Project 3 Update
by Jamie Minick
The McCormick and Baxter Superfund Site is located on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon and has PAH contaminated soils and sediments from historical creosote operations. As part of an Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) ten year study to assess the effectiveness of the sediment cap, passive sampling devices from Kim Anderson’s lab were deployed by U.S. EPA Region 10 divers in both sediment and water at the site. Included in this study was a newly designed passive sampling sediment probe which allowed for deployment in the rocky armoring of the sediment cap. Based on data from this study, the ODEQ reported that the sediment cap appears to be effective in meeting its remedial objectives. The full results of the study, used to inform ODEQ regulatory decision making, is available here (https://semspub.epa.gov/work/10/100031136.pdf), beginning on page 20.
Sydelle Harrison was awarded an SRP Externship to work with the Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation). The clinic is celebrating 20 years of self-governance this month and preparing to move into a new state of the art facility next year.
Sydelle is working on various special projects to support the Public Health Accreditation process. Her duties include outreach related to the community health assessment. She is also collecting feedback regarding the community health improvement plan.
As a Tribal member and SRP trainee, Sydelle is also working on the clinic’s new strategic plan. She aims to promote integration of environmental health back into the organization as they expand services. This has also proven to be a focal point for many Tribal members in her presentations as they ask what the people and first foods are being exposed to. Between her externship and her role as an SRP trainee, Sydelle is helping connect SRP researchers and tribal commission members and community members to expand capacity environmental health research.
Working with the RTC, SRP trainee Sydelle Harrison coordinated a campus visit for students from the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) on May 13-14. Students went on a campus tour, ate lunch at the Eena Haws Native American Longhouse Annual Salmon Bake, and met with Dr. Rohlman (CEC, RTC) to learn about recent tribal-university collaborations (more information available here). The tour culminated in a hands-on lab activity wherein students learned how to isolate DNA from strawberries as a proxy for understanding how SRP investigators can learn underlying genetic determinants of disease by analyzing DNA. This event was a collaborative effort between the Research Translation Core, Training Core, Administrative Core and Community Engagement Core.
Amber Kramer is a first year Chemistry Graduate student working with Dr. Staci Simonich on SRP Project 5. She is working on identifying oxidation products formed during polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) remediation.
Amber has been selected to work with Dr. Alla Zelenyuk this summerat Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to get hands on experience studying atmospheric reactions of PAHs adsorbed to secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). Many PAHs are on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) priority pollutant list. Amber has been awarded an SRP Trainee Externship Award through the SRP Training Core to support her during this training.
Dr. Zelenyuk’s group at PNNL has done extensive work with SOAs. This externship will provide training and experience for Amber to study PAH adsorption during SOA formation, as well as reactions these PAHs may undergo when exposed to atmospheric species like ozone and hydroxyl radicals. Some oxidation products of PAHs have been show to be more toxic than the original PAH, and this work along with long range transport models, will help identify U.S. populations at risk from exposure to common atmospheric PAH sources.
Research Partner: Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
In collaboration with the SRP Chemistry Core, SRP trainees Holly Dixon and Greta Frey (CEC) worked with Drs. Rohlman and Kile on a passive wristband project. Following a significant air quality incident last year, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community was interested in the passive wristband samplers developed by Dr. Kim Anderson. This year, the community recruited 10 individuals to each wear a wristband for one week. The wristbands were analyzed for 62 different PAHs, and results were returned to those participants that requested them. The study will be repeated in the fall with the same participants, as the community is interested in seasonal changes in air quality.