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Evaluation of site-specific lateral inclusion zone for vapor intrusion based on an analytical approach.

Journal of hazardous materials (2015-06-10)
Yijun Yao, Yun Wu, Mengling Tang, Yue Wang, Jianjin Wang, Eric M Suuberg, Lin Jiang, Jing Liu
ABSTRACT

In 2002, U.S. EPA proposed a general buffer zone of approximately 100 feet (30 m) laterally to determine which buildings to include in vapor intrusion (VI) investigations. However, this screening distance can be threatened by factors such as extensive surface pavements. Under such circumstances, EPA recommended investigating soil vapor migration distance on a site-specific basis. To serve this purpose, we present an analytical model (AAMLPH) as an alternative to estimate lateral VI screening distances at chlorinated compound-contaminated sites. Based on a previously introduced model (AAML), AAMLPH is developed by considering the effects of impervious surface cover and soil geology heterogeneities, providing predictions consistent with the three-dimensional (3-D) numerical simulated results. By employing risk-based and contribution-based screening levels of subslab concentrations (50 and 500 μg/m(3), respectively) and source-to-subslab attenuation factor (0.001 and 0.01, respectively), AAMLPH suggests that buildings greater than 30 m from a plume boundary can still be affected by VI in the presence of any two of the three factors, which are high source vapor concentration, shallow source and significant surface cover. This finding justifies the concern that EPA has expressed about the application of the 30 m lateral separation distance in the presence of physical barriers (e.g., asphalt covers or ice) at the ground surface.

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