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Professor Loretta Fernandez Receives Grant From The EPA

October 3, 2017

The pilot study by CEE/COS Assistant Professor Loretta Fernandez entitled “Laboratory and field pilot study on using polyethylene passive samplers to monitor potential PCB transport across the engineered cap at the Grasse River Superfund site” has received a $405K grant in collaboration with the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center from the Environmental Protection Agency. Her research addresses the contamination issue of sediments in the Grasse River Superfund site in Massena, NY including PCB contaminated sediments along 7.2 miles of river. 

Fernandez’s work investigates the use of polyethylene passive samplers to monitor PCP transport across the engineered cap of the Grasse River Superfund site. The study seeks to uncover the effectiveness of an armored cap in sequestering PCBs in deep sediments. The Fernandez laboratory at Northeastern University will prepare and analyze polyethylene passive samplers for the determination of freely dissolved concentrations and chemical activities of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in sediment pore water, cap pore water, and surface water. Her research intends to confirm that the PE passive sampling methods used in the field can accurately detect advection of pore water across the sediment-water interface.