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  • Evening Technical Presentation: POTENTIAL FALSE POSITIVES IN VOLATILE PETROLEUM HYDROCARBONS (VPH) ANALYTICAL METHODS – THE EFFECT OF NON-TARGET COMPOUNDS ON ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING

Evening Technical Presentation: POTENTIAL FALSE POSITIVES IN VOLATILE PETROLEUM HYDROCARBONS (VPH) ANALYTICAL METHODS – THE EFFECT OF NON-TARGET COMPOUNDS ON ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING

  • Thu, January 24, 2013
  • 6:00 PM
  • SHERATON HARTFORD SOUTH HOTEL - Rocky Hill, CT (former Marriott)
  • 27

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Topic: POTENTIAL FALSE POSITIVES IN VOLATILE PETROLEUM HYDROCARBONS (VPH) ANALYTICAL METHODS – THE EFFECT OF NON-TARGET COMPOUNDS ON ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING
Speaker: Richard J. Rago; Haley & Aldrich
Date & Time: Thursday, January 24, 2013, 6 PM
Location: SHERATON HARTFORD SOUTH HOTEL (former Marriott), 100 Capital Blvd., Rocky Hill, CT 06067 (Exit 23 off I-91)

This meeting is open to all at no fee but we ask that you register so we can estimate number of attendees and notify you of any meeting changes.

Abstract:
POTENTIAL FALSE POSITIVES IN VOLATILE PETROLEUM HYDROCARBONS (VPH) ANALYTICAL METHODS – THE EFFECT OF NON-TARGET COMPOUNDS ON ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING
Richard J. Rago; Haley & Aldrich
James Occhialini; Alpha Analytical Labs
Jane Parkin Kullman; Haley & Aldrich

Releases of petroleum products comprise a major source of environmental contamination. For the year 2008, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) estimated that at least 55 percent of all releases reported to the Connecticut Department Protection Oil and Chemical Spill Response Division and over 95 percent of all underground storage tank releases in 2008 were due to petroleum hydrocarbons. Although these petroleum products may contain complex and variable mixtures of hundreds of individual hydrocarbon compounds, some states still rely on traditional and inexact analytical approaches for petroleum identification and quantitation. Such approaches include measurement of specific indicator compounds, like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) and/or the quantitation of a single “Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon” (TPH) concentration (e.g. the1996 Remediation Standard Regulations promulgated criteria for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Method 418.1). However, analyses of BTEX and TPH provides little or no information on the specific hydrocarbon composition or its toxicity for various petroleum products that may be present in environmental media.

Recognizing the limitations of “indicator only” approaches, several regulatory entities have promulgated draft and final testing methodologies that attempt to better characterize the risks posed by all hydrocarbons present. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) published its Interim Final Petroleum Report: Development of Health-Based Alternative to the Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) Parameter in 1994. The report presented a toxicological-based approach to characterize and evaluate risks posed by petroleum-contaminated sites. The methods developed to characterize “Volatile Petroleum Hydrocarbons” (VPH) and “Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons” (EPH) were issued in draft form by MassDEP in August 1995, and as final procedures in January 1998. CTDEEP is currently developing Draft Guidance for Characterization of Petroleum Releases which includes VPH and EPH, for which CTDEEP Reasonable Confidence Protocols (RCPs) are already available.

This talk focuses only on VPH, characterized as the target compounds BTEX, methyl tert-butyl ether, and naphthalene plus three ranges of hydrocarbons, including the C5-C8 aliphatic hydrocarbons, C9-C12 aliphatic hydrocarbons, and the C9-C10 aromatic hydrocarbons. Two separate limited, blind studies of the VPH method were conducted in 2000 and again in 2011. The studies included the analysis of aqueous samples which were spiked with only halogenated ethanes (or only aromatic hydrocarbons) which elute in the VPH hydrocarbon ranges of interest. The results of the studies will be presented, which confirm that the presence of halogenated ethanes and aromatic hydrocarbons could result in false positive VPH results. This talk will also present field case study data and detail how and why this phenomenon occurs. LEPs will also be provided with strategies that will improve representativeness when bias is demonstrated in VPH data.

Speaker:

Richard Rago serves as a Haley & Aldrich Lead Scientist and is based out of their Rocky Hill, CT office. Since joining Haley & Aldrich in 1991, Mr. Rago has long been recognized for contributions to regulatory agencies and professional organizations, including for his original support for Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s QA/QC Workgroup, current participation in the petroleum methods guidance, and contributions to ITRC and numerous other state and federal guidance documents. Mr. Rago has also directed independent research studies in support of improved environmental characterization, including indoor air sampling intervals, soil gas long term temporal stability, indoor air background, false positives in analytical quantitation of metals, and potential bias in petroleum hydrocarbons measurements.

Environmental Professionals' Organization of Connecticut, Inc.
P.O. Box 176, Amston, CT 06231-0176
Seth Molofsky, Executive Director
Phone: (860) 537-0337, Fax: (860) 603-2075

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