this issue), and Jim Beattie and Robert Kaziro outlined their process for low temperature destruction of organochlorines, using ruthenium compounds as catalysts. The issues involved ¡in cleanup of contaminated sites were discussed in a total of ten papers, the summary of emerging technologies by Richard Wolfe being published in this issue. The question of rehabilitation standards was put into historical focus in a peper by David Tiller on the legacy of last century's disposal practices, resulting in mercury contamination of stream sediments (also published in this issue).

Official Closing The Hon. Tom :Roper. Victorian Minister for Planning and the Environment, in closing the Conference remarked that he had seen significant changes in the last two years. Then, in the public mind 'hazardous waste' seemed to be limited to broken glass on the beaches, but there is now both professional and public awareness of the real problem. The problem is of our own making, it results from our demands for goods and services, so to solve it we must all work together. This would be made easier if the public was truly concerned and well-informed, and this has been realised by the organisers of the conference.. .it is as much a social issue as a technological one. The effects of hazardous wastes are insidious and intangible, and can be beyond the public's immediate control, and they are concerned about accidents in transportation, about effects of long-term exposure. With regard to hazardous wastes, the Victorian philosophy is now to encourage Waste Minimisation and its strategy document has been adopted by the ANZ Environment Council. Many larger companies had progressed already in this respect, but medium and small companies need some considerable incentive to align their thoughts to this end. The Government had therefore set up, not outright grants, but interest-free loans to encourage them. For example, a metal treatment company has been lent $80 000 to assist in setting up a "cleaner" system of operation. With regard to disposal of intractable wastes, high temperature incineration is the best option for a wide range of such materials, and Victoria is fully behind NSW in setting up such a facility. With regard to contaminated sites, Victoria has recently been faced with a shocking example at a housing estate in Ardeer, in Melbourne's western suburbs, which has been found to be heavily contaminated with lead from an old battery reclamation operation. In the cause of good community relations, as soon as this was confirmed, the Government took good care to inform the residents in person BEFORE the news was released to the media.

-

The Hon Tom Roper closing the Conference -

This is a principle which MUST be observed with all matters which affect members of the public. Another matter which comes into the Minister's portfolio is that of providing and maintaining adequate buffer zones around industry. The excellent planning which was put into place years ago in setting aside industrial zones has been gradually subverted by the encroachment of housing developments, and this is still going on. The Ministry is setting up a consultative council involving the Chamber of Manufactures and the Chemical Industry Council as well as the Municipal Association to address this problem. Industry has been asked to help with a register of possible contaminated sites and to recommend suitable clean-up procedures, since most of the necessary knowledge lies in their province. The Minister said that this had been a significant Conference, but it will be effective only if it.Jtighlights to industry and the community that there is much to be done, and that it must be done in a spirit of cooperation rather than coercion. So far as politics is concerned, even though it is going to displease somebody's voters, there must be capacity for noxious industries to operate within adequate buffer zones, and there must be provision for effective disposal of wastes, even the intractable ones, but this must be allied to a long-term philosophy of waste minimisation.

The Proceeding of the Conference are available from AWWA Federal Secretariat, Box 460, Chatswood, NSW 2067, $75 per copy.

The Waste Managers - left to right Ken Holmes (ACT), Peter McCambridge (Tas), Brian Robinson (Vic), Geoff Fulford (WA), Bill Razzell (Qld), John Cook (NSW), Peter Trygala (NT), Max Harvey (SA).

WATER December, 1989

17


EMERGING TECHNOWGIES FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT by

s.

Moore

Principal Engineer Waste Management Maunsell & Partners Pty Ltd

ABSTRACT One of the most critical problems facing the hazardous waste industry in Australia in the short to medium term will be a severe shortage of secure landfill capacity. This will arise from the current limited capacity of existing secure landfills, the difficulties which will be encountered in establishing new facilities, and the probable increasing demand from the need to dispose of contaminated soils. This paper reviews emerging technologies which could assist in avoiding a crisis.

INTRODUCTION There are two predominant groups of waste types: • Inorganic acids, alkalis and plating wastes; often contaminated with heavy metals and usually treated by precipitation of a metal hydroxide sludge. This sludge may undergo further immobilisation treatment with cement-based additives before being disposed to designated 'landfills. • Organic sludges and oily water wastes; with treatment consisting of dewatering and recovery of oil where possible or disposal to designated landfills with or without additional cement-based stabilisation treatment. Disposal by incineration is limited to the · volatile component of the organic waste or pumpable liquids (solvents, oils, oily water). Such treatments limit the environmental availability of contaminats, but the volume of solid residues is often at least doubled. Most of the trends in improved waste disposal practices are leading to increased generation of 'toxic' solids which must go to 'secure' landfill. To this must be added the possibility of huge volumes of contaminated soil dumped as old industrial land is re-zoned. While some contaminated sites will be reclaimed by on-site treatment, some will require off-site treatment and disposal. A single large site could require the secure disposal of up to 50 000 m' , ie about half of the current generation of hazardous waste from a city such as Melbourne. In the face of these demands, there is an increasing shortage of secure landfill capacity in the urban/ industrial areas. Most cities have a mere 5 to 10 years of remaining capacity, and yet the formation of more "toxic waste dumps" is being vigorously opposed by the adjacent communities. Unless this dilemma can be resolved, industry (and the community) will face a crisis within the next decade. In the first' instance, secure landfills must be reserved for such wastes, and not used for nonhazardous materials, which should be diverted . Following that, new strategies must be adapted .

STRATEGIES FOR MINIMISING THE DEMAND FOR SECURE LANDFILL Some of these strategies are discussed in the following sections: adopt waste minimisation encourage technologies that produce lower volumes of residues constrain technologies which produce high-volume residues store hazardous waste residues in secure areas which do not sterilise land indefinitely, or embody them into civil engineering structures. • develop mineralisation technologies which produce relatively inert solids which could be regarded as "clean fill ". • • • •

Waste Minimisation

The general principles of waste minimisation are well documented (Vic EPA, 1988) and consist of the conduct of a waste audit for a plant, followed by planned alterations to management, technology, materials and finally, product substitution. Technology changes may consist of process or equipment changes, application of controls, adjustment of operating par18

WATER December, 1989

ameters, even energy and water conservation, such as we have had to apply in Australia on many occasions. After this, emerging technologies could be applied. For example, the metal fabrication industries could benefit from processes such as the following. In these examples, the basic technology is not new, the innovations lie in the design of a system and service which could be taken up by even a relatively small company. • Membranes for the recovery of raw materials from rinsewaters and wastewaters: A system has been developed for a number of small electroplating plants which can be geographically separate (Water Technologies Inc, 1988). Plating solutions are separated from rinsewaters using a membrane system, with recovered plating solution returned to -the plating bath and rinsewaters returned to the rinse baths or discharged to sewer. "Zero discharge" is the aim of the system. It requires a high level of skilled operation and control, which is achieved economically through remote central control. • Use of ion exchange resin canisters in electroplating plants: A system has been developed by a group of electroplaters (Metro Recovery Systems, 1988). Rinsewaters are passed through ion exchange resins, before the treated rinsewater is returned to the rinse bath or discharged to sewer. Spent canisters are taken to a central treatment plant for regeneration . • Plastic-media blasting for paint-stripping. This could replace the use of chlorinated solvents, phenolic compounds, or alkalies, the disposal of which produce toxic sludges. A number of such technologies are listed in a Compendium (Overcash, 1986). Low Volume Residues from Inorganic Wastes • Conventional treatment for inorganic wastes such as acids contaminated with heavy metals consists of precipitation with lime. The major metal contaminant is often iron, generally not regarded as hazardous. If the iron could be separated from the other more toxic metals (nickel, cadmium etc), then it may be possible to produce an iron hydroxide sludge, disposable to conventional landfill; and a much reduced volume toxic metal hydroxide sludge requiring secure landfill. Technologies may come from the waste minimisation technologies and techniques described above, or may be developed from electro-winning technologies for selectively separating the toxic metals at the off-site treatment plant. Waste minimisation technologies which enable recovery of metal contaminants for reuse are preferred as they avoid the production of the metal hydroxide sludge. Low Volume Residues from Organic Wastes Organic sludges (including paint residues, high flash point solvent-based wastes, oily gritty sludges from interceptor traps, tannery wastes and some grease trap sludges) are treated in Melbourne and Brisbane by stabilisation with cement based reagents to produce a non-odorous dry cake for disposal to secure landfill. The resulting product has a larger volume then the original waste sludge. Incineration facilities are becoming available in Australia for pumpable organic liquids with low solids and halogen content. However, incineration facilities are not generally available for the treatment of the organic sludges and solids. Emerging technologies which tackle heterogeneous organic sludges (including those with higher solids content and high halogen content) are summarised below. (Freeman, 1986.) These solid residues will still require secure landfilling if they contain inorganic contaminants (heavy metals) and/ or trace toxic organics (products of incomplete combustion captured in the air pollution control devices). Pyrolysis/starved air combustion. The primary "combustion" chamber is heated in conditions with less than stoichiometic oxygen. Organics are volatilized in the primary chamber and are incinerated to CO,, H ,O and acid gases in an afterburner. The advantage of these systems over conventional rotary kilns arise from the low turbulence in the primary chamber, thereby minimizing the


