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January 25th, 2001

This is a short message with the sad news that Robert Brooks died at 3 am
Tuesday morning.  He had been quite unwell for several weeks following heart
surgery late last year - repair of an aneurysm and a triple bypass, and
there were complications of a Pseudomonas infection and about a couple of
weeks ago a stroke of moderate severity.  It had become clear over the last
week that he was going downhill, so ultimately it wasn't a shock.

It really marks the end of an era, both for Massey and for biogeochemistry,
and especially for all interested in metallophytes.  He had an enormous
influence on the direction of my own career and research interests, for
which I will always be indebted to him, and of course he leaves a great
legacy in his books and other published work, which will live on.

Roger Reeves and Alan J M Baker

Report on Phytoremediation

D. Glass Associates, Inc. (DGA) is formally announcing the release of "The 2000 Phytoremediation Industry", a directory of the U.S. and international phytoremdiation industry including company profiles. A more detailed description of the report and ordering information are available at:

The market report of D. Glass Associates Inc., "U.S. and International Markets for Phytoremediation, 1999-2000" is also still available.

This is just a quick note to inform the group that the research group at the Dept. of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan (Canada) has recently completed an extensive literature review/technology assessment of the phytoremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils for the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC).

Phytoremediation, the use of plants and their associated microorganisms for the in situ treatment of contaminated soils, is a steadily emerging technology with potential for the effective and inexpensive cleanup of a broad range of organic and inorganic wastes.  Based on a review of the relevant literature, we provide examples of the phytoremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons and discuss the key mechanisms as well as the special considerations involved in petrochemical phytoremediation.  The
benefits, limitations, and costs of phytoremediation compared to alternative approaches - including natural attenuation, engineering and bioremediation - also are discussed.

Initial indications are that phytoremediation is effective at degrading and containing petroleum hydrocarbons in soil as well as transferring these compounds from soil to the atmosphere.  The literature suggests that the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons by microorganisms in the rhizosphere of plants is the primary loss mechanism for these compounds.  Based on
available information, it appears that phytoremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons is quicker but more expensive than natural attenuation and, conversely, slower but less expensive than most engineering techniques and traditional bioremediation methods.

Preliminary screenings indicate that there are native and introduced plants that could be used in phytoremediation efforts in the Prairie and Boreal Plains Ecozones.  Little published information exists, however, on the application of phytoremediation to oil-contaminated sites in Canada. Likewise, only a handful of studies examine in detail the specific mechanisms of petrochemical phytoremediation.  The report:  "Assessment of Phytoremediation as an In-Situ Technique for Cleaning Oil-Contaminated
Sites" is available in a searchable PDF format at the following web site:

The report is divided into eleven sections including a glossary of relevant terms and a listing of 154 relevant references.  Hard copies of the report are available from PTAC or the U of S Soil Science Department.

In addition to this report, we have developed a searchable database (tentatively titled PhytoPet) that serves as an inventory of plants with a demonstrated potential to phytoremediate (or tolerate) petroleum hydrocarbons.  To date, 61 plant species have been recorded in the database (representing the results from 33 experimental studies).  Information included in the database is divided into three categories.

1.  General
         common & scientific name of plant
         petroleum hydrocarbon of concern
         interaction of plant & contaminant (phytoremediation vs. tolerance)
         mechanism(s) of phytoremediation

2.  Experimental
         contaminant concentration (pre- and post-experiment)
         soil characteristics
         storage sites in the plant; age of plant at first exposure

3.  Plant-Specific Information
         growth form & morphology
         growth period
         habitat, salinity tolerance
         occurrence in western Canada

At present, the database is available on request in either a Zip disk or CD format.

If anyone is interested in this report, please check out the web site or contact me at the address listed below.  I would greatly appreciate hearing your comments, as we hope to issue periodic updates the report (and database).  Likewise, if you have published literature on this topic, or know of any literature which we missed, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Richard E. Farrell
Research Scientist & Director, Stable Isotope Laboratory
University of Saskatchewan
Department of Soil Science
51 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK  Canada
S7N 5A8

Phone:  (306) 966-2772
Fax:  (306) 966-6881

Report on Phytoremediation

D. Glass Associates, Inc. (DGA) is now formally announcing the release of its new report, entitled "U.S. and International Markets for Phytoremediation, 1999-2000". A more detailed description of the report and ordering information are available at: "".

The Executive Summary of D. Glass Associates market report, "The 1998 U.S. Market for Phytoremediation" is available on the Web

US EPA database of existing phytoremediation field sites
EPA will be publishing and web-posting a database of existing phytoremediation field sites.  We are in the final phase of gathering information now for posting in October.  If you have any information of clean-up projects or field scale demonstrations please contact me as soon as possible.
Please send information also about NON U.S. sites.

This database will be downloadable to MS Access or searchable on the web by contaminant, type of application, location, investigator, contractor, etc.  The phyto bibliography on-line ( gets 250-300 hits each month.

Since we will be including phone numbers and contact information, this could be used as a kind of yellow pages for phyto researchers and practitioners.  Site location and owner's name can be confidential.

We have about 160 sites listed so far.  Although we intend to update the database periodically, since it is a gov't project the exact timing of the update is uncertain, and it would be best to get as many sites as possible included at the beginning.


Steve Rock


The Association for the Environmental Health of  Soils (AEHS) is pleased to announce a call for manuscripts for its newest journal, the International Journal of  Phytoremediation.
The journal, owned by AEHS and published by CRC Press, will be the first journal  devoted to the publication of current laboratory and field research describing the use of plant systems to remediate/restore contaminated environments.  Manuscripts will be considered that address any of a wide range of issues and interests including: phytodegradation, phytostabilization, phytovolatization, phytoextraction, rhizofiltration, and enhanced rhizosphere biodegradation.
The journal is a quarterly, international, peer-reviewed publication designed to  link professionals in the many environmental disciplines involved in the development, application, management, and regulation of emerging phytoremediation technologies.  The broad aims and scope will assure a comprehensive flow of current information on this important new interdisciplinary field.  The first issue will be released March, 1999.
For more information on the International Journal of Phytoremediation, please visit our web site at:

or contact the editorial office at (413) 549-5170.
Heather S. McCreary
Managing Editor
International Journal of Phytoremediation
150 Fearing Street, Suite 21
Amherst, MA  01002
Tel: 413-549-5170
Fax: 413-549-0579