Current Teams

Active ITRC Teams

The ITRC Teams create innovative approaches to environmental challenges. For information about a Team or Project, click on the name below. Our new 2024 Active Teams will kick off in December and are looking for state team leaders - see the 2024 Team Descriptions on the right to learn more!

ITRC Active Team Lifecycle
Updated 07/06/2023

Tire Chemicals of Emerging Concern: Use and Fate of Tire Anti-Degradants

Team Leaders: Kelly Grant (CA DTSC) & Tanya Williams (WA ECY) 

Tire anti-degradants are used to extend the life of tires by preventing the cracking and breakdown of rubber as it reacts with ozone over time. 6 p-Phenylenediamine (6PPD) is currently the most prevalent chemical used for this purpose and is known to produce 6PPD-quinone (6PPD-q) through interaction with ozone. 6PPD and 6PPD-q enter the environment via tire fragments and particles on the road that eventually enter larger waterways and aquatic environments through runoff. In December 2020, researchers identified 6PPD-quinone (6PPD-q) as the second most toxic aquatic contaminant currently known. This team will serve as a central location for shared information and coordination among states as well as consolidate the limited available knowledge in this area, informing the public as to the science behind this problem, and efforts taken to minimize harm to aquatic life through the development of fact sheets and trainings.

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Passive Sampling Technology Update

Team Leaders: Crystal Pirozek (NJ DEP) & Team Leader Needed

 After 20 years, it’s time to review the four ITRC Guidance Documents developed on Diffusion/Passive Samplers. These documents were originally developed to encourage the appropriate use of passive sampler technologies in groundwater monitoring programs and as a replacement for existing volume purge sampling systems. This team will review and update the four existing ITRC documents with an emphasis on new technologies for passive sampling, media differences, sampling devices, and device limitations/advantages. Case studies will be included to help transition to passive sampling appropriately, bring confidence to the science and enable more sustainable management and monitoring of sites.

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Reuse of Solid Mining Waste

Team Leaders: David Cates (OK DEQ) & Mark Rudolph (CDPHE) 

There are more than 500,000 abandoned mine sites nationwide, all containing various volumes of solid mining waste (tailings, chat, waste rock). Many materials considered waste when initially processed may still contain recoverable mineral concentrations, including rare earth elements, given today’s advancements in mineral extraction methods and technologies. However, these remaining metal concentrations are often high enough that risks may be present for human health and the environment. Reuse of mining waste reduces the volume of residual materials at the mining site, decreasing potential exposures. However, depending on the reuse method, risks and exposures may not be decreased, just transferred to another site. In addition, there are also technical and regulatory barriers to reusing solid mining waste. Little information is available to regulators and mine site operators on reusing solid mine waste, making the technical and regulatory barriers appear more significant. This team will examine the possibilities and best management practices for environmentally safe reprocessing and reuse of chat, tailings, waste rock, and other solid mining wastes.

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Contaminants of Emerging Concern

Team Leaders: Paula Panzino (Arizona DEQ) & Vivek Mathrani (California DTSC) 

Contaminants of emerging concern are an issue that often demands an immediate response by state regulatory agencies and requires a clear procedure on how to identify, evaluate, and manage them. Once an emerging contaminant is identified, public concern and interest may become elevated, requiring States to rapidly respond. Regulatory agencies, and the regulated community, need to more effectively address exposure to emerging contaminants while meeting the expectations of concerned or interested public stakeholders. The ITRC Contaminants of Emerging Concern team will create a framework for anticipating and responding to emerging contaminants, built on lessons learned from the emergence of PFAS and coupled with proactive identification of potential future contaminants. 

Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

Team Leaders: Kelsey Bufford (Oklahoma DEQ) & Kris McCandless (Virginia DEQ)

In the United States, groundwater is a major resource, with 41% of the population relying on it for drinking water, which supplies freshwater for irrigation, domestic use, public use, industrial, and mining. Groundwater depletion occurs when the natural replenishment process is too slow for the demands of a groundwater aquifer. Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is a man-made process of groundwater replenishment that involves injecting water into aquifer recharge wells. The MAR Team will produce a Technical Guidance Document and Training that will evaluate the potential uses of MAR, the factors for the safe and successful implementation and innovative characterization, and modeling tools to appropriately place MAR infrastructure. 

Ethylene Oxide Emissions (EtO)

Team Leaders: Keisha Long (South Carolina DHEC) & April Lazzaro (Michigan EGLE)

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a flammable, colorless gas used to make other chemicals for a range of products, including antifreeze, textiles, plastics, detergents, and adhesives. Currently, there are questions about how background EtO should be defined because of mobile source emissions causing disparate levels of EtO in the environment, and there are also various analytical methods available and employed to measure EtO, which yields inconsistency in measurement and management. The ITRC team will explore background EtO to better differentiate between point and nonpoint source emissions, and the various methods used to analyze EtO to create compressive and consistent resources on where, when, and how to analyze and manage EtO.

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Microplastics Outreach Toolkit

Team Leaders: Kim Nimmer (North Carolina DEQ) & Valerie Hanley (California DTSC)

Although microplastics are small — plastic debris less than five millimeters long — they pose one of the largest emerging threats to the global environmental community today. Microplastics have been introduced to the environment over the last 50 years through plastic refuse which has been broken down, and particles in health and beauty products which have entered the waste stream. Recent studies have shown their harmful effects on environmental media, due to their chemical nature and persistence. The ITRC Microplastics Team will develop free resources and fact sheets designed to provide the latest information and best management practices for the most important issues surrounding microplastics.

Microplastics

PFAS

Team Leaders: Sandra Goodrow (New Jersey DEP) & Kate Emma Schlosser (New Hampshire DES)

The state of the science and understanding of PFAS is constantly evolving. The goal of the PFAS continuation team is to update existing ITRC technical resources to reflect the latest in the science of PFAS; develop video training resources; establish a new subgroup dedicated to collecting data, information, and scientific knowledge to support states in their work to surface water; and perform classroom trainings based on ITRC's published technical resources.

PFAS