carry-over of particulates in the off-gas; and the reduced air flows through the primary/ secondary chambers, thereby enabling economies to be achieved in the size of the air pollution control devices .. There are a number of variations on this concept, including: rotary kiln under starved air conditions; stationary hearth under starved air conditions, with wastes being fed in drums or containers. through an air lock; enclosed screw conveyor with internal heating, for organic sludges (Samuel, 1988). The volume of solid residue depends on the pyrolysis (primary chamber) temperature, with units operating at 100 째C yielding solid residues with larger volumes and higher organic contents than plants operating at 800 째C. Molten glass processes, which use a bed of molten glass to oxidize organics and to fix inorganics and ash. The process is suitable for solid and liquid waste streams and is maintained at 1200 째C by electrodes immersed in the molten pool. Up to 10 t/ d systems have been developed, but it is unknown whether a full range of waste forms can be treated. Plasma arc, (Westinghouse) which uses extremely high temperatures of material in a plasma state to reduce waste materials to their elemental state (hydrogen, CO, carbon and HCl). The off-gases are scrubbed to remove hydrochloric acid and are then flared . Its primary application is likely to be for PCBs and dioxins. Infrared System (Shirco) in which waste on a moving belt is pyrolised under electrically heated elements. Combustion of off-gas occurs in a post treatment zone. This system has been successfully tested on a range of solid hazardous organic waste streams, including dioxin-contaminated soils and wood processing wastes. It is not designed to treat liquid or tarry waste forms. Supercritical Water (MODAR). Aqueous waste is subjected totemperatures and pressures above the critical point of water, ie that point where the densities of the liquid and vapour phase are identical, (219 atmospheres and 414 째C). Under such conditions, the oxidation rate for organics is greatly enhanced, and inorganics are practically insoluble, enabling their easy removal. The limitations of the process are that it is only suitable for liquids and operates under high pressures which require high levels of control. Circulating Fluid Bed Combustion is a modification of the conventional fluid bed combuster (at least two of these conventional units are operating in Australia on liquid hazardous wastes). It extends the fluid bed to the full height of the combustion chamber under highly turbulent conditions. Solids are separated from offgas by an integral cyclone and returned to the combustion zone. The uniform temperatures and high solids turbulence throughout this loop is reported to avoid the ash slagging which is encountered in conventional fluid beds operated at very high temperatures. The process has been applied to PCB contaminated soil and a simulated oily sludge. Deep shaft wet air oxidation (Vertech) destroys organics in aqueous solutions under elevated temperatures and pressures, with the high pressure being obtained at the base of the vertical shaft reactor. Removal efficiences of 80 to 990Jo have been reported for hazardous organics in water. The process is limited to aqueous based sludges and wastewaters. Biological degradation, using fungus and/ or bacteria, is being developed for low concentration contaminated soils and some particular intractable organic waste types (PCBs, HCBs). They may provide appropriate methods for particular waste streams but are not yet being considered for heterogeneous hazardous organic waste streams. Chemical dechlorination processes such as the KPEG process (Rogers, 1987) and the Sydney university SYDOX process (Kaziro, 1987) are being developed for treating PCBs and dioxins. They are likely to find applications for relatively homogeneous hazardous organic waste streams and possibly for in-situ treatment of some contaminated soils. They hold the promise of producing non-toxic by-products and residues . Alternatives to landfills There are two alternative concepts for secure landfills which would not necessarily sterilise land use indefinitely, namely: * Storage of hazardous waste residues in secure, segregated and mapped areas which would facilitate the future recovery of partic-

ular waste residues for reprocessing. This coucept has been adopted for the secure storage of high level radioactive waste in the US, and it is possible that the concept could be extended to inorganic waste residues. Suitable storage sites could include dry, geologically stable underground mined space. * Containment of stabilised and/or immobilised wastes within engineered structures, such as road formations and pavements which isolate these residues from the environment and which can be' readily monitored. Careful mapping would be required to avoid inadvertant disruption of the isolated residues. Research is currently underway at the Dutch TNO into the leaching characteristics of stabilized waste below various pavement types. Mineralisation The Swiss have a goal of transforming all wastes to '' final storage quality" prior to final disposal (Brunner, 1988). The aim is to "mineralise" wastes to forms which are similar, in terms of their environmental behaviour, to the original materials from which they were formed. In the case of organics, incineration to H,O and CO, is appropriate. West Germany has also adopted this approach. Waste residues will then have similar leaching characteristics to the natural soils/ rocks in the vicinity of the landfill, and therefore there will be no need for leachate control or stringent run-off control. Research is currently underway to develop technologies that will produce final storage quality residues from inorganic wastes and ash from incineration of organics. Research to this end has been commenced in Australia by BHP. "Synroc" type technology may be appropriate.

CONCLUSIONS Some policies and guidelines supporting some of these concepts are already in place, for example: The Joint Taskforce on Intractable Wastes has recommended that the National Guidelines for the Management of Hazardous Waste include the following priority order for hazardous waste management: prevention; minimisation; recycling; treatment; landfill (Joint Taskforce, 1988) ..,. The Waste Management Authority of NSW's objectives include minimisation recycling and recovery (WMA, 1989). The Victorian EPA has introduced a waste minimisation policy (Vic EPA, 1988). The SA Waste Management Commission is currently reviewing its hazardous waste management system and is likely to adopt the hierarchy referred to above, and other States may be developing or have in place similar policies. There is still a need to encourage the development and implementation of technologies that produce low volume residues by: * Price incentives on secure landfill disposal to penalise high volume treatment residues. * Provision of "sunset" clauses in approvals for treatment processes which produce high volume residues requiring secure landfill. This would recognize the need for short-term solutions and the need to obtain a reasonable return on capital, while leaving open the opportunity to change to more appropriate technology. The detailed examples of waste minimisation technology provided in this paper highlight the benefits that can be achieved by designing innovative systems and services based on conventional technology components. There is a need to support such systems development, as well as new technology development, when issuing R&D grants in the waste industry. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This paper benefited from many constructive discussions with Mr John Hogan. Victorian EPA; Mr Max Harvey, SA Waste Management Commission, Dr Peter Scaife, BHP Central Research Laboratories, and Mr Peter Knight, BHP Business Development. The author accepts full responsibility for the views presented. Continued on page 32 WATER December, 1989

19


Mercury in the Freshwater Environment A Legacy of Gold Mining in Victoria by D. G. TILLER SUMMARY This paper presents mercury data collected since 1984 as part of the EPA project "Mercury in Gold Mining Areas". Mercury is an extremly toxic metal. It was used extensively to recover gold, resulting in the contamination of the sediments in many streams and impoundments throughout Victoria. However, it was found that mercury concentrations in the water column were generally low (less than 0.1 mg m- 3) . Eroding tailings remain a source of mercury contamination in many .streams. Contaminated streams and impoundments are likely to remain contaminated for many years.

David Tiller is a research scientist with the Environment Protection Authority, Victoria. He joined the Authority in 1985 and since then has been involved in a wide variety of water quality investigations.

D. Tiller

BACKGROUND Mercury is considered to be the most toxic metal found in the freshwater environment (Hellawell 1986). Its use has been restricted in many parts of the world, including Victoria. However, in industrial societies it remains a very useful element. Even its toxicological properties have been exploited as bacteriocides and fungicides . In a geological time frame, the biggest source of mercury contamination in Victoria has been the erosion of the Great Dividing Range, a mercury-rich geological formation containing cinnabar (mercuric sulfide). However, mercury lost from gold mining activities in the past 100 or so years has contributed far more mercury to many freshwater bodies than erosion would have done over the same period. Mercury was used to recover gold from the crushed ore. The recovery process involved crushing the gold-containing ore into fine particles, mixing it with water to form a slurry and passing the slurry over copper plates coated with mercury. An amalgam was formed between the gold and mercury when they came into contact and the gold was then separated from the mercury by distilling off and recovering the mercury. Unfortunately, some of the mercury was lost from the copper plates to the slurry. The slurry (usually called tailings or slimes) was discharged either to containment dams or directly to water-courses. In the aquatic environment, very little mercury will be dissolved in the water column. Some will be attached to suspended particles; however, most will be in the sediments (Forstner and Prosi 1979). In the sediments, inorganic forms of mercury can be transformed to methyl mercury primarily through micro-organism mediated processes (Nagy and Olson 1980). Methyl mercury (including mono and di-methyl mercury) is the most toxic form of mercury to most aquatic organisms (US EPA 1986). The concentration of methyl mercury in freshwater systems is usually less than 1OJo of the total mercury, although this may increase if the chemical environment of the sediments is favourable to its production (Hart 1982). Many aquatic organisms can take up and accumulate mercury either directly from the water column or via their food. Mercur; concentration is also believed to be magnified through the food web (Forstner and Prosi 1979). The rate of uptake will be primarily dependent on the concentration and form of mercury present. Metallic and inorganic mercury are quickly eliminated from the body, whereas methyl-mercury is retained (OECD 1974), which explains its greater toxicity (Peakall and Lovett 1972). This paper presents mercury data collected since 1984 as part of the EPA project "Mercury in Gold Mining Areas".

