Reston Biogeochemical Processes in Groundwater Laboratory

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Date published: March 3, 2021

Energy Integrated Science Team

The Energy Integrated Science Team focuses on the potential for contaminant exposures in the environment that might originate from energy resource activities including, transportation, storage, extraction, waste management and restoration. Perceived health risks to humans and other organisms will be distinguished from actual risks, if any.

Date published: March 3, 2021

Cyclical Mobilization and Attenuation of Naturally Occurring Arsenic in an Underground Petroleum Plume

Scientists found that naturally occurring arsenic in aquifer sediments was mobilized into groundwater and attenuated through reattachment to sediments within an underground petroleum plume. Understanding these patterns identifies anthropogenic factors that affect arsenic presence and magnitude in groundwater.

Date published: March 3, 2021

Ongoing Research to Characterize the Complexity of Chemical Mixtures in Water Resources—Urban Stormwater

A multiagency reconnaissance study of chemicals in urban stormwater, sampled from pipes or ditches during 50 runoff events at 21 sites in 17 states across the United States, demonstrated that stormwater runoff contains complex mixtures of chemicals including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals that are indicative of multiple sources in the watershed.

Date published: March 3, 2021

Framework for Examining Stream Ecosystem Health in Areas of Shale Gas Development—A Multi-Parameter Watershed-Based Case Study in Pennsylvania

In a case study of 25 headwater streams in Pennsylvania, no statistically significant associations were determined between shale gas development and geochemical tracers of produced waters or measures of microbial and macroinvertebrate community composition.

Date published: August 31, 2017

Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Visits with Scientists from the Reston Biogeochemical Processes in Groundwater Lab

Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recently visited Reston to share his vision for the U.S. Geological Survey. He visited with USGS personnel and stopped by the Reston Biogeochemical Processes in Groundwater and Reston Microbiology Laboratories to learn more about what we do.

Date published: June 9, 2017

Isabelle Cozzarelli Receives Meritorious Service Award

Dr. Isabelle M. Cozzarelli received the U.S. Department of Interior's second highest honorary award—the 2017 Meritorious Service Award—for her numerous contributions to understanding the biogeochemical controls of contaminant degradation in groundwater and near-surface environments.

Date published: December 1, 2016

Salting the Earth: The Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Wastewater Spills

For five days in July 2014, a broken pipe spilled more than one million gallons of wastewater produced by unconventional oil drilling into a steep ravine filled with natural springs and beaver dams on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Date published: March 31, 2016

RBPGL Helps Identify Crude-oil Metabolites in Subsurface Plumes

USGS scientists are studying two subsurface crude-oil spill sites in Minnesota measured concentrations of oil breakdown products (metabolites) at greater concentrations than parent compound concentrations.

Date published: December 15, 2015

Ethanol-Containing Fuel Spills Enhanced Natural Trace Element Release from Sediments in an Experimental Setting

Experimental field research simulating hydrocarbon spills by researchers from the USGS (including RBPGL), Virginia Tech, and the University of St. Thomas showed that mixed ethanol and petroleum-based fuels increased the rate by which arsenic and other natural trace elements are released from aquifer sediments to groundwater when compared to petroleum-based fuels alone.

Date published: November 13, 2015

Landfill Leachate Contains a Mixture of Contaminants including Pharmaceuticals

New scientific research from the USGS details how landfill leachate, disposed from landfills to environmental pathways, is host to numerous contaminants of emerging concern (CECs).

Date published: November 1, 2015

RBPGL presents at 2015 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting

Multiple RBPGL papers were presented at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Baltimore, November 1-4, 2015, highlighting current research on crude oil natural attenuation and environmental impacts of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) wastewater.

Date published: January 26, 2015

Natural Breakdown of Petroleum Underground Can Lace Arsenic into Groundwater

In a long-term field study, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Virginia Tech scientists have found that changes in geochemistry from the natural breakdown of petroleum hydrocarbons underground can promote the chemical release (mobilization) of naturally occurring arsenic into groundwater. This geochemical change can result in potentially significant arsenic groundwater contamination.