In this presentation originally given at a workshop presented by NGWA, US EPA, and REGENESIS®, Jeremy Birnstingl, VP of Environmental Technology at REGENESIS, briefly explores the driving pressures and evolutionary background to the widespread single-technology design predisposition still evident across much of the industry, and outlines the technical basis of its inherent shortcomings in the dynamic and heterogeneous context of an impacted aquifer undergoing cleanup. The physicochemical principles favoring the use of integrated remedial approaches — both spatially and temporally — are summarized, and practical indicators for determining optimal points of inflection of technology change are outlined. The case is presented for incorporation of integrated design considerations with objective technology changeover trigger points into the initial remediation approval process, thereby securing efficiency and cost benefits to all stakeholders.

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Video Transcript

I’m Dr. Jeremy Birnstingl. I’m Vice President of Environmental Technology at REGENESIS, where I’ve worked for the last 13 years. I have a PhD in bioremediation from the University of Lancaster. I’m a biologist by primary training, and I’ve been working in the bioremediation sector for about 27 years now, in academia, in consulting, and actually in the defense sector too.

What I want to talk about here, some of the synergies of how like technologies will couple together, and I want to give a very simple road map for this to frame it, and then I want to get into some of the quantified benefits. There will not be as much technical detail as we’ve seen in some of the talks this morning, but this is more of a step back to get an idea of some of the trends.

Combined remedies, integrated treatment. The core thesis of this could really be summarized as follows. All remediation technologies have strengths and weaknesses, and these are different from one technology to another. Employing technologies in suitable combination can therefore enable strengths to be combined and weaknesses to be overcome. This, in turn, can increase efficiency, improve performance, and thereby save time, money, and resources. This is one of the core thesis points from the core principles from the Combined Remedies Initiative that is bringing you the workshop today, made up of USEPA, NGWA, Industry and Academia, and so forth.

I actually came across this much earlier. I came across it when I was perhaps one and a half or two years old, and it was taught to me by my grandmother or my mother on her knee. It went like this. “Jack Spratt could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.” It comes out of Mother Goose and still remains relevant today.

So, to get into my talk proper, I’m gonna start logically with a London Tube map. Now, a lot of commuters in London start, they’d say with a map. But here, it’s not so much the map that I’m after, it’s one of the principles that I want to draw from this. I want to use the idea of a simple road map that provides a place and a context for the optimal use of the principal technology sectors that we have at our disposal. And so, the first thing I have to say to this map is that it’s wrong. It’s wrong.