METHODS Sampling sites

Since 1984 water samples have been collected fortnightly from 55 stream sites around Victoria as part of the EPA's statewide water quality monitoring network. Sediment samples were collected in 1984 from 22 streams flowing through old gold mining areas, and 20

WATER December, 1989

were repeated at three sites in 1986 along with nearby tailings. Intensive sampling of stream sediments and tailings were also undertaken in the catchment of upper Goulburn River in 1988. Sample collection and analysis

Mercury in water

Water samples were collected in 250 ml glass sample bottles. The samples were acidified to pH 2 or less using nitric acid to prevent precipitation and absorption onto the glass. Potassium dichromate was also added to prevent the reduction of ionic mercury to elemental mercury which could be lost through volatilization. Samples were analysed within three days of sampling. Total mercury was determined by cold vapour atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Results are expressed as mg m· 3 (parts per billion). Mercury in sediment and tailings

The top 10-15 cm of sediment or tailini s were, generally, collected and wet sieved, on-site, through 63 µm nylon mesh. The less than 63 µm fraction was retained and stored in acid washed 1 litre wide necked polyethylene bottles. Sieving sediments through 63 µm mesh has become the standard EPA method for the collection of sediment for heavy metal analysis. Samples were freeze-dried for 72 hours to remove all the water. A known mass of sediment was then digested in nitric and sulfuric acid, followed by further digestion with potassium permanganate and potassium persulfate. Total mercury was then determind by cold vapour atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Results are expressed as µg g-1 (parts per million).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Mercury in water

Hart (1982) reports that uncontaminated freshwaters have between 0.01 and 0.06 mg m· 3 total mercury. Various criteria for mercury concentration limits in drinking waters, freshwater ecosystems and edible fish are summarised in Table 1. Data collected from the 55 stream sites throughout Victoria (Table 2) indicate that mercury concentrations in freshwaters were usually less than 0.1 mg m- 3 • These data indicate that the criterion for drinking water (Tobie 1) was generally being met, although at times very high concentrations have been recorded (Table 1). Low mercury concentrations were found in Raspberry and Gaffneys Creeks in 1988, even though the sediments were heavily contaminated (Table 5). Other studies of Table 1 Mercury criteria in freshwaters (mg m·') and fish tissue (ug g· 1) Vic EPA (1983)

Drinking water Ecosystem Protection Edible Fish

Hart (1982)

WHO (1984)

1.0

1.0

1.0

0.05 0.5

0.1

US EPA

(1986)

NH&MRC (1987)

0.144

1.0

0.012 1.0


streams with contaminated sediments have also found low concentrations in the water column (Bycroft et al. 1982, EPA 1984, NSR 1988). However, Ealey et al. (1983) and EPA (1984) reporte9 elevated mercury concentration in the water column immediately downstream of the Al Mine (50 and 11 mg m-' respectively). Al Mine was the major source of mercury contamination to Raspberry Creek, discharging contaminated tailings to the creek up until its closure in the mid 1970s.

Mercury in sediments and tailings CRESWICK - Only background concentrations of mercury were detected in Creswick Creek in the 1984 sampling program (Table 3). However, in early 1986 the Creswick battery began operating, which resulted in the discharge of tailings to Creswick Creek. Subsequent extensive sampling of Creswick Creek identified substantial contamination (Tobie 4). The tailings dam at the Creswick battery was also grossly contaminated (Table 4). MARYBOROUGH - Concentrations measured in McCallum Creek in 1984 (Tobie 3) were considerably higher than subsequently measured in 1986 (Tobie 4). The nearby tailings dam was not contaminated (Table 4), but was eroding. These data suggest that t)Ie source of mercury in McCallum Creek was not the nearby tailings dam, but originated from further upstream. CHEWTON - WATTLE GULLY MINE - The tailings dams at Wattle Gully Mine were contaminated with mercury (Tobie 4). High concentrations were also measured in the roadside drain adjacent to the tailings dams (Tobie 4). Further investigations by National System Research Pty Ltd (NSR, 1988) for the mine owners, Newmont Australia Limited, indicate substantial downstream Table 2 Mercury concentrations in the water column (mg m-') of several streams in Victoria (EPA Fixed Site Monitoring Network) Stream

Site Location

Deep Crk . Jacksons Crk. Maribyrnong R. Maribyrnong R. Maribyrnong R. Werribee R. Werribee R . Werribee R. Werribee R. Werribee R. Little R. Barwon R. Barwon R. Hopkins R. Mt. Emu Crk. Glenelg R. Wannon R. Yarra R. Yarra R. Yarra R. Yarra R. Yarra R. Yarra R. Yarra R. Kororoit Crk. Kororoit Crk. Mordialloc Crk. Dandenong Crk . Da_ndenong Crk. Patterson R. Ovens R . Ovens R . Goulburn R. Goulburn R . Campaspe R . Campaspe R. Loddon R. Loddon R. Avoca R. Avoca R. Wimmera R. Wimmera R . Wimmera R. Wimmera R . Wimmera R . Tambo R. Mitchell R . Mitchell R. Macalister R. Thomson R . Avon R. Latrobe R . Latrobe R. Latrobe R. Latrobe R.

Bulla Sunbury Keilor Avondale Heights Keilor East Werribee Cobbledicks Ford ul s Toolern Crk. Bacchus Marsh ul s Bacchus Marsh di s Little R. Geelong Ricketts Marsh Framlington Taroon Casterton Henty Fairfield Heidelberg Warrandyte Healesville Lilydale Launching Place Woori Yallock Altona Deep Park Mordialloc Rowville Keysborough Bangholme Peechelba East Bright Tarwool Murray Valley Hwy. Rochester Redesdale Appin South Newstead Yawong Ampitheatre ul s Horsham Horsham di s Horsham di s MacKenzie R. Dimboola Battens Landing Rosehill Iguana Crk. Riverslea Gibson-Knox Stratford Rosedale Morwell Yallourn Willow Grove

<

Less than detection limit

Hg Concentration Median Maximum

< < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < <

0.40 0.50 2.00 0.10 0.10 < < 0.30 < 0.40 0.40 0.63 0.50 0.41 0.20 2.50 0.10 1.40 1.40 0.60 0.30 0.10 0.08 0.30 0.50 0. 10 0.50 0.50 0.60 0.60 0. 10 0.10 0.30 0.20 6.20 0.40 37.00 11.00 21.00 32.00 0.10 0.50 0.07 0.30 0.40 0.20 0.30 0.20 0.60 0.30 0.90 0.70 I.IO 0.90 0.30

contamination. NSR suggested that unlesSi.remedial action were taken to isolate the tailings, they would continue to be a source of mercury in nearby water courses. WANDILIGONG - Mercury concentrations in Morses Creek in 1984 (Tobie 3) were considerably higher than those measured in 1986 (Table 4). Mercury concentrations in the tailings dam were high (Table 4). However, there appeared to be no surface discharge to Morses Creek. UPPER GOULBURN RIVER - The data from the intensive sampling of both sediments and water in the catchment of the Upper Goulburn River, performed in 1988, are summarised in Table 5, and the results of the sampling of two mines tailings dams are summarised in Table 6. The old tailings at Al Mine and scattered Table 3 Mercury concentrations in stream sediments (ug g- 1) near abandoned and operating stamping batteries, 1984. Site

500m u/ s

Location

Stream

Dargo Club Terrace Granya Rutherglen Ballarat East Italian Gully Creswick Daylesford Stawell Moliagul Tarnagulla Lauriston Chewton Maryborough Maldon Bendigo Walhalla Gaffney's Crk Beechworth Wandiligong Al Mine Settlement Myers Flat

Orr Crk Euchre Crk Cottontree Crk Black Dog Crk Canadian Crk Smyths Crk Creswick Crk Wombat Crk Unnamed Unnamed Unnamed Coliban R. Unnamed McCallum Crk Tarrengower Crk Bendigo Crk Stringer Crk Raspberry Crk Three Mile Crk Morses Crk Raspberry Crk Myers Crk

ul s upstream

50m u/s

50m di s

500m dis

0.04 0.07 0.D2 0.04 0.16 0.05 0.03 0.05 0.03 0.03 0.56 0.24 0.04 0.02 0.02 0.04 0.85 0.85 0.05 0.43 0.17 0.12 OM 0.06 < 0.02 < 0.02 0.03 0.D7 0.02 0.06 < 0.02 < 0.02 0.04 0.02 0.03 0.03 0.09 0.06 0.D7 0.D7 0.13 1.50 0.06 0.D7 0.03 0.13 < 0.02 0.22 5.60 5.60 0.25 0.44 0.22 1.80 2.20 2.20 0.04 0.32 < 0.02 0.1 7 0.35 0.43 0.25 0.54 1.60 1.30 33 .00 15.00 0.26 0.06 0.08 0.23 0.17 0.48 0.28 0.43 21.00 13.00 13.00 17 .00 0,80 0.18 0.20 0.35 0. 71 0.12 0.02 0.22

di s downstream

Table 4 Mercury concentration in stream sediments (ug g- 1) and tailings (ug g- 1) at Creswick, Maryborough, Chewton and Wandiligong, 1986 1 Location

