- ©2001. AAPG/DEG
The permeable reactive barrier (PRB) is a relatively new technology that can be a cost-effective and low-maintenance remedy for a contaminated site. However, to use PRBs appropriately, the remedial manager must understand the technology, geological conditions of the site to be remediated, and the nature of the contaminants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has sponsored research into PRBs, and the USEPA and several state regulatory agencies have approved PRB remedies at contaminated sites. This article succinctly presents the background of PRB technology, guides the new remedial manager through the process of determining if a PRB remedy is appropriate to for given site, discusses the pros and cons of PRBs, and outlines data requirements and guidelines of design for a PRB remedy. Summaries of existing sites with PRBs are given, along with a bibliography of government and environmental journal references.
Jami A. Striegel is an environmental engineer with Atkins Benham, Inc., Environmental Division, Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has worked in the area of site remediation since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1998. She is a registered professional engineer in Oklahoma.
Dee Ann Sanders is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oklahoma State University. Over a twenty-five-year career, she has worked for civil and environmental consulting firms, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Sanders’ interests lie in environmental law, infrastructure, and the application of environmental engineering principles to the problems of the domestic petroleum industry. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.
John N. Veenstra is professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and coordinator of the graduate program in environmental engineering at Oklahoma State University. Professor Veenstra is a registered professional engineer in both Iowa and Oklahoma. His areas of research interest focus on water treatment operations, remediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals, environmental cleanup of hydrocarbons, and sludge dewatering processes.