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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z

Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP)
A SAP documents the procedural and analytical requirements for a one-time or time-limited project that involves the collection of samples of water, soil, sediment, or other media to characterize areas of potential environmental contamination. A SAP contains all the elements of a quality assurance project plan and a field sampling plan that must be provided to meet the requirements for any project funded by the EPA under which environmental measurements are to be taken.

Saturated Zone
The saturated zone is the area beneath the surface of the land in which all openings are filled with water.

Seismic Reflection and Refraction
Seismic reflection and refraction is a technology used to examine the geophysical features of soil and bedrock, such as debris, buried channels, and other features.

Semivolatile Organic Compound (SVOC)
SVOCs, composed primarily of carbon and hydrogen atoms, have boiling points greater than 200ÂșC. Common SVOCs include PCBs, PAHs, and phenols.

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Significant Threat
The term refers to the level of contamination that a state would consider significant enough to warrant an action. The thresholds vary from state to state.

Site Characterization and Analysis Penetrometer System (SCAPS)
SCAPS was developed by the Division of the Naval Command, Control, and Ocean Surveillance Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Army and the U. S. Air Force. SCAPS, a cone penetrometer testing system, coupled with laser-induced fluorescence, measures fluorescence with optical fibers. The measurement is made through a sapphire window on a probe that is pushed into the ground with a truck-mounted cone penetrometer testing platform.

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Six-Phase Soil Heating
Six-phase soil heating is an in situ thermal technology for the remediation of contamination of soil and groundwater. The process splits conventional electricity into six electrical phases for the electrical resistive heating of soil and groundwater. Each electrical phase is delivered to one of six electrodes placed in a hexagonal array. The voltage gradient between phases causes an electrical current to flow through the soil and groundwater. Resistivity causes the temperature to rise. As the soil and groundwater are heated uniformly to the boiling point of water, the water becomes steam, stripping volatile and semivolatile contaminants from the pore spaces. In addition, removal of the soil moisture increases the air permeability of the soils, which can further increase the rate at which contaminants are removed.

Sludge
Sludge is a semisolid residue from air or water treatment processes. Residues from treatment of metal wastes and the mixture of waste and soil at the bottom of a waste lagoon are examples of sludge, which can be a hazardous waste.

Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act
The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act -- also known as the Brownfields Law - was passed in January 2002. With the passage of this act, EPA assistance was expanded to provide greater support for brownfields cleanup and reuse. The law modified EPA's brownfields grants and technical assistance program by increasing EPA funding authority up to $200 million per year; providing grants for assessments, revolving loan funds, direct cleanups, and job training; expanding the entities, properties, and activities eligible for brownfields grants; expanding the Brownfields Program's applicability to sites with petroleum contamination such as abandoned gas stations; and providing authority for brownfields training, research, and technical assistance. In addition, the Brownfields Law changed and clarified Superfund liability for prospective purchasers, innocent landowners, and contiguous property owners. The law also provided liability protection for certain small-volume waste contributors and municipal solid waste contributors.

Soil Boring
Soil boring is a process by which a soil sample is extracted from the ground for chemical, biological, and analytical testing to determine the level of contamination present.

Soil Flushing
In soil flushing, large volumes of water, at times supplemented with treatment compounds, are applied to the soil or injected into the groundwater to raise the water table into the zone of contaminated soil. Contaminants are leached into the groundwater, and the extraction fluids are recovered from the underlying aquifer. When possible, the fluids are recycled.

Soil Gas
Soil gas consists of gaseous elements and compounds that occur in the small spaces between particles of the earth and soil. Such gases can move through or leave the soil or rock, depending on changes in pressure.

Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE)
SVE is a process that physically separates contaminants from soil in a vapor form by exerting a vacuum through the soil formation. SVE removes VOCs and some SVOCs from soil beneath the ground surface.

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Soil Washing
Soil washing is an innovative treatment technology that uses liquids (usually water, sometimes combined with chemical additives) and a mechanical process to scrub soils, removes hazardous contaminants, and concentrates the contaminants into a smaller volume. The technology is used to treat a wide range of contaminants, such as metals, gasoline, fuel oils, and pesticides. Soil washing is a relatively low-cost alternative for separating waste and minimizing volume as necessary to facilitate subsequent treatment. It is often used in combination with other treatment technologies. The technology can be brought to the site, thereby eliminating the need to transport hazardous wastes.