Site

Creswick (Creswick Battery)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 l 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 l 2 3

Maryborough (Poppet Head Mine)

Chewton (Wattle Gully Mine)

4 5

6 7 8 9 10 11 Wandiligong (Morses Creek Battery)

uls

upstream

I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Mercury Location

Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Drain Creswick Crk 20m ul s Creswick Crk 20m dis Creswick Crk 1km dis Creswick Crk 2km di s Creswick Crk 11 km di s Creswick Crk 24km dis Birch Crk Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam McCallum Crk 100m ul s McCallum Crk 500m di s McCallum Crk 700m di s Road side drain Drain Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Tailings dam Morses Crk 50m ul s Morses Crk 50m di s

Concentration

150.0 8.2 19.0 10.0 18.0 4.9 17.0 1.2 6.0 1.8 2.6 l.9 0.D28 0.028 0.051 0.021 0.015 0.040 0.024 0.026 0.020 0.036 0.056 5.0 8.0 4.1 6.8 7.2 11.0 7.8 6.0 8.7 7.5 8.3 6.8 5.4 5.6 8.1 40.0 21.0 28.0 0.44 0.44

di s downstream WATER December, 1989

21


tailings at Morning Star Mine were both contaminated. Al Mine had not used the mercury amalgam process for some time, resulting in low mercury concentration in the most recently deposited tailings. · However, the underlying old tailings were highly contaminated. These tailings were unstable and there was the potential for further contamination of Raspberry Creek. Several earlier studies of the magnitude and extent of contamination in the Upper Goulburn River have been undertaken (McCredie 1982, Earley et al. 1983, EPA, 1984). More than ten years of data are available to assess the likely long term persistence and movement of mercury in the river system. In 1978 up to 1300 µg g-• total mercury was measured immediately downstream of the Al · Mine, (Earley et al. 1983) whereas in the early 1980's concentrations were less than 30 µg g-• (EPA 1984). In 1988 (Tobie 6) substantially lower concentrations were recorded. These data indicate that mercury has been removed from the grossly contaminated Al mine area. Suspended sediments are undoubtedly important in the mobilization and downstream movement of mercury (Sherbin 1979, Kersten 1988). A study of a mercury-contaminated river system in Canada showed mercury-contaminated sediment moving downstream gradually contaminating a larger part of the river system (Murdoch and Clair 1986). Higher concentration at sites downstream of the Al Mine in 1988 (Table 6) compared to previous years (Mccredie 1982, Earley et al. 1983, EPA, 1984) indicate that there has been downstream movement of mercury-contaminated sediment.

DISCUSSION Unfortunately, there are no mercury concentration limits in sediments criteria available. The assessment of mercurycontaminated sediment can only be made by comparisons between uncontaminated and contaminated sites. Estimates of total mercury in uncontaminated sediment vary, but are generally around 0.01-0.1 µg g-• (Hart 1982). Studies of uncontaminated sites in Victoria generally fall within this range. The proportion of the total mercury measured which is available to the biota cannot be determined directly. Methyl mercury has been the primary focus of concern as it is the most toxic form (US EPA 1986) and readily accumulates in aquatic organisms (Forstner and Prosi 1979). These data reported here are, however, useful in determining the potential effects on ecosystems. In conclusion, concentrations in excess of 1 µg g-• total mercury should be considered as indicative of contaminated sediments. Mercury concentrations in fish collected from Eildon Reservoir (EPA 1984, Bacher 1987) generally exceed the NH&MRC/AWRC (1987) and EPA (1983) criterion for human consumption (Tobie 1). This situation is unlikely to change, as mercury inputs to Eildon Reservoir will continue. Table 5 Mercury concentrations in stream water (mg m-') and sediments 1 ( <63um fraction) (ug g- ), upper Goulburn River catchment, August 1988 Mercury Concentration Water

Site Location

Sediment

Eildon Reservoir - Goughs Arm - Jamieson Arm Jamieson River - uls Jamieson Goulburn River - ul s Jamieson - ul s Kevington - di s Gaffneys Crk Gaffneys Crk - Knockwood - dis Raspberry Crk - u l s Raspberry Crk Raspberry Crk - u l s Gaffneys Crk - dis Al Mine - uls Al Mine Morning Star Crk - di s Morning Star Mine Detection Limits ND

22

Not detected

0.06 0.57

ND ND

0. 10

ND

0.86 2.1 1.6

ND ND ND

1.7 4.1 6.6

0.10 ND 0.10

10 15 1.6

0.35 ND ND

8.7 0.001

ul s upstream

WATER December, 1989

di s downstream

ND 0.05

Table 6 Total mercury concentration in tailings (ug g- 1) from Al and Morning Star Mines, August 1988 Hg Concentration

Site

Al Mine New tailings (three sites) Old tailings (three sites) Morning Star Mine Adjacent to creek Near ore stockpile Close to remains of battery

I.I 27

0.66 24

1.0 28

36 1600 730

CONCLUSIONS Data collected from a number of locations throughout Victoria indicate that mercury concentrations in freshwater were usually less than 0.1 mg m- 3 • Extensive sampling in 1984 showed that many streams flowing through old gold mining areas had elevated sediment mercury levels (greater than 1.0 µg g-• total mercury) . Many others, however, were not contaminated, even though substantial amounts of mercury are likely to have entered these streams. Eroding tailing deposits remain a continuing source of mercury into the freshwater environment. Stabilization and containment of eroding taillings are required to remove .them as long term sources of contamination. Mercury is a very persistent contaminant, and, even if sources of mercury were removed, contaminated water-bodies are likely to remain contaminated for many decades.

REFERENCES Bacher, G. J. (1987). Mercury in Freshwater Fish Position Paper. Freshwater Fish Management Branch, Fisheries Division, Department of Conservation, Forests · and Lands, Victoria. Bacher, G. J. and Garnham, J. (1989). Mercury and organaochlorine Pesticides in Fish from Sugarloaf Reservoir. Fisheries Division, Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands, Victoria. Bycroft, B. M., Coller, B. A. W., Deacon, G. B., Coleman, D. J. and Lake, P. S. (1982). Mercury contamination in the Lerderderg River, Vicctoria, Australia from an abandoned gold field. Environ. Poll. (Series A) 28, 135-147. Ealey, E. H. M. , Deacon, G. B., Coller, B. A. W., Bird, C . J., Bos-Van Der Zalm, C . H. , Raper, W. G. C. and State College of Victoria, Rusden (1983). Mercury in the Food Web of Raspberry Creek. Publication No. 153 Environment Protection Authority, Victoria. EPA (1983). Recommended Water Quality Criteria.,J>ublication No. 165. Environment Protection Authority. EPA (1984). Mercury Survey of the Upper Gou/burn River System. Publication No. 195. Environment Protection Authority, Victoria. Forstner, U. and Prosi, F. (1979). Heavy Metal Pollution in Freshwater &osystems. In: Ravera, 0. (Ed .) Biological Aspects of Freshwater Pollution. Permagan Press. Hart, B. T. (1982). Australian Water Quality Criteria for Heavy Metals. Australian Water Resources Council Technical Publication No. 77. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra. Hellawell, J. M. (1986). Biological Indicators of freshwater Pol/ution and Environmental Management. Elsevier Applied Science Publishers, New York. Kersten, M. (1988). Geochemistry of Priority Pol/utants in Anoxic Sludges: Cadmium, Arsenic, Methyl Mercury and Chlorinated Organics. In: Salomons, W. and Forstner, U. (Eds.). Chemistry and Biology of solid Waste, Dredged Material and Mine Tailings. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. Mccredie, A. (1982) . Mercury and Mining Pollution in the Upper Gou/burn River. Monash University Graduate School of Environmental Science, Environment Report No. 9. Monash University, Clayton. Murdoch, A. and Clair, T. A. (1986). Transport of arsenic and mercury from gold mining activites through an aquatic system. The Science of the Total Environment, 57, 205-216. Nagy, L. A. and Olsen, B. H . (1980). Mercury in Aquatic environments. A general review. Water, 7, 12-15 . NH&MRCIAWRC (1987). Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality in Australia. Joint National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Water Resources Council Publication . Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra. NH&MRC (1987). Food Standard Code. National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra. NSR (1988). Wattle Gul/y Gold Mine Environmental Mercury Investigation. National System Research Pty. Ltd., Hawthorn, Victoria. OECD (1974). Mercury and the Environment. Studies of Mercury Use, Emission, Biological Impact and Control. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris. Peakall, D. B. and Lovett, R. J. (1972). Mercury: Its occurrence and effects in ecosystems. Bioscience 22, 20-25. Sherbin, I. G. (1979). Mercury in the Canadian Environment. Economic and Technical Review Report No. EPS 3-EC-79-6. Department of Environment, Ottawa . US EPA (1986). Quality Criteria for Water 1986. Report No. EPAl 44015-861001 , US. Environment Protection Agency, Washington . WHO (1984). Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Vol. 2 Health C:riteria and other supporting information. WHO, Geneva.


EMERGING TECHNOWGIES FOR CONTAMINATED SITE CLEAN-UP .

