Natural Attenuation

Natural Attenuation - United States Environmental...

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United States Office of Solid Waste and EPA 542-F-01-004 Environmental Protection Emergency Response April 2001 Agency (5102G) A Citizen’s Guide to Monitored Natural Attenuation What is monitored natural attenuation? Natural attenuation relies on natural processes to clean up or attenuate pollution in soil and groundwater. Natural attenuation occurs at most polluted sites. However, the right conditions must exist underground to clean sites properly. If not, cleanup will not be quick enough or complete enough. Scientists monitor or test these conditions to make sure natural attenuation is working. This is called monitored natural attenuation or MNA . How does it work? When the environment is polluted with chemicals, nature can work in four ways to clean it up: 1. Tiny bugs or microbes that live in soil and ground- water use some chemicals for food. When they completely digest the chemicals, they can change them into water and harmlessgases. ( A Citizen’s Guide to Bioremediation [EPA 542-F-01-001] describes how microbes work.) 2. Chemicals can stick or sorb to soil, which holds them in place. This does not clean up the chemicals, but it can keep
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Natural Attenuation - United States Environmental...

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