State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008NJ154B
Title: Volatilization of PCBs from the Tappan Zee region of the Hudson River
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: 6
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Non Point Pollution, Surface Water
Principal Investigators: Rodenburg, Lisa A.; Miskewitz, Robert J.
Federal Funds: $ 30,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 59,516
Abstract: The proposed work would measure fluxes of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the water surface of the Tappan Zee region of the Hudson River. These measurements will be collected using a novel technique utilizing boundary layer theory to estimate flux rates, and will be the first of their kind from an estuarine system. Because volatilization is thought to be the major pathway for loss of PCBs from many of these systems, models of PCB fate rely heavily on the mass transfer coefficients (MTCs) for air/water exchange to predict the rate of volatilization. MTCs used in the current fate models are estimates based on measured MTCs for tracer gases that bear little physical-chemical similarity to PCBs. The proposed study will enable the determination of these MTCs for PCBs via measurements of PCB concentrations in the near surface air and water, and will enable the development of a method for calculating MTCs for several other classes of contaminants. This research will therefore enhance the accuracy of models of the fate of PCBs in aquatic systems. Since these models are used to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), this research will also aid in the establishment of scientifically accurate and legally defensible TMDLs.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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