.

by R. WOLFE and P. R. NADEBAUM SUMMARY A wide range of technologies for cleaning contaminated soils and groundwater is being developed in both Europe and the USA. These technologies are at various stages of evaluation. In the USA a formal program to evaluate and promote innovative treatment technologies for the permanent treatment of contaminated soils has been established. A number of technologies that have demonstrated performance in field trials are reviewed to evaluate their suitability for the clean-up of contaminated sites in Australia. These technologies include destruction techniques, such as biodegradation and dechlorination; transfer processes where contaminants are extracted and treated by established wastewater or gas treatment processes; and solidification or stabilisation.

INTRODUCTION The problem of site decontamination is attracting much interest in Australia with growing concern, going back over the last century and even earlier, about unsatisfactory practices used for the disposal of waste from industry. These practices related to both on-site disposal of waste and waste spills, and the uncontrolled dumping of waste at disposal sites. The problems posed by soil contamination and the strategies for cleaning-up sites have been the subject of much attention by the engineering and scientific community in Europe since the late 1970's. In the USA, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund) requirements came into force in 1980 and a major program to identify contaminated sites and clean-up strategies was instigated. The subsequent clean-up of these sites has been prioritised, however relatively few clean-up programs have been put into effect under Superfund to date. Whereas various clean-up technologies have been identified and utilised for the restoration of in-ground contamination in Europe, (particularly in the Netherlands and in more recent years in West Germany), a wide ranging review of prospective technologies for restoration of ground contamination in the USA has only recently commenced. Current legislation in the USA prohibits continued disposal of untreated hazardous waste to land, and preference is directed to alternative technologies that use treatment as a principal element. These disposal restrictions have further added to the interest in the use of alternative technologies for cleaning contaminated soil and groundwater. The problems with contaminated sites in Australia and the high level of environmental awareness are also stimulating an interest in technologies for contaminated site clean-up. It is the purpose of this paper to review the emerging technologies that are likely to be applied in site clean-up, with particular reference to Australia.

FACIDRS INFWENCING THE SELECTION OF A SITE CLEAN-UP TECHNOWGY The selection of technologies for the clean-up of a contaminatsite will depend upon a number of factors including: soil type and homogeneity hydrogeology type of contaminants (predominant types) level (concentration) of contaminants and their distribution treatment objectives, particularly future land-use considerations • cost • regulatory requirements. Clean-up technologies are predominantly specific to the waste type or types responsible for the contamination. In very broad terms, for the purpose of reviewing treatment technologies, these waste types may be grouped as: • halogenated organics • non-halogenated organics

ed • • • • •

24

WATER December, 1989

Richard Wolfe is a civil engineer with a post graduate degree in environmental engineering. He is an Associate of Camp Scott Furphy. He completed a study tour of the Netherlands and the USA in May this year to assess contaminated site clean-up technologies and to review regulatory requirements which govern clean-up practices. He is currently project manager for the site characterisation and clean-up of a former gasworks site and rail and dock areas in Melbourne.

Richard Wolfe

Dr Peter Nadebaum is a chemical engineer. He is an Associate Director of Camp Scott Furphy, and is manager of their Environ mental Management Division, specialising in hazardous waste and environmental management, water and wastewater treatment, and air pollution control. Peter Nadebaum

• non-volatile (and volatile) metals • inorganics. Each of these groupings may of course be suodivided on the basis of treatability by a given technology. Simple aromatics, for instance are generally more amenable to treatment by biodegradation or physical washing than polynuclear aromatics.

,

PRESENT TREATMENT TECHNOWGIES European Practice

Treatment of contaminated soils has been widely practised in Europe since 1982-1983, particularly in the Netherlands and West Germany. Three technology groups have been generally adopted in the Netherlands for the restoration of contaminated soils, namely: • biodegradation • soil washing • therma~ desorption. Biodegradation has generally involved the cultivation of naturally occurring bacteria in the soil to break-down organic contaminants. This process is enhanced by the addition of nutrients and by aeration of the soil. Soil washing is widely practised in the Netherlands to remove a broad range of contaminants from sandy soils using water, generally with additives to enhance the separation of the contaminants from the soil particles. Since the majority of contaminants are absorbed onto fine particulates, removal of the finer fraction of material from the soil will result in a high efficiency of contaminant removal. The above processes have limited success with the treatment of more complex organics, including polynuclear aromatics and halogenated aliphatics. Thermal desorption, using medium temperature incinerators, has proven to be a very effective treatment technology in Europe for a range of soil types that are heavily contaminated with a range of organics. It should be noted that the range of temperatures used in these thermal desorption systems is designed to drive-off rather than to decompose the contaminants. North American Practice

In the USA the most common approach to the restoration of contaminated sites has been based on containment. This has involved the complete encapsulation of the contaminant, including


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Q

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Q

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Q

Q

Q

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No Expected Effectiveness (no expected interference to process)

Q

Q'

Q

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X No Expected Effectiveness (potential adverse effects to envi ronment or process)

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o'

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1 Data were not available for this treatability group. Conclusions are drawn from data for compounds with similar physical and chemical characteristics. 2 High removal efficiencies may be due to volatilization or soil washing . 3 The predicted effectiveness may be different than the data imply, due to limitations in the test conditions.

-

capping of the surface, installation of barrier walls into an underlying and impermeable stratum and in some cases groundwater control or a limited control by capping and groundwater interception. There are a number of other technology types being promoted including thermal destruction (incineration), dechlorination and immobilization. The US Environmental Protection Agency has completed a detailed review of the status of various technologies, essentially on a local basis, the results of which are shown in Figure 1. (US EPA, 1989b). It is interesting to note that a number of the results are not fully supported by European practice, and in this regard it should be recognized that US clean-up experience is some years behind that of West Germany and the Netherlands.

ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES New technologies are being actively evaluated in most western countries, with a major effort in the USA under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA). Under SARA the US EPA has established a formal program to evaluate and promote innovative treatment technologies to achieve a more permanent response to ground contamination. This program, called the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE), proposes the following definitions for the alternative technologies based on the status of their developemnt: • Available Alternative Technology: technologies that are fully · proven and in routine commercial use. • Innovative Alternative Technology: fully developed technology for which cost and performance information is incomplete, thus hindering routine use at waste sites. Under the US regulations these technologies require field-testing before acceptance for routine use. • Emerging Alternative Technology: technology at an early stage of development. Laboratiory testing complete and being further developed for field testing. The research effort that has gone into the identification of effective technologies in Europe and the USA is considerable, and this effort is continuing with the on-going review of a large number of the technologies for decontamination of soil, and to a lesser extent, groundwater. Because many of these technologies must be regarded as speculative and will require further research effort (and time) before they are able to be used in the field, in this paper we have restricted discussions to those technologies that have at least demonstrated performance in field trials and may be viewed as being, in part, pre-qualified for use in Australia. We are therefore looking at new technologies described as 'Innovative Alterna-

• •

Fig. 1 - Predicted treatment effectiveness for contaminated soil (from US EPA, 1989b).

tive Technologies' under the SITE definition. Because of the sitespecific, and to a lesser extent, contaminant-specific nature of many of these technologies, further development and field trialling of the technologies is likely to be necessary before they can be employed with confidence. At the time of preparation of this report none of the technologies being reviewed under the SITE program had been completely evaluated. Local confirmation in a prototype system may therefore be necessary in order to establish: • performance of an imported technology for a particular waste type that is not clearly documented in overseas studies; • acceptance by local authorities; and • site-specific design parameters and cost data for a full scale system. In reviewing the emerging technologies appropriate for site cleanup in Australia, we have adopted these technology categories: • destruction, including biological degradation • transfer and treatment, including solvent extraction and thermal desorption • solidification/ stabilization These technologies may be applied in situ or after removal of the contaminated material, be it soil or groundwater. Encapsulation of contaminated soil and groundwater is also promoted as a strategy for restoration of sites, and although this approach may be applied locally it is not designed to permanently treat contaminants and is not dealt with in this paper.

DESTRUCTION TECHNOLOGIES Destruction technologies include high temperature thermal processes (approx. 1200 °C). However, these are not considered in this paper because the process is considered to be established for the destruction / volatilization of the contaminants of interest and also immediate application in Australia may be impeded by community concerns. Notwithstanding, a number of pilot programs are operating both in Europe and the US to further advance the application of thermal destruction technology to soil decontamination. There is an interest in the reliability of the high temperature processes for the destruction of halogenated organics and in the fate of the volatile and semi-volatile metals. Biodegradation

Naturally occurring bacteria have been widely used to treat organic contaminants in soils, either in situ or following excavation of the soil where the contamination is old. The efficiency of in situ biodegradation is, however, considered to be primarily limited by poor mixing and hence poor contact between the appropriate microorganisms and the contaminant (De Kreuk, 1988). With soil bacW ATER December, 1989

25


teria this limitation is, in part, due to the intra-cellular breakdown action. In general, in situ treatment has been effective where contamination is confined to the surface soils and the contaminants are lighter non-halogenated hydrocarbons. The use of fungi rather than bacteria to degrade organic contaminants has particular advantages because of the non-specific, extracellular nature of the degradation process. As the contaminant is not used as the food source, there is potential to reduce contaminants to very low residual levels (Waid, 1987). Laboratory work and a recent US field demonstration indicates the process has promise for degrading recalcitrant chlorinated organics such as PCBs. A number of mixed biological reactors have also been developed for the on-site treatment of a wide range of organic wastes. (US EPA, 1988b). These reactors have the objective of enhancing the contaminant exposure to the degrading micro-organisms, and therefore improving the process efficiency. Note that mixing is one of the contributors to high biodegradation rates. Both wet and dry systems have been developed, the latter process overcoming the need for a final dewatering step. Bioreactors have been found to be effective for non-halogenated organics; however, the breakdown rates for heavier tarry wastes, such as the 5 and 6 ring polycyclic aromatics, may be slow. The full-scale use of bioreactors is limited, although US experience has shown that halogenated hydrocarbons can be successfully degraded in a soil/slurry reactor (Ross, 1988).

