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  • Using Simplicity to Address Contaminant Problems Under Conditions of Uncertainty: On-Demand Program

Using Simplicity to Address Contaminant Problems Under Conditions of Uncertainty: On-Demand Program

  • Mon, June 30, 2025


  • For current EPOC Professional and Associate members only.
  • Reserved for government employees and students only, subject to confirmation.
  • For non-members. Please consider joining EPOC to receive discount member rate.


Using Simplicity to Address Contaminant Problems Under Conditions of Uncertainty: On-Demand Program

Location: On-Demand @ EPOC's LMS Site

Registration: You must first register here (the main event page) before you can have access to the program on the LMS site.

Continuing Education Credits: 

The CT State Board of Examiners of Environmental Professionals (LEP Board) has approved this program as an on-demand distance learning course for 4.0 hours of continuing education credits (CTLEP-524 D). You cannot obtain CT continuing education credits if you have taken the previously offered live webinar offerings (5/10/21 or 10/7/21) and claimed it to fulfill your CEC requirements. As posted on CT DEEP's websiteshould a distance learning course be an electronic conversion of a course previously offered as a webinar or in-person course, an LEP cannot take such distance learning course for credit if the LEP has taken the webinar or in-person course for credit unless two biennial periods have passed since the taking the classroom or field course. LEPs must complete an on-demand/distance learning course in its entirety to claim any credit whatsoever, partial credit will not be awarded.

About this On-Demand Course:

This program was previously offered as a live webinar on 5/10/21 and is a recording of that event. If you are taking this program for CT continuing education credits (CECs), you must watch the entire program video and will not have option of fast forwarding through any content. You may pause the video and return at any time to finish. After you complete the video, you will then be required to complete an Assessment of Learning test before your CEC form is issued. You must pass the Assessment of Learning test with a minimum score of 70% to complete the class and receive your continuing education credit form.


  • Dr. Donald I. Siegel. Partner, Independent Environmental Scientists (Manlius, NY); Emeritus Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Earth Sciences (Syracuse University, NY)


  • EPOC Members: $200
  • Non-members: $300 (consider joining EPOC at this time to receive the member rate for this program)
  • Gov't Employee/Students: $100

Course Requirement:

You must have ability to open and edit Excel spreadsheets on a computer during the webinar.

Course Description:

Academic hydrogeologists, unconstrained by time, spend careers doing experiments, field studies, and mathematical exploration to discover new science and engineering and achieve a level of certainty they hope will be “beyond reasonable doubt.” In contrast, practicing hydrogeologists and engineers usually have to adhere to legal standards of proof, being “scientifically more likely than not.” Very detailed information on the subsurface usually is obtained at contaminant sources to be able to remove the most contaminant mass during remediation efforts. But farther away, the scientific certainty of fate, transport, and attenuation unaffected by engineering seldom achieves precision and accuracy better than factors to even an order of magnitude because of unknown subsurface heterogeneities, vertical flow, and aquifer properties.

Professionals attending this course will gain a better appreciation of the degree to which unknown heterogeneities influence engineering and regulatory decisions, and then be introduced to a comparatively simple hydraulic and then a geochemical technique to evaluate contaminant fate and transport and achieve essentially the same level of certainty as do more complicated methods such as complex numerical modeling using default parameters by necessity.

Course Agenda:

  • Hour 1: Introduction:
    Why uncertainty proves to be much greater than inferred from local hydraulic testing because of subsurface heterogeneities that control Darcy’s Law. Why do field studies provide limited information and what do geochemical tracer tests show with respect to where groundwater flow paths actually go?

  • Hour 2: Setting the Challenge:
    The major causes of subsurface uncertainty - scale dependency, refraction of flow lines, and nested flow systems.

  • Hour 3: Two examples of Using Simplicity in Analysis within Probable Error Bars of Uncertainty
    a. Hydraulics: How long does it take for airborn PFAS to move from the soil zone to the water table?
    b. Remediation of BTEX: An Unappreciated Effectiveness of Ternary diagrams.

  • Hour 4: Case Studies: Practicing What You Learned
    Q&A Summary and Conclusions.

Speaker Biography:

Dr. Donald I. Siegel

Partner, Independent Environmental Scientists (Manlius, NY); Emeritus Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Earth Sciences (Syracuse University, NY); Hydrologist-Geochemist, U.S Geological Survey; B.S. Geology; University of Rhode Island; MS Geology and Geophysics, The Pennsylvania State University; PhD, Hydrogeology, University of Minnesota. President Geological Society of America (GSA), 2019-2020. Chair of the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) Water Science and Technology Board (2010-2013), Associate Editor for most water related journals, Book Editor for GSA; Fellow American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and The Geological Society of America (GSA); Birdsall-Dreiss Lectureship, Distinguished Service Award, and O.E. Meinzer Award (Hydrogeology Division, GSA); William Wassertrom Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, SU); >150 peer reviewed publications on groundwater contamination and groundwater-surface water interactions. Over 100 consulting projects involving hydrocarbons, solvents, hydraulic fracturing, fugitive outdoor and indoor air emissions, PFAS, and toxic elements. Testimony to US Congress, EPA, and United Nations on hydraulic fracturing.

Environmental Professionals Organization of Connecticut, Inc.
P.O. Box 176, Amston, CT 06231-0176
Seth Molofsky, Executive Director
Phone: (860) 537-0337, Fax: (860) 603-2075

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