Volatile Organic Compounds in the Nation's Ground Water and Drinking Water Supply Wells
Friday, April 28, 2006
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
2318 Rayburn House Office Building
Discussion and questions from the audience will follow presentations.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment
Program (NAWQA) will release at this briefing its nationwide assessment
on the occurrence and concentrations of volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) in ground water and drinking-water supply wells. The report
will be available for briefing attendees.
VOCs are produced in large volumes and are associated with a myriad
of products, such as plastics, adhesives, paints, gasoline, fumigants,
refrigerants, and dry-cleaning fluids. Widespread and long-term use of
VOCs and their ability to persist and migrate in ground water raises
questions about their possible effects on the environment, including
drinking water. The USGS assessment provides the most comprehensive
national-scale analysis to date of VOC occurrence and the potential for
effects on human health.
USGS findings can be used to help guide and inform state and
national policies for ground water and drinking-water protection. For
example, the science-based insights can identify and prioritize
commonly detected VOCs for continued monitoring and can help decisions
makers better anticipate the types of VOCs most likely to occur in
urban areas and other land-use settings. Early findings from these
studies discovered the widespread and relatively rapid presence of
methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in ground water after its extensive use
as an oxygenate in gasoline.
- Robert Hirsch, USGS Associate Director for Water, will describe elements of the NAWQA design and significance of NAWQA’s studies, providing a context for the VOC findings.
- John Zogorski, NAWQA VOC Synthesis Team Leader, will present key findings and their implications.
Co-sponsored by the Water Environment Federation, the
Environmental and Energy Institute, and the National Ground Water
Association in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey.
The briefing is free and open to the public. No registration is required.
For more information, please contact Pat Sinicropi at 703-684-2416 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Donna Myers at 703-648-5012 (email@example.com).