A I R TO ATMO S PHERE

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AIR CO NTA I N I N G

STRI P PED

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n

ii :I

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AIR IN

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Fig. 2 -

Low temperature thermal stripping system (from Pa/mark, 1987).

RUBBLE >60mm

Dechlorination

A number of dechlorination technologies have been developed for the breakdown of chlorinated organics in soils and groundwater. The dechlorination of contaminated soils by chemical replacement of the chlorine atoms on the hydrocarbon molecule using alkaline polyethylene glycol (APEG) technology has proven to be effective in US studies (Galson, 1989). Various processes have been developed for a range of chlorinat dehydrocarbons, including chlorinated biphenyls, dioxins and dibenzofurans. The altered species are generally benign and allow for landfilling of soil.

~

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TRANSFER TECHNOWGIES Thermal Desorption

Thermal desorption is a proven technology in Europe for extracting non-halogenated organic contaminants and cyanide from soils. A simplified thermal desorption system is illustrated in Figure 2 (Palmark, 1987). A number of systems utilise multi-stage rotary kilns for the initial drying and desorption of contaminants from the soil, with afterburners for treatment of the gas wastestream. Further development of the afterburner systems is being directed to the processing of halogenated organics, such as PCBs and pesticides. A number of other thermal desorption technologies are being trialled for treatment of soils contaminated with organics. These include mobile systems that utilise a low temperature desorption system that may be applicable to the clean-up of oil spills.

HYORQCYCLQNES

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26

WATER December, 1989

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Soil · Washing

Vacuum extraction systems have been developed specifically to remove volatile organics from the unsaturated soil zone. This degassing is often necessary prior to the excavation of soils contaminated with mixed hydrocarbons. The technology is well advanced overseas and a number of systems have been trialled locapy. A collec-

<20 11 m

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Soil washing has been used extensively in the Netherlands over the past 4 to 5 years for the removal of a wide range of contaminant types for sands and other generally granular soils, usually using water as the washing medium (US EPA, 1988). Surfactants and flocculants may be added to the soil to improve removal efficiency. This approach is based on the preferential attachment of contaminants to the finer fraction of the soil. This fraction is separated by the washing process for disposal, generally by incineration in West Germany, France or the UK. A typical flow schematic for a soil washing plant is shown in Figure 3. Soil washing using solvents (or liquefied gases as solvents) is now being developed for specific waste types. (US EPA, 1988b).

FLOCCU~1HION

FINE $.ANO 201-1m-02 mm

Fig. 3 -

A flow schematic of the Harbauer GmbH Soil washing installation (from US EPA 1988).

tor system is installed in the soil, either a series of wells or a lateral pipe grid, and suction applied. Volatile and semi-volatile organics are extracted for treatment with a gas scrubbing plant or flared before discharge. The process has been applied to a wide range of volatile compounds including simple aromatics and chlorinated solvents. The rate of the volatile extraction is very dependent on the soil conditions, and system requirements are therefore site-specific. Field trialling is necessary to determine the optimum design for a vacuum extraction system and to establish the rate of volatiles collection, and conversely the fall-off in the soil gas levels. Volatile contaminants may also be stripped from groundwater in situ by air injection. A pulsed jet is used to minimise channelling or short-circuiting (US EPA, 1988).


1

OFF G A S

~ .,. ,I ..

Solidification A number of technologies have been advanced for enhancing the solidification of wastes comprising a relatively high fraction of organics and for in situ treatment of contaminated soil. Technologies are based on the use of proprietary chemicals to fix the contaminants in the soil matrix and with specialised mixing equipment may be used for in situ treatment of a range of soil contaminants. (US EPA, 1989a).

HOOO

I

.., . :~;.,:.':--:

GRAP HITE ANO FAIT ST A A TEA

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ELE C TR OD E

Fig. 4 -

The In situ vitrification process (from Hempel, 1988).

Steam Stripping The vacuum extraction process has been enhanced by the injection of steam into contaminated soil to strip volatile and semivolatile contaminants. (US EPA, 1988).

SOLIDIFICATION/STABILIZATION TECHNOWGIES In situ Vitrification In situ vitrification uses electrodes to heat and convert contaminated soil into a chemically inert stable glass and crystalline product. The operating temperature may reach 2000 °C (Hampel, 1988) which is well in excess of the fusion temperature for soils (1100 to 1400°C). Organics in the soil are destroyed by pyrolysis. The general process is illustrated in Figure 4. Testing has shown that metal contaminants are either dissolved or encapsulated in the vitreous matrix, but gas retention efficiency is dependent on burial depth, gas solubility, and the gas vapour pressure. A gas collection hood is necessary to collect off-gases, which must be cooled and processed to ensure that volatile and semi-volatile metals such as nickel, lead and cobalt are not dishcarged to the atmosphere. It has been demonstrated that the process can solidify waste in situ at a rate of 4 to 5 tonne/h in the field where the mass of the vitrified soil/ waste block may be up to 800 tonnes. Generally processing rates are very dependent on the moisture content of the soil and the soil permeability. The in situ vitrification process has potential application to the treatment of a broad range of highly contaminated soils immediately adjacent to or below buried tanks.

In Europe, detailed review and application of these technologies is well advanced, with successful applications to all types of contaminated sites, with the possible exception of those contaminated by halogenated organics. In both USA and Europe, major efforts are being directed to further development, and much can be learned when reviewing the options for clean-up of contaminants in Australia. It is, however, necessary to evaluate these technologies very carefully, since both site-specific and contaminant-specific considerations are relevant to their successful application.

REFERENCES De Kruek, J. F. and Annokkee, G. J. (1988). Applied Technology for Decontamination of Polluted Soils. Proceedings of Second International TNO/ BMFT Conference on Contaminated Soil, Hamburg. Galson Remediation Corporation (1989). Personal correspondence from Galson Remediation Corporation, to Camp Scott Furphy, 10th July, 1989. Hampel, H . U. and Fitzpatrik, V. F. (1988). In situ vitrification - an innovative melting technology for the remediation of contaminated soils. Proceedings of Second International TNO/ BMFT Conference on Contaminated Soil, Hamburg. Palmark, M. (1987). Decontamination of oil polluted soil: A new technology. Proceedings of First Asian Conference on Hazardous Waste Disposal, Kuala Lumpur. Ross, D. et al (1988). Bioremediation of hazardous waste sites in the USA: case histories. Proceedings of Second International TNO/ BMFT Conference on Contaminated Soil, Hamburg. US EPA (1988). Assessment of international technologies for Superfund applications Technology review and trip report results . EPA/ 540/2-88/ 003 . US EPA (1989a). The Superfund Innovative Technology Program: Progress and Accomplishments Fiscal Year 1988, A Second Report to Congress. EPA/ 540/ 5-89/ 009. US EPA (1989b). Summary of treatment technology effectiveness for contaminated soil - Final Report. Waid, J. S. (1987). " Is the Fungal Degra,dation of Organic Haz.ardous Wastes an Environmentally-Acceptable Te'c hnology? ". Paper presented at the Second National Hazardous Waste Management Conference. Sydney, 16 November 1987.

to Milling, Mining and Waste Treatment Including Rehabilitation with Emphasis on Uranium Mining

AWWA BOOKSHOP PO BOX 460, CHATSWOOD NSW 2057 TEL (02) 413 1288

AWWA CONFERENCE/SEMINAR PROCEEDINGS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE (All prices include postage)

.;

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Seminar Proceedings Materials Selection in the Water and Wastewater Industry

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$15.00

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1st Federal Convention, Canberra

$ 8.00

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2nd Federal Convention , Melbourne

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International Specialist Conference, Darwin on Water Regime in Relation

$20.00

WATE R December, 1989 21


THE GENERATION AND CONTROi: OF HAZARDOUS WASTE IN THE PACIFIC BASIN by R. R. CIRILLO

SUMMARY All areas of the Pacific Basin, from the large industrial nations to the small Pacific islands are already experiencing the effects of improper treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes. This paper presents a survey of hazardous waste generation, treatment and disposal practices, and regulations controlling hazardous waste in the Pacific Basin. The paper also describes the Pacific Basin Consortium for Hazardous Waste Research, an organisation of research institutes from around the region.

Dr Cirillo is the Executive Secretary of the Consortium. Unfortunately he was not able to be present. The paper was presented by the Australian director, David Barnes of Sinclair Knight and Partners.

