Potential for the Bioremediation of Contaminated Dredge Material

by Jon Amdur, Port of Oakland, Oakland, United States,
Andrew Clark-Clough, Port of Oakland, Oakland, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


Sediment contamination frequently impacts the ability of ports to maintain and deepen shipping channels. One of the common contaminants in channel sediments is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Research by the Port of Oakland has shown that PAHs, though persistent, can be bioremediated in wet dredge material. Small scale treatability studies have indicated that greater than 70% reductions in total PAH levels can be achieved in sediments with high PAH burdens (>50 ppm) in less than three weeks. The Port of Oakland is currently working on a proposal to identify an effective and workable procedure to reduce the cost of upland disposal of PAH contaminated sediments. The proposed study will evaluate five treatments and use a cost benefit analysis to identify the 'best' treatment approach. Although treatment involves moderate cost, the cost may be offset by reduced disposal fees and liability. Bioremediated dredge material may also be suitable for beneficial uses such as wetland creation. The success of bioremediation as a practical solution requires clear regulatory guidelines defining acceptable PAH levels.

Subject Headings: Dredged materials | Ports and harbors | Remediation | Biological processes | Pollution | Waste treatment | Waste disposal | Hydrocarbons | California | United States

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