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July/August 2008

Vapor Intrusion Evaluations to Be Aided by Proposed Vadose Zone Standard

A proposed new practice being developed by ASTM Subcommittee D18.21 on Ground Water and Vadose Zone Investigations will cover techniques for actively collecting soil gas samples from the vadose zone beneath buildings. WK18835, Practice for Active Soil Gas Sampling in the Vadose Zone for Vapor Intrusion Evaluations, is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil and Rock.

Lorne G. Everett, Ph.D., chief scientist and senior vice president, Haley & Aldrich, and the charter chairman of ASTM D18.21.02 on Vadose Zone Monitoring, says that the proposed practice will provide a greater level of applied detail than exists in current guides. “WK18835 specifically looks at active soil gas sampling techniques that are directly applicable to the vapor intrusion evaluation methodology,” says Everett.

According to Everett, D18.21.02 has completed a series of more than 10 ASTM guides that cover a large number of technologies, such as pore-liquid sampling, soil sampling, water content measurements, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity, matrix potential determination, horizontal application of neutron probes, etc.; currently used in vadose zone work. As each of the guides is approved, corresponding practices and test methods are being developed. WK18835 is one such proposed standard, having been developed to correspond with D5314, Guide for Soil Gas Monitoring in the Vadose Zone. Use of the proposed standard will ensure that soil gas sampling is being done correctly to identify potential vapor intrusion hazards that are addressed in the widely used new ASTM standard, E2600, Practice for Assessment of Vapor Intrusion into Structures on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions.

Everett says that WK18835 will be used by all branches of government, as well as by industry and consulting firms throughout the world. Participation in the activities of ASTM D18.21.02, particularly from field practitioners, manufacturers and soil gas analysis laboratories, is encouraged. In addition to work on WK18835, the group plans on developing other standards associated with passive soil gas sampling technologies.


Technical Information: Lorne Everett, Haley & Aldrich, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Phone: 805-563-8600

ASTM Staff: Robert Morgan

Phone: 610-832-9732