INTRODUCTION The region comprising of the basin and rim of the Pacific Ocean is experiencing a growing concern with the management of chemical hazardous waste. About 410Jo of the world's population live in this region (World Bank, 1987). By very rough estimates, about 272 million metric tons of hazardous wastes are being generated every year in the same region. A country-by-country review of the hazardous waste issues has been prepared (Cirillo, 1988). Figure 1 shows recent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates for four groups of countries in the region. Rapid and extensive growth in the region is accompanied by an increase in the use of, and the need to dispose of, hazardous materials.

THE HAZARDOUS WASTE PROBLEM There is no comprehensive and consistent set of statistics with which to determine the rate of hazardous waste generation in the Pacific Basin. 1\vo fundamental problems prevent the compilation of such statistics. The first involves the definition of what constitutes hazardous waste. To date there is no universal agreement on which chemicals should be defined as hazardous, which material to be defined as ''waste,' ' the methods of measuring waste, or the form in which hazardous wastes are reported. Without agreement on these fundamental points, the available data on hazardous waste generation cannot be directly compared from one country to another. The second problem in the development of hazardous waste generation statistics is that many countries have not undertaken any systematic survey of hazardous waste generation. Such data as exist are frequently incomplete. Even in the United States, where there are more data available than anywhere else, the statistics from several surveys are incompatible and contradictory.

Waste Generation Table 1 gives the hazardous waste generation statistics currently available. Some of the disparities resulting from the inconsistent 10

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WATER December, 1989

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INDUSTRIAL MARKET ECONOMIES Australia (t) 109 000 Approximation based on incomplete survey Canada (t) 3 281 000 1982 estimate; based on comparison to US data Japan (t) 82 000 No separate estimate of hazardous waste; estimate from total industrial wastes New Zealand (t) 22 000 1983 estimate; no formal definition of hazardous waste; survey underway United States (t) 254 000 000 1985 estimate for facilities permitted by RCRA t; N.B. includes water as part of classified waste NEWLY INDUSTRIALIZED ECONOMIES Hong Kong (t) 32 000 1981 -82 survey extrapolated to 1984; includes aqueous wastes Singapore t South Korea (t) 244 000 1983 data Taiwan (t) 272 100 1987 data ASEAN-4 PLUS MEXICO Indonesia Malaysia (m') Philippines Thailand Solids (t) Wastewater (m') Mexico SPECIAL CASE China (t)

t Survey underway 220 000 1985 survey t Survey results incomplete 22 100 Very preliminary 84 000 Survey underway t No data available 36 280 000 Estimate; not based on survey

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definitions of wastes are evident. For example, the wide variation between the hazardous waste reported in the US and Japan (more than 3000-fold) obviously results from a discrepancy of classification and reporting methods. One of the comparisons among countries is of special interest: the rate of hazardous waste generation as a function of economic activity. Figure 2 shows the generation rate as a function of gross domestic product (GDP). The upper part of the figure shows the relation to total GDP; the lower part shows the relation to manufacturing GDP. Again, because of the variations in hazardous waste definitions, these data should be viewed as only a rough gauge of the potential for waste generation.

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Data in this table are not strictly comparable . Countries do not use the same definition of hazardous wastes; quantities not reported consistently. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. No data available .


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In addition to the regulations that are in place, an important consideration is the implementation and enforcement of these regulations. There are many reports of weak or nonexistent enforcement practices, but there is no set of data available to quantify the extent of the problem.

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RESEARCH NEEDS While there are many existing technologies for dealing with hazardous waste, there is a continuing need for research and development (R&D) to improve the effectiveness and reduce the costs of waste management. The following research needs have been identified as important in the Pacific Basin. Problem Definition Research

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Hazardous waste generation as a function of GDP.

Waste Treatment

The methods used to treat and dispose of hazardous wastes in the Pacific Basin countries vary from simple to sophisticated. Only countries with industrial market economies use advanced treatment and disposal methods, and not all of these countries follow all such practices. All of the other countries employ some level of physical or chemical treatment, followed by disposal in landfills. Not all of the landfills used are specifically designed for hazardous wastes. Most of the countries in the Pacific Basin are considering the construction of specialized facilities designed to treat hazardous wastes. The Swan Hill facility in Alberta, Canada, is one of the most advanced and is in full-scale operation in the region. Facilities in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Thailand are in various stages of planning. It is evident that there is a significant need for hazardous waste treatment facilities throughout the region. No country currently has adequate capacity to handle all of its wastes. Also, many countries are not using the most rigorous treatment methods available. The extent to which the inadequacies of current techniques may lead to future problems is not clear. Waste Regulation

The regulatory control of hazardous wastes varies from essentially no control to situations in which control is stringently imposed by a multitude of regulations, not all of which are consistent with each other. There are two types of hazardous waste regulation used in the Pacific Basin: operation-based controls that regulate the generation, transport, treatment, and disposal of wastes; and chemical-based controls that regulate individual chemical compounds. There is, of course, some overlap between the two. Figure 3 shows the average number of regulatory options used by the different categories of country in the Pacific Basin. It is evident that the more heavily industrialized nations have in place a broader range of controls to manage their hazardous materials. This indicates that the newly industrialized nations and the developing countries may need to increase the extent of their regulatory control of hazardous wastes in order to maintain effective management of them, as their economies grow.

Activites falling in this category are designed to establish the extent of a hazardous waste problem. Among the research needs in this area are: Health effects. There is only limited information on the effects of exposure to hazardous wastes in the context of actual situations where exposure pathways are complex and subjects may be exposed to a v~ iety of toxic materials. There is also very little information to determine the effects of hazardous materials on the poor and on rural residents where chemical exposure may be complicated by other health conditions such as improper nutrition and inadequate sanitation. Monitoring and site assessment. To determine the scope of the problem at hazardous waste dump sites, soil sampling and water quality monitoring are used to identify chemical constituents in a sample. These must be combined with groundwater, surface water, and atmospheric models to determine the extent of the affected area. Research is needed to improve the predictive capability of these techniques. Waste generation survey methodology. Experience throughout the Pacific Basin has highlighted the difficulties in obtaining reliable information on hazardous waste generation. A consistent and reliable survey methodology, especially one that can be used in de' veloping countries, is needed. Management Information Research

Research in this area covers the devl;!lopment of information that can be used by decision-makers in the design and implementation of a hazardous waste control program. Among the research needs are: Risk assessment methodologies. Risk assessment techniques that explicitly consider uncertainty, infrequency of occurrence, and magnitude of impacts are useful in the development of hazardous waste control programs. These techniques need additional research to improve the data base on which they operate and to refine the methods for quantifying risk. ' Technical development of regulations. Technical information on dose-response relationships, movement of chemicals in the environment (both of which have been mentioned under Problem Definition), availability and efficiency of control technology, long-term characteristics of waste storage, economics of waste management, 25 No:e: OonnotCQ/'\Siclt1enlo1cemer:tol1t9vlatoryop,ons

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Number of regulatory options used to control hazardous waste. WATER December, 1989

29


and other issues must be used in the development of sound regulations. The process by which this technical information is generated for use by regulation-developers needs to be improved. Establishment of priorities. Methods are needed to establish systematically the priorities for the effective allocation of limited resources (money and effort). These methods, using techniques of decision analysis, have been applied only in selected areas of hazardous waste control. The techniques need further development and application. Treatment facility siting procedures. Research is needed on the application of screening techniques to identify technically suitable sites for treatment facilities (eg considering groundwater and soil conditions) and on the involvement of the public in the choice of acceptable locations.

Technology Research Research in this area encompasses the traditional items that are considered to be part of an a R&D program. The technology R&D needs listed below are not intended to be comprehensive but are only a selected list of requirements. Waste minimiwtion. The minimization of waste generation is generally. agreed to be the best long-term solution to the hazardous waste problem in the Pacific Basin. Research is needed on the development of new industrial processes and the implementation of recycling techniques. Biological Treatment. Research is needed to extend the applicability of biological techniques to treat different chemicals, to improve the efficiency of the functioning organisms, and to develop economical systems for utilizing these approaches. Chemical treatment. Of particular importance to the Pacific Basin is the development of treatment equipment that is scaled for use in small- and medium-sized industries. Thermal treatment. Incineration research is needed to provide understanding of the basic combustion processes in incinerators. Of special concern is the understanding of how an incinerator performs in upset situations where variations in feed material and/ or operating conditions can create off-design conditions. Solidification and stabilization. There is a need to better understand the stabilization processes and to determine the materials that can be safely encapsulated and those which require some other form of treatment. Also, there is a need for research on the long-term stabilized wastes and their suitability for use in construction. Landfill disposal. There is a need to understand some of the basic processes at work in a landfill (eg, anaerobic digestion mechanisms) and to develop techniques for monitoring the leaching of materials from landfills. While there are many other research areas that need to be addressed in dealing with hazardous wastes, those identified above seem to have a wide range of applicability in the Pacific Basin.

THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION International collaboration has several important roles to play in the conduct of hazardous waste research. First, there is the general scientific benefit of information exchange and the sharing of experiences. The exchange of information is vital to the advancement of the state-of-the-art. Second, there is the benefit that comes from the replication of research results. Research results must frequently be validated by the duplication of results in different locations.

