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01-26-2016

Clarkson University is Academic Partner for First Emerging Contaminants Summit

As new emerging contaminants are identified for regulation, the Department of Defense must determine how to best manage affected locations.

Emerging Contaminants SummitAssociate Professor Michelle Crimi of Clarkson University's Institute for a Sustainable Environment said this process to regulate sites of historical operations can be long and expensive, which is why researchers are working to find solutions to remediate contaminants and manage exposure before regulations are put in place.

"It's important to be ready with the tools to manage these sites and by developing the tools early on in the game, hopefully we'll be able to ramp up and roll these out cost-effectively and quickly," Crimi said.

Clarkson will be an academic partner for the first ever Emerging Contaminants Summit in March. The conference will be held in Westminster, Colo., and will focus on the latest developments in the detection, fate and transport, risk assessment, treatment and regulation of emerging contaminants.

The Emerging Contaminants Summit aims to comprehensively address mitigating the presence of contaminants across all environmental media, including surface water, groundwater, drinking water, wastewater, recycled water, soils and sediments.

Crimi's research examines innovative methods for groundwater remediation -- or cleaning up contaminated groundwater -- and she works with undergraduate and graduate students who primarily do laboratory work to develop and evaluate new remediation technologies.

One of the emerging contaminants projects students are working on now focuses on treating perfluorinated contaminants using a horizontal treatment well, Crimi said. Perfluorinated compounds get into the groundwater from substances such as firefighting foams.

Clarkson is collaborating on this project with the Department of Defense, Southern Nevada Water Authority and Arcadis.

"We're working on developing a technology that will absorb those compounds out of the water and the goal is to treat that absorbent," Crimi said.

Crimi said the Emerging Contaminants Summit provides opportunities for students to talk with career mentors and meet with representatives from industry, academia and the government. Students also will have an opportunity to deliver a one-minute flash presentation on their work to the entire audience to highlight their research on emerging contaminants.

For more information, visit http://www.contaminantssummit.com/ .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University students are working in collaboration with the Department of Defense, Southern Nevada Water Authority and Arcadis to develop an approach to treat perfluorinated contaminants using a horizontal treatment well. Clarkson will be an academic partner for the first Emerging Contaminants Summit in March.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/emerging-contaminants.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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