Petroleum Vapor Intrusion

Click here to contact the Petroleum Vapor Intrusion

Team Leaders

John Boyer
P 609-984-9751
John Menatti
P 801-536-4159

Program Advisor

Mary Yelken
P 402-325-9615

ITRC PVI Project Snapshot: In February 2012, the ITRC Petroleum Vapor Intrusion (PVI) Team began development of a web-based technical and regulatory guidance document and an Internet-based training course that describes a multiple lines of evidence approach for evaluating PVI. The guidance document and training course will describe the differences between chlorinated and petroleum vapors in the vadose zone. A comprehensive practical methodology will be developed for screening, investigating, and mitigating sites for PVI. The ITRC PVI guidance document is expected to expand on the EPA OUST PVI policy document (currently in draft) and develop investigative approaches for a variety of petroleum site types including:

  • Gasoline and/or Diesel USTs
  • Commercial/Home Heating Oil Tanks
  • Refineries
  • Bulk Storage Facilities
  • Pipelines and Transportation
  • Oil Exploration and Production (E&P)
  • Former Manufactured Gas Plants
  • Creosote (Wood Treating) Facilities
  • Dry Cleaners Using Petroleum Solvents

Targeted Users: Target users are engaged in vapor intrusion issues at petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites (i.e., gas stations, refineries and storage terminals, heating oil facilities, military installations).

Primary Users

  • State / Federal Regulators – Project Management level
  • Consultants – Field work level

Secondary Users

  • Site owners
  • Public and tribal stakeholders
  • Regulatory and consultant management

ITRC PVI Document Chapter Outline (Draft)

  1. Introduction
  2. Characteristics of Petroleum Vapor Intrusion
  3. Site Screening Using Vertical Separation Distance
  4. Site Investigation
  5. Modeling
  6. Vapor Control & Site Management
  7. Community Engagement
  8. Appendices:
    • PVI Survey – Summary of State Responses
    • List of State Guidance and Contacts
    • Chemistry of Petroleum
    • Petroleum Vapor Intrusion Conceptual Site Model Checklist
    • Types of Petroleum Sites
    • Additional Information for Site Screening
    • Investigation and Analysis Toolbox
    • Vapor Intrusion Models Using Aerobic Biodegradation
    • Biodegradation Model Processes, Inputs and Case Examples
    • Vapor Intrusion Control
    • Community Engagement Fact Sheets
    • Indoor Air Background Data
    • Fate and Transport of Petroleum Vapors
    • ITRC PVI Team Contact List
    • Acronyms

Project Schedule:

  • Document development – February 2012 – October 2014
  • State Survey – completed June 2012
  • ITRC Draft Document Review – begins April 2014
  • Document targeted completion - October 2014
  • Internet-based Training targeted completion - November 2014

Problem Statement: As was the case back in 2004 when the original ITRC Vapor Intrusion Team was formed is the same today – the vapor intrusion pathway remains one of the top environmental issues for state agencies. In fact, the results of the ITRC State Priorities Survey have ranked vapor intrusion in the Top 4 every year for the last five years. The ITRC Vapor Intrusion Team had a highly successful Internet-based training (over 2,700 participants with the largest class of 451) and classroom training (almost 2,000).

The main reason that vapor intrusion has remained a critical environmental issue is the continued evolution of the pathway. While the investigation of contaminated soil and groundwater has been around for well over a century, vapor intrusion has only been in the national spotlight for the last ten years. Scientific research is continually providing new insight into the movement and mitigation of subsurface vapors. Thus, state and federal environmental agencies, consulting firms and industry are desperately trying to stay up-to-date on the ever-changing approaches to vapor intrusion.

In short, the problem is the lack of current, reliable and scientifically-based information on the investigative strategies and mitigation measures of the vapor intrusion pathway. Specifically, there is a lack of clear guidance on the application of multiple lines of evidence for petroleum vapor intrusion.

Proposed Scope to Address Problem: The proposed ITRC PVI Multiple Lines of Evidence technical and regulatory guidance document will provide a technical explanation of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbon vapors in vadose zone soils. An extensive discussion of the various investigative tools relevant to petroleum hydrocarbons will be enumerated with a technical overview, pros and cons, and proper application. Based on these tools and the development of a conceptual site model, the role of a multiple lines of evidence approach will be explained. Thus, a comprehensive practical methodology to evaluating sites for petroleum vapor intrusion will be developed.

An assessment of the current regulatory approach to petroleum vapor intrusion will be completed and a summary provided in the guidance document. Case studies and peer-reviewed research will be included to support the multiple lines of evidence approach for petroleum hydrocarbons. In addition, an overview of petroleum-related vapor intrusion mitigation will be furnished.