The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) has announced that Maureen Sullivan of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) will present the Tuesday keynote address, “Adapting to Changing Environments: Water as a Mission-Critical Resource,” at its groundwater solutions conference. The event is scheduled for Aug. 8-9 in Arlington, Va. James E. Woolford of the U.S. EPA will deliver the Wednesday keynote.

This conference will focus on “Groundwater Solutions: Innovating to Address Emerging Issues for Groundwater Resources.” Public- and private-sector groundwater scientists, engineers, water well system professionals, manufacturers and suppliers of groundwater-related products and services will be in attendance.

As a 35-year veteran of the DoD and head of its remediation efforts, Sullivan understands the major challenges confronted by groundwater contamination especially in managing complex sites with limited resources. She’ll speak to the need for continued innovation in the remediation industry to accelerate clean-up efforts and return contaminated properties to communities seeking redevelopment.

She stresses that innovative thinking can propel momentum for groundwater treatment. For example, a collaborative effort by the U.S. Navy and State of California formed a partnership to address groundwater that did not meet drinking water requirements. Through collaborative discussions, the Navy conducted source zone active treatment and long-term plume management that saved approximately $60 million, which can now be applied to other higher risk sites.

Sullivan is also a proponent of innovating by using green and sustainable techniques to expand current clean-up practices and strategies, like the Massachusetts Military Reservation’s large-scale groundwater cleanup that achieved net-zero energy through the use of wind turbines that offset the costs of powering clean-up systems.

“The DoD is incorporating green and sustainable techniques during the feasibility study evaluations of various technologies and remedy strategies,” Sullivan says. “Our mission is to select remedial strategies that maximize overall benefit to the environment at the most reasonable expense of federal funds.”

The second-day keynote will be delivered by James E. Woolford, Ph.D., of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He will speak to remediation programs for Superfund sites that protect groundwater through the balance of regulation, science and technology.

The two-day conference also features numerous groundwater remediation platform presentations including an introspective panel and group brainstorming session focused on how site characterization leads to more effective management of large plumes.

The panel, moderated by John Wilson, Ph.D., a principal scientist with Scissortail Environmental Solutions LLC, features: Tyler Gass, a chief hydrogeologist with Integral Consulting Inc. and former director of research for NGWA; Denis LeBlanc, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Massachusetts; and Joseph Quinnan, director of Arcadis North America emerging contaminants services and the Arcadis global director of site investigations.

NGWA is a nonprofit that supports responsible development, management and use of water resources. It’s comprised of groundwater professionals ranging from contractors to equipment manufacturers to scientists and engineers. For more information, visit