Vapor Intrusion: DOD Utility Study, Resources in Spanish and Concerns with TCE

DOD Utility Study

The DNR recently learned about a recent study on vapor migration within utilities. The study, funded by the Department of Defense Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), is titled Sewers and Utility Tunnels as Preferential Pathways for Volatile Organic Compound Migration into Buildings; Risk Factors and Investigation Protocol.

The results of the study suggest contaminant migration within utility sewers (not the backfill around the sewers) is more prevalent than previously understood and can act as an important preferential pathway. The final work products include an Executive Summary, Conceptual Model and Investigation Protocol, posted on December 2018, and a Final Report posted on January 2019. A two-minute video on how to collect a vapor sample from within a sewer is included on the report website.

All preferential pathways should be considered when developing the conceptual site model and performing a site investigation under ch. NR 716, Wis. Admin. Code.

This and other important vapor intrusion information can be found on the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program’s Vapor Intrusion for Environmental Professionals website.

VI Spanish Translations

The RR Program is also translating into Spanish some of its vapor intrusion resources. Two fact sheets were recently completed and are now published on the Vapor Intrusion web page for the general public: Why Test for Vapor Intrusion? (RR-053 / RR-053a-Spanish version) and Mitigation: Protection from Vapor Intrusion (RR-094 / RR-094a-Spanish version).

Additional vapor intrusion fact sheets are planned to be translated.

The Vapor Intrusion 101 video was updated with Spanish subtitles earlier this year as another resource available on the Vapor Intrusion web page.


The DNR routinely partners with the Department of Health Services (DHS) and local health departments on vapor intrusion issues when the investigation indicates a threat to human health. In response to a recent situation where trichloroethylene (TCE) was the primary contaminant of concern in a residential neighborhood, DHS created a one-page fact sheet specific to the health effects of TCE, TCE in the Air. A link to this fact sheet is now available on the DNR’s Vapor Intrusion web page under the “Health” tab. That document has also been translated to Spanish.

The RR Program reminds responsible parties, consultants and other environmental professionals that RR programs’s vapor intrusion guidance, Addressing Vapor Intrusion at Remediation & Redevelopment Sites in Wisconsin, RR-800, was substantially expanded and published in January 2018 to become a comprehensive guidance on all aspects of vapor intrusion. Additional information specific to the acute developmental concern with TCE and the need to prioritize the vapor investigation is discussed in Section 3.4 of RR-800.

The RR Program is developing training opportunities (distance and in-person) in 2020 on these and other vapor intrusion topics. Please continue to work with your assigned DNR Project Manager on open cases. General questions can be directed to Jennifer Borski, Vapor Intrusion Team Leader, at 920-424-7887 or


(Visited 270 times, 1 visits today)