Featured Projects and Initiatives

Urban Gardening and Brownfields
The Center for Hazardous Substance Research (CHSR) at Kansas State University (KSU) is leading several existing and proposed projects that aim to address children’s health issues at brownfields and/or urban gardening sites. Blase Leven, TAB Coordinator, is working with Drs. Sabine Martin and Ganga Hettiarachchi who are leading a research project that characterizes and monitors metals in soils and vegetables at several urban gardening sites on brownfields across the United States. The CHSR recently hosted an urban gardening on brownfields workshop on this topic.

Additional persons and partner organizations involved with these, or related CHSR efforts, include Drs. Wendy Griswold, Larry Erickson, Rhonda Janke, and DeAnn Pressley, and Blase Leven< and Terrie Boguski (with the CHSR and KSU); Katherine Kelley (Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture); Heidi Holliday (Rosedale Healthy Kids Initiative); and Nozella Brown (Wyandotte County K-State Extension Service).

The Brownfield Inventory Tool (BIT), a Free, web-based, comprehensive brownfields management tool, was completed and released in 2010. Cities, regional coalitions, and Tribes can use BIT to create site inventories; submit reports such as the multiple property profile form (in excel); and to log administrative information about brownfields and other environmental programs. The tool was created with EPA funding by the Technical Assistance to Brownfields communities program. Go to http://tab-bit.org/ to access BIT.
A free on-line tool to facilitate writing EPA brownfields assessment and cleanup grant proposals developed by the Technical Assistance to Brownfields communities program. Go to www.tabez.org to access TAB EZ.

We are also host to several research programs, listed below:

Sustainability Initiatives
The CHSR provides educational programs on sustainability, participates in related research at KSU, and is home to the Consortium for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (CESAS). The purpose is to provide reliable information to all types of people and organizations to promote informed, sustainable intentions and actions.

Community Outreach (EPA TAB)
The Center for Hazardous Substance Research provides technical assistance to communities affected by hazardous substance issues at EPA, brownfield, tribal, and other types of sites. This is achieved by working with all stakeholders and agencies to provide educational information, technical review services, and assistance with community outreach efforts.

Shared Air/Shared Action: Air Pollution Monitoring  (SA2)
Residents of Environmental Justice (EJ) communities often contend that limited regional air pollutant air monitoring does not adequately report on perceived air pollution from local sources or address the relative health risks of proximity to local sources. This concern exists in a variety of EJ communities across the United States with the south side of urban metropolis Chicago, Illinois a prime example. Kansas State University (KSU) and seven partners propose to address air monitoring needs in South Chicago through the creation of the Shared Air/Shared Action (SA2) project.

Cleaning Contaminated Military Sites Using Phytotechnology (NATO Science for Peace and Security Program (SPS), Multiyear Research Project (MYP)
The establishment of miscanthus on contaminated sites will stabilize the soil on the sites and minimize ecological damage by reducing further contamination through wind and water erosion. The addition of organic carbon to the soil through miscanthus production will reduce metal availability and uptake. There will be increased security of these contaminated sites by growing and harvesting miscanthus. The harvested miscanthus product can be pelleted and used for winter heating, added to combustion furnaces to produce steam, or used as a fuel to produce electricity. Having adequate fuel improves military and civilian security. Miscanthus can be used as an alternate fuel for the military, the biomass may be used for industrial purpose as building materials and source of cellulose for paper production.Research sites were selected in Ukraine, Czech Republic and USA, including Fort Riley, US Army, where one site was contaminated after military training in 1944-1945.

If you have any questions or believe the Center can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Questions regarding this website may be sent to chsr@engg.ksu.edu.