Solidification and Stabilization
Solidification and stabilization are the processes of removing wastewater from a waste or changing it chemically to make the waste less permeable and susceptible to transport by water. Solidification and stabilization technologies can immobilize many heavy metals, certain radionuclides, and selected organic compounds, while decreasing the surface area and permeability of many types of sludge, contaminated soils, and solid wastes.

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Solubility
Solubility is a measure of the amount of solute that will dissolve in a solution. It is the ability or tendency of one substance to dissolve into another at a given temperature and pressure and is generally expressed in terms of the amount of solute that will dissolve in a given amount of solvent to produce a saturated solution.

Solvent
A solvent is a substance, usually liquid, that is capable of dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances.

Solvent Extraction
Solvent extraction is an innovative treatment technology that uses a solvent to separate or remove hazardous organic contaminants from oily-type wastes, soils, sludges, and sediments. The technology does not destroy contaminants, but concentrates them so they can be recycled or destroyed more easily by another technology. Solvent extraction has been shown to be effective in treating sediments, sludges, and soils that contain primarily organic contaminants, such as PCBs, VOCs, halogenated organic compounds, and petroleum wastes. Such contaminants typically are generated from metal degreasing, printed circuit board cleaning, gasoline, and wood preserving processes. Solvent extraction is a transportable technology that can be brought to the site.

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Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
An SOP is a step-by-step procedure that promotes uniformity in operations to help clarify and augment such operations. SOPs document the way activities are to be performed to facilitate consistent conformance to technical and quality system requirements and to support data quality. The use of SOPs is an integral part of a successful quality system because SOPs provide individuals with the information needed to perform a job properly and facilitate consistency in the quality and integrity of a product or end result. SOPs also provide guidance in areas in which the exercise of professional judgment is necessary and specify procedures that are unique to each task.

Steam Injection
Steam injection is a remediation technology that uses the addition of steam to the subsurface to heat the soil and groundwater and drive off contaminants. The technology was developed by the petroleum industry to enhance recovery of oils from reservoirs, and has been adapted by the remediation industry for use in the recovery of organic contaminants from the subsurface.

Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)
SERDP is an environmental research and development program headed by the U.S. Department of Defense in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and EPA. The program focuses on cleanup, compliance, conservation, pollution prevention, and unexploded ordnance technologies. SERDP also provides demonstration opportunities at national test sites and conducts annual symposia and workshops to encourage technology transfer.

Subsurface
Underground, beneath the surface.

Superfund
Superfund is the trust fund that provides for the cleanup of hazardous substances released into the environment, regardless of fault. The Superfund was established under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and subsequent amendments to CERCLA. The term Superfund also is used to refer to cleanup programs designed and conducted under CERCLA and its subsequent amendments.

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Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program
The SITE Program is an effort established by EPA in 1986 to advance the development, evaluation, and commercialization of innovative treatment technologies for assessing and cleaning up hazardous waste sites. The program provides an opportunity for technology developers to demonstrate their technologies' ability to successfully process and remediate hazardous waste. The SITE Program has four components: the Emerging Technology Program, the Demonstration Program, the Measurement and Monitoring Program, and the Technology Transfer Program.

Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI)
The SRI reflects EPA's commitment to consider reasonably anticipated future land uses when making remedy decisions for Superfund hazardous waste sites so that sites can be cleaned up to be protective of human health and the environment under the future uses of the land.

Surface Water
Surface water is all water naturally open to the atmosphere, such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, streams, and seas.

Surfactant Flushing
Surfactant flushing is a technology used to treat contaminated groundwater. Surfactant flushing of NAPL increases the solubility and mobility of the contaminants in water so that the NAPLs can be biodegraded more easily in an aquifer or recovered for treatment aboveground.

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Systematic Planning
Systematic planning is a planning process that is based on the scientific method. It is a common-sense approach designed to ensure that the level of detail in planning is commensurate with the importance and intended use of the data, as well as the available resources. Systematic planning is important to the successful execution of all activities at hazardous waste sites, but it is particularly important to dynamic field activities because those activities rely on rapid decision-making. The data quality objective (DQO) process is one formalized process of systematic planning. All dynamic field activities must be designed through the use of systematic planning, whether using DQO steps or some other system.

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