Third, there is the benefit of cost sharing. Some research efforts are too large for any one country to conduct oll its own. Chemical toxicity testing is one such effort. By having collaborative programs in several countries, the burden is shared and the resulting information is disseminated to all. To stimulate additional research on hazardous waste management and to enhance the effectiveness of ongoing research efforts through international collaboration, the Pacific Basin Consortium for Hazardous Waste Research was formed in 1986. The Consortium is a group of institutions that investigate methods of dealing with hazardous waste. The Consortium is not a government-togovernment program. Rather, it is an assembly of research institutions that have chosen to work together to find needed answers to the technical questions involved in hazardous waste management. The Consortium Secretariat is at the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Currently, there are 51 member organizations from 14 countries in the Pacific Basin: the current Board of Directors is listed in the box.

CONCLUSIONS Problems of hazardous waste management exist throughout the Pacific Basin. Comprehensive and consistent data do not exist but the available information shows that all countries in the region are having to deal with hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal. There are many issues needing research efforts to develop effective and economical hazardous waste management methods. There are also many opportunities for international cooperation in the area of hazardous waste research. These can provide resources to address the hazardous waste problems that are common throughout the Pacific Basin.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This work was supported by the US Department of Energy under contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38.

REFERENCES WORLD BANK (1989). World Development Report 1987. Washington, D.C. CIRILLO, R. R. , et al (1988). Hazardous Waste in the Pacific Basin. Pacific Basin Consortium for Hazardous Waste Research, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

Pacific Basin Consortium for Hazardous Waste Research &st-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA The Board of Directors, 1989 David Barnes, Sinclair Knight Partners, Australia; Richard A. Carpenter, East West Center, USA; Dhira Phantumvanit, .Thailand Development Research Institute, Thailand; Norman F. Sather, Argonne National Laboratory, USA; Eung Bai Shin, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Korea; Masaru Tanaka, Institute of Public Health, Japan; Malcolm A. Wilson, Alberta Environmental Centre, Canada. Richard R. Cirillo, Executive Secretary.

AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY OF LIMNOLOGY

GLOBE '90 Global Opportunities for Business and the Environment International Conference and Trade Fair 19th-23rd March, 1990 Vancouver, BC Canada

Enquiries; for information kits, Mr P. L. Read, Scott & Furphy Consulting Group, Box 7083 St Kilda Road PO, Melbourne. Telephone: (03) 267 2800

Scott & Furphy has been appointed to co-ordinate the participation of Australian individuals and organisations in Globe '90, both as Exhibitors and Delegates.

Note, the Australian Chamber of Manufactures and a number of State Government Departments are supporting this Conference.

30 WATER December, 1989

29th ANNUAL CONGRESS WATER MANAGEMENT IN THE ALLIGATOR RIVERS REGION Jabiru, NT 20-23 April 1990 Pre-congress symposium 19 April 1990 Information: M. Mannion , telephone 089 792 300, fax 089 792 076.


Total Catchment Management in NSW A Report by Joe Woodward (SPCC) and Roslyn Muston, (Consultant) The University of Wollongong was the venue for the first Total Catchment Management (TCM) Workshop in NSW on 12 and 13 July 1989. The Workshop was organised by the Lake Illawarra TCM Committee and sponsored by seven State Government departments. The registration of 246 participants indicated that the workshop was indeed timely - at the time of the conference there were some 18 TCM committees in NSW which varied widely in catchment size, representation, objectives and operational methods. One of the aims of the workshop was to provide a forum for an exchange of ideas and methods. The workshop had four main themes commencing with a discussion on the philosophy of TCM, followed by a brief description from each of the practicing TCM committees. The following session explored the benefits of community involvement in TCM and finally our attention was drawn to the future directions in TCM. The Hon Ian Armstrong, MP, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs opened the Workshop and foreshadowed the introduction of a new Catchment Management Bill which will provide a statutory framework for TCM in NSW. He advised that a State Catchment Management Co-ordinating Committee will be formed as well as other catchment management committees as the need arises. These will include representatives from Local and State Government as well as from the community. The legislation will also provide the opportunity to form Catchment Management Trusts with rating powers. Warwick Watkins, chairman of the Interdepartmental Committee on Total Catchment Management, then discussed the progress of TCM since its adoption as government policy in 1986. His paper outlined the TCM philosophy which concentrates on achieving effective co-ordination, identifying natural resources degradation, ensuring land stability and productivity on a sustained basis and preparing management plans. He stressed the need to depolarise the debate between conservation and development and predicted that TCM will be able to achieve this. Choon-Hooi Teoh explained in a little more detail the proposed catchment management legislation which will set up a State Interdepartmental Committee as well as local and regional committees. He suggested this will not lead to a fourth tier of government but stressed the need for flexibility. He advised that the catchment management committees will be chaired by a local community person appointed by the Minister. Trusts will have more of a statutory role with rating powers and a responsibility to develop strategic plans and they will be accountable directly to the Minister. Next we heard from the practitioners, ranging in size from the massive Murray-Darling Basin down to the relatively small Hacking River catchment, Noel Fitzpatrick told us of the enormous problems in developing effective strategies to deal with degradation, estimated to result in agricultural losses of $215 million a year, in the Murray Darling Basin which covers one-seventh of Australia. The Murray-Darling Basin Commission is the largest TCM in Australia and has the broad goal of maintaining sustainable use of the land, water and environmental resources of the Basin. A Community Advisory Committee forms the link between the community and the Murray Darling Ministerial Council representing the Commonwealth and three of the affected States. Formation of smaller regional community based groups is seen as essential for the development of plans based on the overall strategies. The remaining TCM Committees were divided rather arbitrarily, into rural and coastal, on the assumption that there were significant differences between the two groups. As it turned out the differences were not as clear cut as originally thought. To assist in comparing the various TCM committees, each author was asked to provide a summary covering: reasons for formation of the committee, structure of the committee, geographical area, major issues, modus operandi, achievements, difficulties and future directions. These proceedings, are available from the Lake Illawarra TCM, PO Box 21, Wollongong East 2520, at $20 per copy. They provide an excellent summary of the workings of these committees. The main reason given for formation of most TCM committees was degradation of a water system, because no obvious single 32 WATER December, 1989

organisation had responsibility for its degradation or indeed its improvement. Approximately half the TCM committees were co-ordinated by Local Government and the remainder by State Government agencies. Local and State Government agencies were represented on all committees and about half the committees contained some form of community representation. Under the heading of Major Issues nearly all TCM committees identified problems of erosion and sedimentation. Deterioration of water quality because of nutrients or pesticides was also a common problem, as well as concern about potential impacts of future developments. Most committees advised that they have formed sub-committees or task forces to address particular issues. Some groups have produced management plans or guidelines but few were able to point to substantial improvements in catchment or water quality. Virtually every TCM committee listed lack of administrative support as being one of the major difficulties. Other problems included lack of information on the catchment, demarcation among government departments and lack of funding to carry out works. David Martin described just what can be achieved with total community involvement as demonstrated by the 1988 Sydney Harbour Clean-up campaign. Without any statutory backing, the idea of the enthusiastic yachtsman, Ian Kernan, developed into a massive community exercise, resulting in 250 semi-trailer loads of garbage being removed from, in and around Sydney Harbour. Rick Farley, of the National Farmers Federation, acknowledged that land degradation is a priority issue. He argued that farmers cannot be forced by legislation to change land management practices but their co-operation must be obtained and this can only be achieved by: • demonstrating that sustainable farming is profitable in the long term. • • upgrading of extension services. • provision of more accurate signals from government and the public (for example only a few years ago farmers received a tax deduction for clearing land but not f&r planting trees). Steven Lees reviewed the progress made by the 19 TCM committees and provided a very useful checklist of both the common pitfalls and the proven ingredients for success. A quartet from the University of Western Sydney-Hawkesbury then provided a most thought provoking and entertaining argument for better communication across the TCM-community interface and stressed the need for change to achieve better community participation. This view was supported by Belinda Taplin and Sunon Smith whose paper on future scenarios recommended that the State agencies currently involved in TCM, need to resist the temptation to control TCM and to permit a greater input from the community as a whole.

S. MOORE Continued from page 19

REFERENCES Brunner, P. 1988. pers comm. Freeman, H . M. 1986, APCA Conf New Orleans, Dec. Joint Task Force on Intractable Waste 1988. Summary Report, July. Kaziro, R. 1987, Ph D Thesis, School of Chemistry, Univ of Sydney. Metro Recovery Systems, 1988. pers comm. Overcash, M . 1986. "A Compendium for Hazardous and Non-hazardous Waste Minimisation" publ by Lewis, N. Y. Rogers, C. V. et al 1987. "Chemical Destruction of Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans" in Conf New Frontiers for H. W. Management, Pittsburgh. Samuel, E. 1988, Sydney's Aqueous Waste lreatment Plant, Water 15, 4, Oct. Victorian EPA, 1988, Draft Industrial Waste Management Policy on Waste Minimisation, Pub No 262, April. Waste Management Authority of NSW 1989, Annual Report. Water Technologies Inc 1988, pers comm.

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